Hey there friends!!!  Oh have I got a recipe for you tonight 🙂

I have been excited to share this one ever since it hit my lips at the dinner table last night…

Does that make me weird?

Oh well, who cares.  If that’s weird then I don’t want to be “normal” 😉

  • Garlic Shrimp
  • Baked CHO-Cheese Grits
  • Spicy Bacon Green Beans

Sounds like a heart attack on a plate doesn’t it?  Oh not so my friends, not so at all.  Let me show you how you can make this Southern classic, but lightened up a bit – and trust me, it will still taste deeeeelicious!

Let’s start off with the grits, which were the true show stopper. 

Baked CHO-Cheese Grits

Serves 8

You’re going to need about an hour and a half for these bad boys, but an hour of it is just waiting impatiently for them to bake in the oven 😉

  • 2 cups stoneground yellow grits (prepared according to directions)

Since you want to use grits that have some texture for this dish, a stoneground option like these local Byrd’s Mill Farm stoneground yellow grits is perfect.  But if you aren’t from VA, I’m sure you can find something similar in a grocery store/specialty store!

  • 1 tblsp butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • one 6oz. container plain Chobani Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 1.5 cups reduced fat milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • ½ tblsp Tabasco

Using the Chobani yogurt allowed me to reduce the amount of butter & milk needed while still achieving the most wonderful flavor and thick creaminess!!!

Cook grits according to direction.  I used 2 tblsp butter, 8 cups water and a pinch of sea salt to do this.  These needed 20 minutes on the stove top before they were ready.

Now it’s time to combine.

Add the ingredients that you want to melt first – so the butter and shredded cheese.

Give a good stir so that the butter & cheese both melt and just fold right into the warm grits.

Next add in the Greek yogurt, which will help to cool the mixture down.

Pretty yogurt swirls! 😛

Add your hot sauce and milk, stir to incorporate.  Lastly add your eggs.  You want the grits mixture to be fairly cool before the eggs go in so that it doesn’t cook them – the yogurt & milk do a great job to make this work.

Pour the grits mixture into a large baking dish (sprayed with a bit of cooking spray) and put into a 350F oven, uncovered, for an hour.

Trust me, the wait is well worth it.

Your end result is a luscious, creamy, warm and cheesy mouthful in every bite. 

The minimal amount of cheese & butter still manage to really shine through in flavor too!

So what to serve with these? 

Garlic Shrimp

I simply boiled up about 20 (approximate) medium-sized shrimp until done, then added to a warm pan with 1 tblsp butter and 2 cloves of crushed garlic. 

Note that the shrimp I made for this only served 3 – so plan on multiplying the recipe by 3 if you are serving 8 at that time.


And just because we should probably have our vegetables even if they are made with bacon 😉 …

Spicy Bacon Green Beans

Serves 8.

The dish was based off this Emeril recipe.

I did modify it though (1) because I can’t seem to read directions and follow anything…  yea yea, whatever and (2) because I didn’t find the need to add the additional fat that the original recipe called for, trying to keep things light(er) around here!

Just 4 slices of bacon goes a long way with this, enough to flavor the dish wonderfully for 8 servings!

  • 1 package (24 oz.) frozen French cut green beans (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ tsp red pepper
  • 1.5 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ water
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste 

Start by cooking the bacon over medium-high until cooked through but not crispy.  This takes about 7-10 minutes.

Remove bacon from pan, but leave that grease!  Hey, it’s only 4 pieces of bacon for 8 servings 😉 

Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes, until tender. 

Then in go the green beans, white vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper plus water.

Cover and let this cook over medium-high for about 10 minutes, until the green beans have cooked through.

Uncover for another 2 minutes or so to let any extra liquid evaporate.


Prepare to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

This Southern meal was absolutely positively DELICOUS.  The Man and I gave it the “restaurant quality thumbs up” and “mmm’ed” through the entire meal 😀

This one was a w-i-n-n-e-r!

Now if you’ll excuse me… I’m late for an impromptu happy hour with a certain handsome someone 😉




  1. YUM! What a fantastic meal. I’m such a fan of grits! 🙂

  2. GREAT dinner. I book marked this for the grits. You know I love my 0% chobani and I just think it must be a fabulous addition to the grits. Making these asap!

  3. Oh my word!!!! I have never had grits but I’ve never wanted them MORE than I do now. It looks like heaven in a casserole dish. 🙂 And doesn’t bacon make every veggie better???? What an awesome, amazing meal!!

  4. MMMMMmmmm. Garlic shrimp are da bomb. Grits are still growing on me….the texture!! Creamy smooth polenta, I can do…so I think these grits would be okay with me.

    And hello, beans n bacon? Sign me up 🙂

  5. Those green beans look fabulous!

  6. I SWEAR you stole my idea! lol I make a cajun shrimp and grits that just so happens to be based on an Emril recipe but I put peperjack cheese in mine instead of cheddar. I was JUST thinking about this recipe and how I could lighten it and of COURSE my mind went straight to Chobani! Great minds I tell yah 😉
    P.S. did you know grits and polenta are basically the same darn thing? Not many of us Italians will admit that because polenta sounds fancier but it’s essentially grits lol
    P.P.S. I am now a memeber of Food Buzz Featured Publisher club! Is there a club? Well, there should be! 🙂

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