I'm 99% sure that every time I put celery in a recipe, Tom says: "this is really good, but it would be better without the celery"... Same goes for carrots. That human drives me crazy...
Personally, I LOVE the crunch that celery adds to a dish. Especially these grits and andouille sausage bowls! They kind of remind me with stuffing without the bread part.... If that makes any sense? Ultimate comfort food!
Okay story time!
So I was born in Michigan (where I currently live) but did y'all know that I lived in Louisiana for about 7 years of my life?! We (my mom, step-dad, brother and sister) moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana when I was in sixth grade, which was.... 2000 (if I can do math correctly)? I lived there through all of middle and high school, then I moved to Texas for college. I attended Baylor University for three years then moved back to Michigan and finished up school here! I also lived in Florida and New Mexico in between Michigan and Louisiana but that's a story for another blog post (one that probably has Mexican food in it lolz). My mom, step dad, and brother still live there which is wonderful because I get to visit all the time. Louisiana is such a magical place!!!! I know I use the word magical a lot but seriously Louisiana is magical. The people, culture, music, and FOOD are just bursting with flavor. If you've never been to Louisiana, I highly recommend taking a trip there and eating all the local cuisine. Cajun food is the BEST.
Because I know you're wondering... I did gain a southern accent for several years but when I moved back to Michigan, it disappeared, much to Tom's dismay. I did keep the "y'all" though. I love the word y'all because it's so fast and easy to say. And I speak very fast (also to Tom's dismay).
Ok... Enough about me... These grits and andouille bowls are a little nod to cajun food. The savory cajun grits (made possible with the delicious Tony Chachere's seasoning) serve as the perfect palate for sautéed onions, red bell peppers, and celery plus spicy andouille sausage. This is some pretty solid comfort food if you ask me! The flavor is also addicting. I had a hard time not eating all of it while I was shooting photos for this post. Though, after I was done shooting, I promptly devoured my bowl and the extra grits. Whoops! :)
grits & andouille sausage bowls
yield: 5 servings
calories: 515 calories per servings
total time: 30-40 minutes
specialty diets: egg-free, gluten-free
8 cups water
2 cups coarse stone ground grits
sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons almond milk (any milk will do)
2-3 teaspoons Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning (start with 2 teaspoons then add more to taste)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz andouille sausage, diced
1 cup diced white onion (about half of a large onion)
1 cup diced celery (about 3-4 stalks)
1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1. Make the grits: in a medium sauce pan, boil the water then add the grits and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer then lower heat and cook with the lid on for about 7 minutes. Remove lid, cook another 2-4 minutes. Stir in butter and milk then remove from heat (but keep warm).
2. While the grits are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook for about 5 minutes. Next add onions, celery, peppers, paprika, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Stir to mix spices then sauté for about 8-10 minutes (until veggies are soft).
3. Scoop some grits into a bowl then top with the sausage veggie mixture. Sprinkle a little parsley on top then EAT.