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Cauliflower and Pinto Bean Saute
with cheesy grits

Active: 40 min Total: 40 min

For a vegetarian twist on classic shrimp and grits, we saute cauliflower and pinto beans in a blend of spices. The finished dish, served over cheesy grits, has layers of texture and flavor.
Smarts: The grits in this recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.

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Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Cauliflower and Pinto Bean Saute:
  • Cauliflower - 1 lb, florets
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts separate
  • Beans, pinto (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Water - 1 Tbsp
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz
  • Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Pepitas - 1/4 cup
Cheesy Grits:
  • Water - 3 cups
  • Milk, any type - 1 cup
  • Grits or polenta - 1 cup (look for a more fine ground for quicker cooking)
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp
  • Cheese, shredded Mexican blend - 2 oz

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Prep

  1. Cauliflower / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Green onions - Chop green onions, keeping green and white parts separate.
  3. Beans - Drain and rinse.

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Make

  1. Combine water (portion for grits) and milk in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat (watch the pan and adjust the heat because boiled milk will quickly spill over). Add in grits / polenta with salt (portion for grits). Lower heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until liquid is all absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  2. While grits are cooking, heat a large saute pan or skillet with oil over medium heat. Add cauliflower and cook until golden brown, turning to cook on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Add water (portion for saute; be careful - it will steam) and cover with a lid. Steam cauliflower, covered, until tender, ~3 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and stir in baby spinach, white parts of green onions, garlic, paprika, cumin, and salt (portion for saute). Saute until spinach is wilted, 4 to 5 minutes (you can put the lid back on to help speed this along).
  4. Stir in beans and lemon juice. Taste and season with some salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. When grits are finished cooking, whisk in butter and cheese. Taste and season with some more salt, if needed.
  6. Serve cauliflower, greens, and beans over grits. Top with green parts of green onions and pepitas. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (46)
Gluten-free (3)
Paleo (7)
Vegetarian (11)

41 reviews

Great! Can’t wait to make again!!

By: Cara
Posted: Feb 14, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

shrimp and grits are just about my favorite meal ever!! This is a great recipe!

By: Kathryn
Posted: Sep 10, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

First time having grits. Next time I would sub polenta or mashed yukons.

By: Kristin
Posted: Sep 02, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

bacon made the polenta taste way better. Kids liked it. thumbs up

By: Glendalis
Posted: Aug 12, 2020
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful

I made this with my own variation of spices as I've realized that some of the spices used in these recipes are off. I have to say the person who used cornmeal instead of grits, which are in no way equivalent except being made of corn, gave me nightmares. Anyway, the meal came out great with my spice and dairy-free substitutions.

By: Meryl
Posted: May 17, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Quarantine cooking has me making some substitutes to clear out the pantry and freezer. Used cornmeal for the grits, frozen cauli and spinach, and skipped the green onions because I didn’t have any. It turned out awesome! Easy weeknight meal and I LOVED the cheesy grits. Everything came out better than I expected!

By: Charlotte
Posted: Apr 28, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful