grits ‘n greens ‘n tomatoes

Hello all! I’ve missed you! I’ve been thinking about you! I’ve been meaning to pop in to say hello, but I’ve been completely and utterly distracted.

My crazy self accepted the title of ‘pastry chef’ at the bakery. Mostly I’ve been re-working existing recipes, working in a few of my own, and attempting to lure back sweet-tooth customers who may have been frightened away by my predecessor. It hasn’t exactly been a ton of fun, but now that students have cleared out for the summer I can take a deep breath and carve out the time to create some plated desserts for the dinner menu, then go on leave just as 30,000 students slink back into town and The Insanity of Football Season begins. Bwahahahaha!

Leave, you say?

As it happens, I’ve also been busy hatching a tiny human for the past 25 weeks! Our (sort-of/close-enough) honeymoon baby will be here sometime in September. Every day I become more fearful of the Georgia heat/humidity.  And also of my nearly-unstoppable cravings for tacos.

Most evenings all I want to do for dinner is hitch a ride to the incredibly-well-air-conditioned Taco Stand just down the road. Two black bean tacos…crunchy…hot sauce. Iced tea–66% unsweetened. Me happy. Okay…there may also be cheese dip involved, if we’re being honest here.

Fortunately for us all, I can’t give in to these cravings every night, and I will occasionally drag my ever-expanding self to the kitchen in search of some vitamins and minerals. This is what I cooked up last night:

grits and greens and tomatoes (and a garlic)

This is so simple I’d feel silly writing up a “formal” recipe for it. So I’ll just tell you!

For about 4 servings, you’ll need:

1 cup grits–I used Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits aka Polenta and cooked according to the package (with 3 cups water)–added 1/2 cup grated white cheddar at the end.

10 ounces of kale or other greens–I used a package of Tuscan kale from Trader Joe’s that was already washed and cut up–steamed it for about 5 minutes then tossed with a quick dressing made of a large clove of garlic mashed up with a pestle, the juice of about half a small lemon, a teaspoon of oil, and salt and pepper. (Disclaimer: this raw garlic thing might not be for everyone, but Eli and I love it and I truly believe it helps keeps The Cooties away.)

12 ounces cherry tomatoes–tossed with a little oil, salt and pepper, and moooooore gaaaaaarlic! Roasted at 375˚ convection in the toaster oven until wilted and lightly browned in places, about 20 minutes. Toss with some dried oregano and basil, if you’re feeling fancy.

Stuff I’ve Been Cooking and Freezing For a Rainy Day (to Keep The Tacos at Bay):

lentil stew with spinach kale and potatoes (to go with grilled cheeses)

“meatballs” (to be served over rice)

Eli’s spinach lasagna (coming soon!)