Sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, and cheesy hominy quick grits (plant-based, oil-free) 💚

I had leftover cheesy sauce from my plant-based mac & chz the other day, so I thought I'd give it a try in grits (without green chilis, I'm not messing with that flavor combo I already love!!). I still prefer green chili grits, but this was not bad. The cheese sauce is so good with pasta, it's almost made exclusively for that flavor profile, so I was weary of even trying this, but I like to explore.

These are just some thoughts...

In my experience, and I can only speak for myself, I have learned that I have such a strong association with foods and tastes, that this was a massive blocker in my path adopting a more plant-based lifestyle. I failed at flipping the switch because I would be consumed with a feeling of emptiness because I was getting no truly familiar flavors. This is all in hindsight, of course. Oh, and by familiar flavors, I don't mean potatoes or pizza, I literally mean excess fat/oil, and salt.

I spent some time as the junkiest of junk food vegans many, many years ago. I wouldn't touch plain fruits or veggies, but I'd eat fries with Vegenaise regularly. The fries were baked, but they were still loaded with oil and salt, even when I bought the healthiest variety available. Go vegan they said, you'll never feel healthier or better! NOPE. It wasn't the potato that I enjoyed, it was the salty oil dipped in salty oil. The potato was a patsy, blamed for just being there.

Omg, what does this have to do with grits. I wasn't raised in the South, but I've spent some time there, so I'm familiar with how real grits are served up. Never without salt & butter, and when served with cheese, well, the cheese is just more fat and salt. It's like lobster in the Northeast, just a vessel for clarified butter (when steamed) or mayo (as a lobster roll). That said, I don't know that there's really any benefit in chasing the "flavors" of a cheese grit for me. I love the green chili ones even more than I EVER enjoyed regular (butter) or cheese (butter plus cheese) grits. That's because the flavors of the grits themselves come out so much better than they ever could before.