Baked Beans on Grits

I recently checked out a few cookbooks from the library. This recipe is from Bob Greene’s book “The Best Life Diet Cookbook”. I think Bob is (or used to be?) Oprah’s trainer. But- he’s not her chef. Hmmm. So I started making the baked beans part of this, and I thought, this is NOT going to come together, what’s plan B for dinner?? But once they started cooking in the oven, man, they really smelled good. I don’t think this called for enough grits. I would double the amount called for, or maybe even use polenta? Liam was kind of on the fence about this one, but Toby had two helpings. I ate just the baked bean part for lunch the next day, and it was good by itself.

rating: 8

Baked Beans on Grits
(The Best Life Diet Cookbook, Bob Greene)

prep time: 15 min.
total time: 1 hour

serves 4


3 cups cooking greens, such as collard greens, turnip greens, or kale, julienned (I used kale)
2 cups canned no-salt-added white beans, drained and rinsed, or cooked
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 apple, grated on the large holes of a grater
1 onion, finely chipped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt (1/8 for baked beans, 1/8 for corn grits)
vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups water
3/4 cup corn grits
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Combine the greens, beans, carrots, apple, onion, tomato paste, molasses, mustard, and 1/8 tsp salt in a large bowl.
3. Coat an 8″ square baking dish with cooking spray. Place the bean mixture in the baking dish.
4. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
5. Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Stir the grits, oil, and a heaping 1/8 tsp salt into the boiling water. Stir continuously, and cook until very thick, following the grits package directions.
6. Coat a 9″ pie plate with cooking spray. Pour the grits onto the pie plate and let sit for about 10 minutes, until set. Slice into 4 pieces and serve topped with the baked bean mixture.

per serving: 364 calories

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