Paleo Shrimp & Grits

Southern comfort food, shrimp & grits, reimagined in a paleo-friendly way.

by on Sun, Mar 31 2013 13:23:00

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I'm borrowing the book Practical Paleo from a friend, and I really love the way the author Diane Sanfilippo breaks down the purpose and science behind adopting a paleo lifestyle. I came across this quote that I loved:

"Paleo is a template, not a dietary prescription. There is not one cookie-cutter 'Paleo diet.' If you are eating solely chicken breasts, broccoli, and olive oil, you're missing the point entirely."

That is kind of my goal for the blog - bringing you more creative ideas than just seasoned grilled meat and a steamed vegetable, and making it fun! This next recipe was one that convinced me I could take on this paleo challenge, and not feel like I was giving up my favorite foods.

This southern comfort food classic is definitely one of my favorites, but there isn't much that's paleo about the original recipe -- corn grits, heavy cream, cheese, etc (pretend you didn't even just read those words, and stop salivating!). When I saw this recipe on Paleo Cupboard, I knew immediately that I had to make it. I was a little nervous about how it would turn out, but not only did it exceed my expectations, it was surprisingly easy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (Preferably organic and low sodium - check ingredients! Bonus points for making your own.)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (I used some fresh I already had on hand)
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Optional Garnish:

  • crumbled bacon
  • chopped green onion
  • lemon wedges
  • hot sauce (check ingredients)

Start by removing the florets from the core of the cauliflower, breaking/cutting them into similarly sized pieces.

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Add the florets to a food processor in batches, and process until they are evenly chopped to a rice-like consistency. (I ended up with some extra riced cauliflower, so I froze it for later.)

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In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and saute HALF of the chopped onion for about 3 minutes. Add the riced cauliflower and stir to combine.

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Next add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the almond flour, garlic powder and some salt & pepper and stir to combine.

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Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the consistency at about 15 minutes into the cooking process. If "grits" are too thick for your liking add more broth, if too thin add more almond flour or remove the lid and let some of the liquid cook off. After 20 minutes, remove the grits from the heat and set aside. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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Next, combine sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

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Sprinkle the mixture over the shrimp to coat well and set aside.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat and warm 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the spiced shrimp along with the other half chopped onion and minced garlic to pan and cook until they start to turn pink. Add lemon juice and saute for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

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To serve, add a large scoop of "grits" to a bowl and add the shrimp on top. Top it off with some crumbled bacon and chopped green onion. Serve with some hot sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

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The consistency and flavor was so much like grits, I was totally surprised... It is obviously a bit different, but not enough for me to care! The shrimp was also really flavorful and perfectly spicy.

Comment with any questions, feedback or suggestions.

Until next time... happy paleo eating!

Posted in shrimp, Paleo, Recipes, Dinner

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