Before scrolling down to the recipe, be sure to read my easy tips for making your recipes low carb, keto friendly, lower sodium, and delicious.
Note: I am thrilled to announce this post is sponsored by my fabulous friends at Tony Chachere’s, however, as always, all opinions are my own.
Grits. So creamy, so yummy, so comforting, it’s the ultimate southern breakfast comfort dish. Growing up in Bayou Country, my Saturday and Sunday mornings started by rubbing my eyes, rolling out of bed, and heading to the kitchen for a heaping bowl of yummy grits with a large pat of butter and sprinkle of salt on top. Little did I know, my yummy grit combination would cause a little spat in more ways than one…..
My love of grits was quickly halted when Mr Skinny Louisiana revealed his dislike for grits (trust me, I cried) and his somewhat fear of spicy foods (I prefer to use the word flavor). He proceeded to share his favorite breakfast recipes from the Midwest, which sadly lack flavor, only using salt and pepper – where was my spice?
I was on a mission. Secretively, I started to bring Mr Skinny Louisiana over to the flavor side with a seasoning I grew up with, Tony Chachere’s. And just like that, Mr Skinny Louisiana was getting seconds (exactly how I knew he liked a dish). The best part? I knew that I was keeping his heart healthy (I am going to embarrass him by saying he has high blood pressure) thanks to the lower sodium count in Tony Chachere’s.
The flavor part was easy thanks to Tony’s, now onto the…
Still to this day, I have no idea how anyone can dislike grits, but he does. Shrimp and girts is my go-to dish, but I do know that it is high carb and loaded with salt taking me to the…
Skinny Louisiana drawing board!
It’s time to take the traditional Shrimp and Cheesy Grits to the Skinny Louisiana drawing board to not only cut the carbs and sodium, but to also update to this classic dish to the Instant Pot. The most important? I needed my Yankee husband and 2 kids to eat this dish, with Mr Skinny Louisiana throwing out his dislike for grits. With a few simple ingredients swaps and a little help from our friends at Tony Chachere’s, we transformed the classic Shrimp and Cheesy Grits to a low carb, low sodium dish the entire family would love.
And did he go for seconds? Yes!
Before I go over ingredients, know the items used in this recipe can be found at many of your local supermarkets and Drug Emporium. Many of you know my love of Drug Emporium stores. Not only does Drug Emporium have amazing prices (often the cheapest in town), I work with this amazing company in putting on Low Carb Food Demonstrations and product selection for shelves. No Drug Emporium in your town? No worries, you will be able to find the items at your local supermarkets.
While supermarkets do have a selection of seafood, make sure you are purchasing Gulf Coast and/or Louisiana Gulf Coast seafood. Do not purchase seafood from foreign countries since often it is treated with salt solutions to prevent formation of ice crystals.
While oil is a low carb item, we specifically use olive oil for its heart healthy properties.
Low sodium bacon strips.
Bacon has received a ton of attention in the last few years (remember the chocolate covered bacon recipes flying all over Facebook). While we love bacon in the Skinny Louisiana house, be sure to select bacon with the lowest amount of sodium. Simply compare the sodium on the label of various bacon brands at your local supermarket and select the one with the lowest amount of sodium.
Looking for flavor? Salt has always been the answer for flavor, but coming in at 2300 mg of sodium in ONLY 1 tsp (yes, the small spoon), salt can wreak havoc for our heart health. I will be the first to agree, foods without salt that use other ‘salt substitutes’ are … terrible. I’m Cajun. I need flavor. Enter Tony Chachere’s No Salt Seasoning Blend. Don’t panic, this blend contains ZERO salt substitutes, making it safe for our families with renal (kidney) disease. The taste? Amazing.
Continuing on the honestly train, I need SPICE! Containing zero carbs AND a whole lot of kick, Tony Chachere’s BOLD Creole Seasoning gives this dish a POW without hiking up the sodium content.
Grits is a must in this dish, but in the low carb world grits makes us run away, very fast. 1/2 cup of cooked grits yields 16 grams of carbs. Enter our amazing vegetable, the cauliflower. From pizza to bread, cauliflower is an amazing substitute for both rice and grits. Riced cauliflower is available frozen or in the produce section of the stores.
While many of us recognize shrimp as a protein and not a high carb meat, many question, ‘Is this an ok meat?’ Shrimp is an amazing source of protein with three ounces of shrimp yielding 0 carbs and 20 grams of protein. While it is tempting to look in our supermarket freezer section for shrimp, make sure the product is raw and from the coast. Often, shrimp imported from foreign countries have been treated with a salt solution to prevent ice crystal formation.
Heavy whipping cream
With the main purpose of a thickening agent, whipping cream gives our dish a ‘creamy’ texture. Heavy whipping cream has only 1 gram of carb per tablespoon serving. No worries, we don’t go overboard on this product.
START with the Instant Pot.
PLUG in your Instant Pot. Remove lid and place aside. Be sure not place your Instant Pot under a cabinet in order to give space for the venting (release of steam) process.
Press the SAUTÉ function. You will know the Instant Pot is hot when you hear a beep. Add only half the olive oil (1 tablespoon).
TIME to SAUTÉ.
TIME for some FLAVOR.
One more TIME to SAUTÉ.
TIME for the CHEESE.
Yield: 8-10 servings, 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories: 220, Total fat: 12g, Saturated fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 165mg, Sodium: 380 mg, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 23g.
NET CARBS: 4g.
Carb count exclude sugar alcohols. New carb count is determined with the equation total carbohydrate – total fiber – sugar alcohol.
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This recipe was developed and copyright by culinary dietitian Shelly Marie Redmond. She is the author of Skinny Louisiana…in the Kitchen and upcoming Skinny Louisiana…in the Slow Cooker. She practices out of Eberhart Physical Therapy which she co-owns with her husband Greg. In her spare time, she watches Snapped and Investigation Discovery