Cheddar Grits with Sausage and Kale

I’m always on the lookout for savory breakfast ideas that go beyond potatoes and eggs. There’s more of a challenge for me personally, since my husband doesn’t eat meat. Last week I made grits and topped them with a bag of frozen quinoa and kale mix we picked up from Costco and they were delicious. I immediately knew I wanted to elaborate on that idea and ended up with the following recipe as a result. If you are not a meat eater, you can do just the vegetables and omit the sausage. You could also add some cooked quinoa into the pan with the kale and tomatoes or even some mushrooms.

Cheddar Grits with Sausage and Kale

Cheddar Grits with Sausage and Kale

3 cups water
1 cup polenta/corn grits (Not the quick cooking kind — I used Bob’s Red Mill stone ground polenta.)
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cream or whole milk
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 lb breakfast sausage
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
15(ish) cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen kale

In a large pan, cook the onions in the oil over medium heat until golden and tender — 5-7 minutes.
Add the breakfast sausage and break up into small pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is just barely under being fully cooked — 5-7 minutes
Pour the water into the pan and scrape the bottom to pick up all of the tasty little cooked on bits. Add the garlic, a tiny bit of salt, cherry tomatoes and kale and stir well.
Cook until the kale is soft and tender — 10-12 minutes, but test a piece to see.

To cook the grits:
In a small pot, bring the water, butter and salt to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in grits.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are super thick — 4-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the black pepper and cheese. Once the cheese has melted, stir in the cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the texture of the grits is smooth, but not runny. You should need no more than 1/4 cup.

To serve, spoon the grits into a bowl or onto a plate and top with the sausage and kale mixture.


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