Cauliflower Shrimp and "Grits"


Shrimp and grits. It’s a decadent staple in southern cuisine. Growing up in Georgia, you’d think I grew up eating this flavorful dish. I like to tell people I grew up in the south without the southern culture. My mom, Italian, and my dad, Salvadoran, meant we ate SO MUCH delicious dishes they grew up eating. It’s safe to say I didn’t have many other friends eating eggplant or yuca. Fast forward to 23-year-old Elizabeth: I finally tried shrimp and grits and my life was changed. This unique dish packs so much flavor and spice. I’m all for the “real deal,” but it never hurts to lighten-up a classic recipe! So, here it is, cauliflower shrimp and “grits.”Cauliflower Grits

1 head cauliflower

1 cup milk (if using a non-dairy alternative, use unsweetened)

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup grated parmesan or sharp cheese



1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped



3-4 cups kale, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2-3 tablespoons chopped white onion

2-3 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper


Cayenne pepper


Begin by putting cauliflower florets in the food processor until it has the consistency of cauliflower “rice.” Place the cauliflower, butter and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium/low heat, until the moisture gets absorbed. Once cooked, use an emulsion blender to blend the cauliflower until almost smooth. Return to low heat and add the cheese, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.


In a skillet, heat the butter or olive oil along with the minced garlic. Cook for 45 seconds. Season the shrimp with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and place in a bowl.


In the same skillet used for the shrimp, add the butter, olive oil and garlic. Cook for 45 seconds. Add the onion and bell pepper, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the kale and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook until the kale is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes.

Put it all Together

Place the cauliflower “grits” in a serving bowl and top with kale, then shrimp. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas