Do you like grits? With this cauliflower-based version, you can enjoy that creamy, cheesy goodness and still stay low carb!
Cauliflower is a versatile low carb staple, easily subbing for potatoes, rice, and in this recipe, a type of coarsely-ground cornmeal. For my first attempt, I made Roasted Mushroom and Walnut Cauliflower Grits.
The dish is made, essentially, in two parts: the first is the mushroom/walnut/garlic topping (roasted in the oven) and the second is the grits – and a food processor makes short work of reducing the cauliflower to a grits-like consistency. The roasted mushroom/walnut/garlic topping is added to the “grits” after they’re cooked.
A couple of things jumped out at me as I began making the recipe: 1 tablespoon seemed like an awful lot of smoked paprika, as did the 1 tablespoon of rosemary. Both of these ingredients have very strong flavors, in contrast to what I knew would be a mild flavor from the cauliflower. Nevertheless, I made the recipe as written (with those reservations).
When the grits were ready, I served the dish as the recipe directed, but didn’t care for the topping; as I had suspected, the smoked paprika and rosemary flavors overwhelmed everything else.
The next time we had the grits, though, I skipped the topping entirely, and added more sharp cheddar and some plump shrimp on top. Keeping the additions simple allowed the delicate flavors of cauliflower (just a hint) and shrimp came through. Delicious!
I’d definitely make the grits again, but would probably just skip the mushroom/walnut topping (though significantly reducing the amount of smoked paprika and rosemary may better showcase the flavors of the mushrooms and walnuts – I’d probably reduce the amounts by at least half). Mushrooms simply sautéed in butter would make a toothsome topping, too.
Bottom line: this recipe has plenty of room for creativity, and is a very respectable low carb stand-in for corn-based grits.