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Spinach and Kale Grit Cakes with Creamy Creole Sauce

Serves 4 to 6


    This is a fun way to incorporate dark leafy greens into your meal. It’s a low-fat version of grit cakes that calls for baking the cakes rather than frying them.


    recipe | Bryant Terry


    Spinach and Kale Grit Cakes with Creamy Creole Sauce


    Creamy creole sauce 
    • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 3 Tbsp millet flour
    • 1 cup diced yellow onions (1/4 inch pieces)
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
    • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (1/4 inch pieces)
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 tsp Creole Seasoning (see sidebar)
    • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 Tbsp liquid aminos
    • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
    • 1/3 cup Cashew Cream (see sidebar)
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    Grit cakes 
    • 3 cups unflavored, unsweetened almond milk
    • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
    • 1 cup stone-ground corn grits, soaked in water overnight and drained
    • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup cleaned and chopped leek, white part only (about 1 medium)
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 2 tsp minced garlic
    • 3/4 cup stemmed and chopped lacinato kale greens
    • 3/4 cup chopped baby spinach
    • 1/3 cup thyme sprigs, for garnish


    Per serving:

    • calories229
    • protein5g
    • fat15g
    • carbs22g
      • sugar5g
      • fiber3g
    • sodium414mg



    1. Make the sauce: In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm 2 Tbsp olive oil until shimmering. Slowly whisk in millet flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp oil, onions, cel­ery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, Creole Seasoning, tomato paste, and liquid aminos. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock and Cashew Cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until starting to thicken, about 20 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
    2. Make the grit cakes:  In medium saucepan, combine almond milk and stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. While whisking con­stantly, slowly pour in grits. Continue to whisk until no lumps remain. Bring to a simmer, still whisk­ing, then reduce heat to low. Simmer grits, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent sticking, until tender and very thick, 30 to 45 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, warm olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add leek and salt. Cook, stirring, until well browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fra­grant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
    4. Combine kale greens, spinach, and 6 Tbsp water in blender. Puree until very smooth, scraping down sides as necessary, 1 to 2 min­utes. Set aside.
    5. Once grits are done, scrape in spinach and kale green mixture and leek mixture and stir well. Continue to simmer on low heat, stirring fre­quently, until most of additional liquid has been absorbed and grits are once again very thick, 10 to 15 minutes.
    6. Pour grits into 9 inch square baking dish and spread them out with rubber spatula. Refrigerate and allow grits to rest until firm, about 3 hours or up to overnight.
    7. When you’re ready to finish the cakes, preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease baking sheet.
    8. Flip grits out onto cutting board and slice into 16 squares, 2 inches each. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
    9. Bake cakes until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes per side.
    10. Before serving, warm sauce. Spread sauce on individual plates, top with a few grit cakes, pour sauce over grit cakes, then garnish with thyme.


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