These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!
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Southern Vegan Grits

The first day of school is only eleven days away. It will mark the end of what seems to be an endless summer. The munchkin and I really need to meet some people. We are starting to get bored and that can only lead to trouble.

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

We have been living in Bluffton, SC for almost two months and so far we have been unimpressed with the food scene here and in Hilton Head Island. At first we were kind of disappointed, but then decided that we should just cook more at home. However, last week we took a day trip to Charleston and were pretty happy to eat some good food and enjoy some drinks while the munchkin played at Play Garden. (Drop-in childcare is the best! I’m baffled at why every city doesn’t have this, it’s genius.)

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

On the way there we stopped by the Carolina Cider Company. Their store is located on the side of the highway between Savannah and Charleston. It is an unadorned white house with a couple of signs advertising cider and free samples. We almost drove right past it! Its shelves are lined with jams, jellies, preserves, pickles and relishes. There are also homemade pies and sweet cherry, peach, and muscadine cider. We happily enjoyed a cold glass of cider on the porch. It was a welcome rest from driving.

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

We didn’t get to see much of Charleston. Since we only had couple of hours to ourselves we were not looking to do the tourist thing, we just wanted to eat.  We had appetizers at The Macintosh, drinks at the The Cocktail Club, and even more drinks at The Gin Joint. I have to say that I’m really enjoying this whole cocktail resurgence movement. Classic cocktails made with fresh ingredients are making a comeback, goodbye sour mix, hello handcrafted bitters, soda, and vermouth. We had some pretty great cocktails, but I especially enjoyed the butcher plate at Macintosh. The silky foie gras parfait, the glistening lardo, and the rich pork rillette paired perfectly with the homemade pickles and coarse mustard.

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

We were pleasantly surprised at what Charleston had to offer. All of the bartenders and servers we spoke to were very knowledgeable and professional. You could tell they had a real passion and respect for the craft. We are definitely going back! Inspired by our visit the hubby recreated a 100 yr. old punch recipe at home and I made charred okra and grits.

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

These creamy southern vegan grits are topped with a spicy charred okra, tomato, onion, garlic, and corn sauté. No dairy needed!

The Recipe: Southern Vegan Grits

Charred okra, sautéed with corn, tomato, green bell pepper, garlic, and onion top a plate of creamy grits. This dish is inspired by the classic shrimp and grits. Enjoy!

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Southern Vegan Grits

Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Grits, white or yellow, coarse grind
  • 4 + 1/4 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. Okra, cut into ½ in. pieces
  • 1 Onion, yellow, diced
  • 1 Ear of corn, cut into kernels
  • 3 Garlic, cloves, minced
  • 1 Green bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 Tomato, large, diced
  • 1/4 cup Green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • To taste Salt kosher
  • To Taste Black pepper ground

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, bring 4 cups of broth to a boil. Add the grits in gradually while stirring constantly.
  2. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Stir constantly every five minutes to prevent grits from sticking.
  3. Cook for 20 to 25 min. or until grits are tender. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  4. While the grits are cooking, set a large sauté pan to high heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil.
  5. When the pan is hot, add the okra and cook for 5 – 6 minutes. Shake the pan every two minutes to let the okra brown evenly. Remove the okra from the pan and set aside.
  6. Using the same pan, turn heat down to low and add the onion and sweat for 2 -3 min. until translucent.
  7. Add corn and ¼ cup of vegetable broth. Cover and cook for 5 min. or until corn is tender and the liquid is close to evaporating.
  8. Add garlic and green bell peppers. Cook for 2 min. then add tomatoes, green onion, and red pepper flakes.
  9. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the tomatoes have begun to soften. Add okra back into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and serve over grits.

Recipe Notes

The okra is cooked at a high heat to prevent it from getting slimy. Make sure your pan is hot!

 

 

  • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso

    What a nice recipe and so nice to hear about the culinary discoveries. 🙂

  • klopez415

    Love this! I recently moved to the south and have seen okra and grits all over the place, but haven’t tried cooking with them yet—this is a great, healthy recipe!

  • Glad you enjoyed Charleston, there are certainly some great places. We are in South Carolina too, though originally from the North. My boys were all born here and are lovers of grits! They would probably love this.

  • That’s looks good.

  • I have only tried to cook okra once, many years ago… I’m excited to learn that cooking them on high heat prevents the Great Slime! Thanks for the tip!

  • Nanna Freving

    Love the pictures!! 🙂

    Nanna Freving // http://www.nannafreving.com

  • Kate

    We lived in Savannah, 2003 and 2004, right downtown in the Historic District. I just love it there! A lady in the kitchen I befriended taught me (“the Yankee”) to use a squeeze of lemon to prevent the sliminess okra gets sometimes. (:

  • I’ve been looking for a new way to make okra, besides frying it or including it in gumbo. Definitely trying this recipe!

  • Looks like a fun outing! That is a bummer you have not been able to find good food and drink locally. Yummy recipe- love grits and okra (typically fried only)!! I was born in Georgia 😉

  • Pepper Culpepper

    Looks yummy! My guy goes back to work this week and while I’m looking forward to having the house to myself, I know I’ll miss him. I’m looking at the same downside you are….getting up at 6 AM!

  • Mmmm this sounds incredible! Saving this for later.

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