Dietitian's Top Pick: Food Club Quick Grits

Think grits are only for breakfast? With a NuVal score of 82
how about grits for dinner! See the recipe below.

Many are surprised that a white, creamy food can actually be among products with the highest NuVal scores. This store-brand product gets a NuVal score of 82! As prepared from the canister, it contains only 130 calories and 3 grams of protein, along with being a good source of two B-vitamins (Thiamin and Folic Acid) per 1 cup serving. And it contains no fat or sodium if prepared according to the package without added ingredients.

You may commonly think of grits as a Southern breakfast food. That it is, but let’s think outside the box. It can also be a quick and easy side for a grilled dinner, such as pork tenderloin. The rich, nutty flavor of Creamy Gruyere Grits is the perfect accompaniment for savory meat and grilled veggies. I often add chopped jalapeno peppers or alter the variety of cheese used, according to what I have on hand or taste preferences. This recipe can be prepared in 10 minutes and can also be prepared ahead of time to free up your enjoyment of backyard or patio Texas summer suppers! Just transfer from saucepan to oven-proof serving dish coated with non-stick cooking spray; heat up in oven or microwave when ready to serve.

Creamy Gruyere Grits

4 cups water
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups uncooked Food Club Quick Grits
4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
½ cup Land O Lakes fat free half-and-half
1 Tbsp Land O Lakes light butter
¼ tsp pepper

1. Bring 4 cups water and salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in grits and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened.

2. Stir in cheese, half-and-half, butter and pepper until cheese is melted.

3. Transfer to serving dish and serve hot.
Yield: 8 servings

*Tip: May substitute Asadero, Manchego or American cheese for Gruyere. May add 1-2 chopped jalapeno peppers if desired.

Source: adapted from Southern Living magazine, March 2008

Nutritional analysis per serving (using Gruyere cheese): calories 160, calories from fat 50, total fat 6g, saturated fat 3.5g, cholesterol 20mg, sodium 230mg, total carbohydrate 21g, dietary fiber 0g, sugars 1g, protein 7g, vitamin A 4%, vitamin C 0%, calcium 15%, iron 6%

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