Cauliflower and Pinto Bean Saute
with cheesy grits
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.
- 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
- 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
- Cauliflower / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green onions - Chop green onions, keeping green and white parts separate.
- Beans - Drain and rinse.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Stir in beans and lemon juice. Taste and season with some salt and pepper, if needed.
- When grits are finished cooking, whisk in butter and cheese. Taste and season with some more salt, if needed.
- Serve cauliflower, greens, and beans over grits. Top with green parts of green onions and pepitas. Enjoy!
Great! Can’t wait to make again!!0 Helpful
shrimp and grits are just about my favorite meal ever!! This is a great recipe!0 Helpful
First time having grits. Next time I would sub polenta or mashed yukons.0 Helpful
bacon made the polenta taste way better. Kids liked it. thumbs up0 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.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!0 Helpful