These Skinny Cajun-Style Shrimp and Grits are pure southern comfort made healthier here (and every bit as delicious!) for the 21 Day Fix.
Hello my fixers! Long time no chat, eh? I know, sorry about that. For those of you who haven’t been following along, the fam and I just took a 4,000+ mile trek across the continent to move from Kentucky to Alaska. Holy crap, you guys. It was amazing. It took us about two weeks to get here with a van full of stuff, two kids and enough Starbucks to fuel a freaking jet (because that’s what jets are fueled with), but we did it. Let me just drop a few photos of our crazy adventure right here:
And then we got to our new little town. <happy, contented sigh> All I could think was “How could I have ever thought that I wouldn’t like it here?” We’ve now been here for a month and a half, and every single day I get up, look out my window to the mountains and the bay and thank my lucky stars that this was handed to us (as admittedly unsure as I was at the time). So how about we just pretend that I never said that I didn’t think I would like Alaska (and by extension, that I was a complete idiot who didn’t actually know anything about Alaska)?? Ya know, because why admit that you’re wrong when you can just pretend it never happened? – I’m kidding, I swear these are not the things I’m teaching my children, no emails please 😉 Ok, perfect.
And speaking of perfect (my segues are really improving, right?) I’ve got an awesome and new 21 Day Fix approved recipe for you! I really wanted to start back with an ode to Kentucky, because as much as I’m loving it here, there’s so much about Louisville that we love and miss. Shrimp and grits are one of those things. I know, that dish has never been accused of being health food, but it’s ok, because of course I fixed that 🙂
A few years ago, I didn’t think I liked grits. In fact, I was absolutely certain that they were basically just a waste of perfectly good table space at Cracker Barrel, ya know, space that would have been better filled by hashbrown casserole or those ridiculous hot apples. Gawwwd, I love those. Anyway… then we moved to the ‘ville. There’s hardly a restaurant in town that doesn’t have shrimp and grits on the menu and believe me, they are doing it right, so I hope I’ve done them justice here. My version has plenty of saucy, Cajun-spiced shrimp over some lemony asparagus and perfectly cheesy and creamy grits. These flavors are SO right together and ohmagoodness, this is a happy meal.
Don’tcha just love when comfort food is healthy and still… comfort-y? I do. I really, really do.
I hope you guys love this one (and love seafood in general, because it’s everywhere in Alaska and I can’t wait to share more of it with you)!
P.S. – Each serving of the cheesy grits by themselves are 1 Yellow and 1/2 Blue and are pretty amazing underneath a couple of runny eggs and some 21DF Southwestern Seasoning, just sayin’.
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (plus extra if you really like it spicy!)
- 1/2 Tbs paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 Tbs whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds of asparagus, trimmed
- olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 cup dry instant grits, plain
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Saucy Cajun Shrimp:
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp (medium works too and is often cheaper), peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions (greens only)
- 1/4 cup low-fat milk
- Cajun seasoning from above
- Mix together all of the Cajun seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat three cups of water and 3/4 tsp salt in a medium pot to bring to a boil. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Meanwhile, lay a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and give it a light spray with the olive oil or coconut oil spray. Add your trimmed asparagus and give this a quick spray also. Next, lightly season with salt, pepper and all of the lemon zest using your hands to distribute evenly keeping the asparagus in one layer. Roast for 5-7 minutes until bright green and cooked through. Remove from oven, tent with a piece of foil to keep warm and set aside.
- Once your pot of water comes to a boil, you can slowly stir in the 3/4 cup of grits. Turn the heat down to low, cover and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes until thick, stirring once or twice while cooking. Remove from heat and stir in the 2/3 cup of cheese. Cover to keep warm.
- Season the shrimp well with the Cajun seasoning. Heat a large pan to medium and spray with cooking spray. Add shrimp to the pan and cook, turning the shrimp once for even cooking. Once shrimp are firm and opaque, stir in the 1/4 of milk until thickened (this will happen pretty quickly), turn off the heat and serve the saucy shrimp immediately with the grits, asparagus and lemon wedges, sprinkling the chopped green onions over each dish.
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Yellow, 1/2 Blue
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 6
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3/4 cup cooked shrimp, 1 cup asparagus, 3/4 grits
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 8g