companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Shrimp and "Grits" Casserole

Grits are a polarizing ingredient in my family. For such an unassuming food derived from corn, it seems improbable. Grits are a "Southern thang." My mama raised us eating them for breakfast. My dad learned to appreciate them while in the Air Force. My husband's family up in Indiana, Ohio and Colorado never had the pleasure. In fact, my husband won't even try them ever. Not even though my mama makes a cheese grits casserole every Thanksgiving. My sons would revolt if she tried to get out of it. In fact, this year my eldest son spent Thanksgiving with his wife's family. No grits there. She refuses to try the recipe. We southerners just keep hearing, 'That just sounds gross." He asked for a make-up dinner at New Years that would have some grits. Of course, my mom obliged. That's how special they are to my boys.

This month's Diner News is filled with casseroles. I wanted to devote one page to seafood casseroles and decided to make a Louisiana style shrimp and grits recipe. The Cajun influenced flavors called to me. I like shrimp that way. This just seemed like a natural.

Of course, grits are not low carb at all, so I haven't made them since 2007 or so. I did try a paleo almond meal version once that was good, but terribly calorie heavy. I am too old for much of that. So I decided to wing it and try my own recipe. The result is really tasty. I have added quite a few flavoring ingredients that seem odd at first, but are really very good. Yes, soy sauce in combination with cream cheese and lemon juice and cayenne too. Sounds odd. Tastes really good. Caulirice cuts the calories and carbs to a manageable level. The almond meal provides the mouthfeel much like true hominy grits. The creaminess combined with the heat called to me. Hubby was gone all day anyway, so I decided to make a casserole that I liked. Not only will he not eat grits, but cayenne is his enemy too. I will be able to eat the whole thing over this week. Not sure if the shrimp would freeze again well. See? I already have a couple of lunches ready.

I used pre-cooked shrimp. The only ones at my store still had the tails on. I left them on because the color made the casserole look nicer. The shrimp just sit atop the "grits" base, so it is not to hard to pull the tail off while you eat. Just a little mess left behind. If you don't want to mess with that, then be sure to purchase prepped shrimp.

I also added a little shake of Cajun seasoning after I dished this casserole up. It adds even more zing, but should probably be left off so each person can choose the amount of seasoning they like. A little goes a long way. Kinda like adding crushed red pepper to pizza. Some like it, some don't.

Shrimp and “Grits” Casserole

1 medium head cauliflower
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups frozen onion and bell pepper mix
4 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup cooking sherry
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice 
1 tbsp soy sauce 
2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 1/2  lb peeled frozen shrimp, thawed

Shred cauliflower in the food processor. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil. Sauté the cauliflower, onion/pepper mixture, and garlic  for 5 minutes. Stir in the almond meal, chicken broth and sherry. Cook another 10 minutes. To this mixture, add cream cheese, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt and cayenne. Stir well and pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and thawed shrimp. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes.
Serves 8:   282 calories    6 g net carbs

This recipe is in the March issue of the Diner News. Here's where you can order a year subscription for just $6. I will give you a sneak peak into what is in this month's addition.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Jicama Breakfast Hash Casserole

Italian Shirataki Bake

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Green Bean and Caramelized Onion Casserole

Tuna Ranch Casserole

Breakfast Bacon and Egg Enchiladas

Barbecue Beef Bacon and Baga Bake

Cow Doggy Bake

Unstuffed Pepper Bake

Cheesy Amish Turnip Bake

There's even more casserole recipes, so subscribe today!

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