local paper celebrity update: Purple Grits with Roasted Vegetables, Feta and Balsamic Vinegar

I was sunning on a pool lounge chair in Cancun last week when I received word that  The Indianapolis Star was running my recipe for crunchy chopped salad in today's paper.  Did I have a picture of the salad?  Nope, I had my iPad and my iPhone and access to my photo library but somehow I've never photographed that salad.  Did I have a more recent photo of myself than the one where I am talking to the camera carrying my creme brulee cheesecake into dinner club at the home of our dear friends back in the summer of 2011?  Nope, not really.  Solo pics of mothers are not easy to find and good ones are even trickier.  So, a cropped version of the talking cheesecake photo graced the pages of today's living section.  And you've already heard that I was in Cancun this past week kicking off the continuing celebration of the "year of Kristin".   Yep, I turned 50 last week and as luck would have it my husband jetted off to Mexico for business meetings the morning of my birthday.  The only logical thing to do was to cash in some miles and some hotel points and join him when his meetings were over.  

vacation photo

All this is the long way of saying, that as I showed him my recipe in The Star today I realized someone might type in my URL and check on my blog graciously mentioned with my recipe.  They might stop in and see that indeed I write a cooking blog, but I don't seem to write very often.  And really, I'd like for you to stop in again and keep reading so I should possibly make something for dinner and write a little post about it.  

Before work yesterday I had to get in a little detox hot yoga and I had to get some fresh fruits and vegetables.  I needed to do some laundry and go through the mail too, but a girl's got to have her priorities straight.  The laundry and the mail weren't going anywhere.  But the week of excess and the hours of traveling needed to be wrung out on my yoga mat.  And the balance needed to be restored to our diets, so where else do you head when you need a lot of fruits and vegetables?  Costco, of course.  Sure I like Meijer's selection better and some things you just don't need in supersize quantities, but I also wanted a rotisserie chicken and no one's is better than Costco's for $4.79.  I could have gone all organic and beautiful at Whole Foods, but did I mention I had just been on vacation?  There are budgetary restrictions after vacation that contraindicate the purchase of massive quantities of produce at Whole Foods.   

I closed last night and "merched" early this morning (read, I am tired) so dinner needed to be fast and easy.  So I popped two trays of vegetables into the oven to roast while I stirred up some polenta/grits on the stove alongside some Italian chicken sausages browning for a little more substance.  Two weeks ago I went on a little field trip to the Indy Winter Farmer's Market downtown (after yoga and with my lulu friends, very fun) and bought some amazing Purple Grits from the Bridgetown Mill.  The Bridgetown Mill is out in Parke county in covered bridge territory so it may be another field trip next fall.  The purple corn is grown separate from any commercial corn crops so it's a nice pure purple strain with all the original native American goodness and color.  Yum.   The Winter Farmer's Market is a great little field trip too.  Check it out!  

And if you just found me through The Star, welcome!  Keep checking in on me.  It keeps me writing.

yep, purple corn=purple grits or polenta if you're fancy 

Purple Grits with Roasted Vegetables, Feta and Balsamic Vinegar

3 C water
3/4 C purple grits
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 T olive oil

onion, chopped
one pound asparagus, chopped
one red pepper, chopped
one pound portabello mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

salad greens, optional
feta cheese, optional
balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Boil the water in a saucepan and stir in the grits, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until grits are thickened about 20-30 minutes.  

Meanwhile, toss onion, asparagus and red pepper with a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper.  Spread on a baking sheet/pan and roast at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring a few times until roasted and a bit charred.  

Toss mushrooms with a tablespoon of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes until softened.  Season with salt and pepper after roasting.  

If desired, place salad greens on dinner plate and then serve the roasted vegetables on top and dress with feta and balsamic vinegar.  Or do it my way and serve the polenta with the vegetables on top along with a little feta and balsamic vinegar and lightly dress some greens and serve them on the side.  

Voila.  Dinner is served.  Makes about 4 servings.  

purple grits/polenta and blackberries for a color comparison

roasted vegetables



  1. Hi Kristin,
    I was just reading the paper and saw your pic and recipe and thought--hey that's my Purdue DG sister! How are you? As a fellow foodie, I am enjoying your blog and recipes. We will have 3 kids at Purdue in the fall. Let's get together sometime for a Purdue football tailgate.

    Kathleen Bohm Prechtel


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