Shrimp & Grits

Sticking to our cajun theme this week, I made up some shrimp and grits for dinner. And by grits I mean polenta, because truly, I’m an Italian girl at heart. To make things a little healthier, I served it up with some kale chips on the side.

Speaking of healthy… Nick actually requested a healthy meal, and he got this instead. But to make us both happy, I used very little salt, low-sodium bacon, low-fat sausage, and didn’t add any cheese, butter, or milk to the polenta. Even without all these yummy extras, the meal came out very flavorful and didn’t taste at all like a calorie conscious dish.

Shrimp & Grits

  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 pound sausage meat, removed from casings
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp cajun or creole seasoning
  • 1 bunch kale, cut into “chips”
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 4 cups water, boiling
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta
  • 1 large jalapeño, diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start boiling the water in a large saucepan.

While you’re waiting for things to heat up, start cooking the bacon in a Dutch oven. When the bacon gets crispy, remove it from the pot and soak up the extra grease on a paper towel. Drain all but roughly 1 tbsp of fat from the pot. Toss in the onion and the sausage, and saute until the onion is soft and the sausage is brown and crumbly.

In a small bowl, toss the shrimp in the cajun seasoning and set aside to marinate. In a larger bowl, toss the kale with the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread the chips out on cookie sheets and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them so that they don’t burn.

Toss the shrimp in with the sausage and onion and cook the shrimp for 3-5 minutes, until they are pink and cooked through. Take the pot off the heat, add the bacon back in and set aside.

By now, your water should be good and boiling. Slowly add the polenta and stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up any lumps. Add in the jalapeno and continue to stir for 5-8 minutes until the polenta is thick and not runny.

Take the kale out of the oven and serve. Yum!

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