Slow Cooker Tomato Grits ♥ Recipe

Slow Cooker Tomato Grits, another skinny recipe ♥, tastes way richer than its calories.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's slow cooker recipe: A "skinny" pot of grits that tastes every so rich, thanks to ripe tomatoes and a tiny bit of blue cheese. Weight Watchers friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. Vegetarian. graphic button small size size 10

So there comes the time, about now, when the tomato plants are at the height of their production, when it's suddenly time to start cooking tomatoes from the garden, not just chopping raw tomatoes for salads.

They're piling up on the counter, as ripe as can be, you don't want them to go to waste. But as a seasonal eater, you're also not going to pull out all the canning gear to make tomato sauce or something similar. Because, you see, here in the Midwest, garden tomatoes are for August, September and in good years, the early part of October. They're not for winter.

And so it came to be last fall. (Yes, I saved this recipe from then, knowing you'd appreciate it now more than then.) Twas a Friday night, the end of a long two weeks. Briefly, we talked about heading out for dinner, a strong Old-Fashioned called. Instead? I warmed up some Slow Cooker Tomato Grits cooked earlier in the day and cooked Frozen Steaks, you got it, straight from the freezer. With a good bottle of wine from downstairs? The best "Free" meal ever.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes up-front plus regular stirring throughout (don't stray far!)
Time to table: 4 hours
Makes about 4-1/4 cups

1 pound ripe summer tomatoes, diced
1 cup (140g) stone-ground grits
1-1/2 cups (360g) low-fat milk
1-1/2 cups (300g) water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 ounce blue cheese
A few chopped tomatoes

Line your slow cooker with a plastic liner, you still need to stir often but it prevents scorching. In a bowl, stir together tomatoes, grits, milk, water, salt, cumin, oregano and garlic salt. Transfer to the slow cooker.

TO COOK ON LOW Cover and let cook on low for about 7 hours, stirring occasionally.

TO COOK ON HIGH Cover and let cook on high for about 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes often after the first hour.

JUST BEFORE SERVING About a half hour before serving, check the consistency, if too loose, remove the cover and let finish cooking, stirring often. Stir in the blue cheese until it melts. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS If you like, make this a day or even a couple of days ahead of time. It reheats beautifully! A small portion heats in the microwave in about 90 seconds; a full batch heats in the oven in about 30 minutes and puffs up a little, browning nicely on top.

graphic button small size size 10 TOMATOES I wondered if the tomatoes would need blanching. Good news, skins and all, no toughness, no sign of the skins! But if you're worried about tough tomato skins, purée the tomatoes first, this would make a pretty all-red bowl of grits too.
graphic button small size size 10 ROASTED TOMATOES? These would be excellent! I'd use either Slow-Roasted Tomatoes or Roasted Roma Tomatoes but would use maybe 8 ounces versus a full pound.
graphic button small size size 10 NO BLUE CHEESE? Gruyere would be nice, parmesan too, smoked gouda would be excellent. Avoid a greasy cheddar, though, except in a pinch. It really takes a tiny amount of cheese to make these taste ever so rich!
graphic button small size size 10 TIMING Don't skip the cheese, however. The grits don't taste like much (more texture and color than flavor) until the cheese is added. You'll be wondering what the fuss is all about until the cheese is added.
graphic button small size size 10 MAKE IT A MEAL We served the grits with Frozen Steaks but I can also imagine them as the base for Shrimp & Grits or Breakfast Grits with Runny Eggs. I don't think you'll have any trouble using them up!

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Still Hungry?


~ Never Take a Good Tomato for Granted:
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from A Veggie Venture

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from Kitchen Parade, my food column


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A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.