Labor Day Weekend Fun

Well hello again!

A day off from blogging becomes 2, becomes 3 becomes over a week later.  It’s been a great week, as any national holiday is.  Complete with a trip down South to my roots in the Carolinas.  Tailgating at my alma matter, Clemson (in South Carolina) and then two lovely nights with my parents at a Bed & Breakfast in Asheville, North Carolina.

Enjoy the pics and snipets of the trip and I’ll be back up and running with new recipes soon.

[WARNING: Some gross injury photos included at the very bottom.  Scroll at your own risk.  You have been warned.]

First thing off was starting with a yummy tailgate.  Got a “Bo Box” from Bojangles and it was worth every greasy calorie.  BBQ & Fried Chicken are definitely my ‘treat’ foods.

Sorority Sister reunion

Mom & Dad at the gameThe whole gang


Then, on to Asheville where we stayed at the lovely Abbington Green.

And of course, obligatory food picture.  This one taken from the Early Girl Eatery.  Some of the best Collard Greens I’ve ever had!

Now, as promised, the disgusting injury photos.  Went for a run on Saturday morning and wound up tripping over some uneven pavement and sliding across the ground.  I’m now on day 5 of a break from running and recovering nicely.  Hopefully, this little rest period won’t impact my marathon training too much.

You were warned…

First Post – Vegan City Grits

Well, this is my first attempt in the blog world.  I’ve been wanting to post for awhile but, decided I couldn’t have a blog with the name “Nitty Grits” without the first post being about grits. Come on!

Not just grits.  But, vegan grits.

Tough task.  I live in NYC and it is NOT easy to find grits in this town.  After a search of about 3 specialty food stores, I found a box of instant Arrowhead Mills hidden on the bottom shelf of a Whole Foods.  And it was the last box!  I pitty the next person who goes looking for them.

Obviously, instant grits are not ideal.  I usually love Arrowhead Mills but I’ve never tasted any instant grits that are anywhere close to the real thing.  But, if you find yourself in the same predicament (are there many people looking to make vegan grits outside of the south – or anywhere?), this recipe still turns out pretty fabulous.   I love the crunch of the fresh corn mixed in there.  Yum.

Vegan City Grits – Topped with Tomatoes, Peppers and Corn

Serves 2

  • 1/3 cup of instant grits
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (About 1 ear of corn)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Soy Milk
  • 1 oz nondairy cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 strips of tempeh bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Tabasco sauce (to taste)

Heat the 1 tablespoon Olive Oil on medium-high in a large skillet on medium high.

Add onions and cook until translucent.

Add the green pepper and cook until onion browns a little.

Add the tomatoes and jalapeno.  Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir often.

While the onion mixture is cooking, bring water to a simmer and slowly add in the grits.  Reduce heat to low and stir constantly so that the grits don’t get lumpy for about 5 minutes.  Add the soy milk, cheese, Earth Balance, salt and pepper and stir until cheese has melted.

While onion mixture and grits are cooking, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet and add crumbled tempeh.  Cook until crispy then lay out on a paper towel to cool down.

Divide grits into two large bowls, top with 1/2 each the onion mixture and 1/2 the crumbled tempeh.

Top with as much Tabasco as you can take and taste the south, wherever you might be…