Blackened Beans & Grits

This is the second of 4 check-ins for the 1/3 Less Challenge. Leaving a comment on this post WILL enter you in the $50 Visa gift card giveaway.

It’s time to check-in on the 1/3 Less Challenge again. I am floored by how quickly these weeks are flying by. I feel like I just wrote last week’s post. Is the time flying by for you too?

Here’s a simple recipe that falls under a couple of my 1/3 less categories.

  1. 1/3 less time  spent in the kitchen – Check! It’s super quick to throw together.
  2. 1/3 less fat in our meals – Check! Subsituting beans for the protein source definitely helps there.
  3. 1/3 less money spent on groceries. – Check! This is a very frugal, yet still very delicious, dinner!

Blackened Beans & Grits

  • 1 T. oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 – 2 T. Cajun/blackening seasoning, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. grits
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 c. shredded cheese, divided
  • 1 t. freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until onion is just tender. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and blackening/Cajun seasoning.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer as long as desired, but at least 15 minutes. (I let mine simmer all day.) Taste before serving and adjust seasonings as needed, including adding some salt and pepper if desired.

2. About 10 minutes before you’re ready to eat, combine the grits, water and 1 t. salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in butter, 1/2 c. cheese and pepper.

3. Serve the beans on top of or alongside the grits. Sprinkle each serving with some of the remaining cheese.

Although I prefer dried beans in most instances, I was looking for a super quick meal, so I opted for the canned. You can certainly substitute with dried beans if you prefer. Also, if you can’t find (or don’t want to buy) a blackening seasoning, you can make your own. I make mine with a mixture of paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and coarse salt.

So, how are you doing on your 1/3 Less Challenge? Don’t forget to check in! I can’t wait to hear how it’s going for you.

13 thoughts on “Blackened Beans & Grits

  1. I am from Canada. I don’t know what grits are…? Could you tell me? (Seriously, this is embarrassing to ask because I feel like I should know but I don’t.)

      1. If you like Food Network and Alton Brown, he did an episode (I’m sure you could find it on their site) that says that the only difference between polenta and grits are that polenta is yellow and grits are white. This may help if you’re familiar with polenta. Me, my dad is southern, and we grew up on grits. I was always leery of polenta ’til I saw Alton’s episode and then said, “ah, I could eat polenta if it’s just grits…” I buy “quick grits” and find them in the same aisle with oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc, in a tub like the oatmeal, but shorter.

  2. I am working on 1/3 less fat and 1/3 less time in the kitchen. And I think I did well, although this week I made dessert for some company and really wanted to make peanut butter bars, but wasn’t sure how to solve the fat issue. I left out some butter, first 1/3 of it. And well, I noticed…it was so crumbly. Then I added just a little more. Still crumbly, but it worked, but desserts are hard! Less time in the kitchen is working. I took a bunch of chicken I got on sale and threw a lot of it into different marinades and froze them. We tried some this week and it worked well! I have never frozen marinades before, but wow, it worked so well and took a little bit of time on one day to make a lot of easy meals!

  3. I’m trying to figure out how to cut out 1/3 of my time cleaning, especially the bathroom. I’m not sure why with just 2 adults in the house this is the one room that takes the longest time to clean!
    I reorganized the storage closet in the bathroom. It’s an all purpose closet really since I have the dirty laundry baskets (2) to pre-separate our clothes when they are taken off as well as to put in the dirty towels, etc. It also has a shelf with the clean towels, a shelf with Facial tissue and a shef with all the extra storage of body wash, shampoo, razors, vitamins, bandaids, cotton balls, etc and the floor under the shelves holds large packages of toilet paper.
    If anyone has any ideas on how to cut my time cleaning the bathroom, I would truly appreciate them!

  4. 1/3 less white flour (check!) I bought my first bag of whole wheat flour this weekend and tried a recipe for banana chocolate chip cookies. Can’t wait to try some of the other recipes I’ve been clipping “if only I had whole wheat flour.”

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