Power Protein Grits Bowl with Smokey Vinaigrette

This week I've taken a break from all things pop up camper!  It been nice to slow down, cook, workout and just be.  Even though I have loved this project, I was starting to go a little nuts.  Tonight I made a dish that had become a weekly staple at our house.

After eating creamed sorghum with roasted fall vegetables, a poached egg and sorghum vinaigrette, I have been obsessed with this combination.  Its the perfect night time breakfast meal.  And my husband loves it.  I've done lots of variations of this meal, but the one I'm sharing on my blog is my favorite.

Most of the ingredients are household staples, so this is an easy dish to make of what you might have on hand.  I'll include some variations at the end of this post.

This dish starts with simple grits.  To this, I add a green.  Arugula is my favorite.  But spinach or any green could be used.  Then I top with roasted chick peas, butternut squash, sweet potatoes or even broccoli.  I add a poached egg and vinaigrette.  Dinner done!  It is easy and can be finished in less than 30 minutes!

Start draining and rinsing a can of chickpeas.  I toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Line a baking sheet with Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets Parchment Paper .  Using parchment paper makes cleaning up a snap!  Place in an oven that is preheated to 425 degrees and roast about 20 minutes.  Stirring midway through and make sure that they don't over brown.

While the chick peas roast, start the grits. I use a cup of grits, 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk.  Cook over medium until they start to thicken.  Then add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Parmesan packs a lot of flavor so you don't have to add so much!  Love this.  

Next, I make the vinaigrette.  Last year I attended a show where Smokin' Hot Honey from Asheville Bee Charmer had a booth.  This honey is perfect to add to savory dishes, glazes and dressings.  I make the vinaigrette for the recipe with apple cider vinegar, smokin' hot honey, olive oil, Dijon mustard, white Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and grated onion.  This is a smokey sweet kick to the grits bowl.  Think dressing for your salad over grits.  Its really great!

Finally, I start the water for my poached eggs.  I do a simple poach where I add a tablespoon of vinegar to my water before adding the eggs to help them set.  I cook them at 100 degrees water temperature for 4 minutes.  This yields a nice thick creamy center to the egg.

Crack eggs into a small bowl and slide the eggs into hot water from the bowl.

Poach the eggs for approximately 4 minutes.  

To assemble, place a spoon of grits in the bottom of the bowl.  Top with arugula or your greens.  Spoon over with roasted chick peas.  Top with 1 or 2 poached eggs and a drizzle of the dressing.

If you don't have the Smokin' Hot Honey, get some!  You need this in your life!  Or, you could make this with regular honey or even molasses.  That honey!  It makes great gifts too.  Its such a unique product and is great for your favorite cook or person that has everything!

Regular Honey or Molasses can be substituted.

I typically have left over chick peas and grits.  So normally the next day for lunch someone has a scaled back version of this for lunch minus the egg.  Its easy and tastes great the next day.  The extra dressing can be stored for a week to 10 days in the fridge.  Its great of any salad that you might make during the week.  You will use every bit of it up.

Power Protein Bowl with Smokey Vinaigrette

Power Protein Grits Bowl with Smokey Vinaigrette

1 cup grits (not instant), stone ground or whole grain if you can find them
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
2 to 4 eggs
1 tbsp vinegar

Smokey Vinaigrette
1 1/2 tbsp Smokin' Hot Honey
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp white Worcestershire
1 tbsp grated sweet, yellow onion
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and drain a can of chick peas.  Toss with 2  tsp. of olive oil and 1/2 tsp of garlic.  Roast at 425 for 20 minutes or until brown.  Stir half way through.

Prepare grits by stirring together water and milk and grits.  Cook over medium heat stirring often.  When the grits start to thicken, add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.  

Prepare the dressing by whisking together all ingredients.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Start water in a large skillet.  You will need about 2 inches of water.  Add 1 tbsp of vinegar.  Heat the water to 100 degrees and keep at a constant temperature.  You will need to monitor with a thermometer.  Stir the water in a circular motion and drop your egg(s) one at a time into swirling water.  I only cook 1 or 2 at a time max.  Cook for 4 minutes.  You can go longer if you want a less runny center. 

While the eggs are cooking, assemble the grits bowl.  Place grits in a bowl.  Top with arugula.  Add a spoonful of roasted chickpeas.  Remove egg with a slotted spoon from the water.  Drain holding the spoon over the water.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.  



Grits, arugula and butternut squash roasted with garlic
Grits, roasted broccoli and roasted chick peas
Grits, spinach, roasted chickpeas
Grits, arugula, sun dried tomatoes finely chopped and avocado

Be creative.  Use what you have in your kitchen that tastes great to you.  Its a great way to use up odds and ends or make a tasty desperation dinner.