Delicious and healthy, this vegan side dish is perfect for your next picnic or barbecue.

This recipe is part of our healthy soul food menu.
Servings: Serves 4–6
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt , divided, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 large ears fresh sweet corn , kernels scraped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion , diced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground grits
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Directions
    Note: Stone-ground grits are available at

    Soak cashews in water overnight; drain. In a blender, combine cashews, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup water; blend until smooth. Set aside.

    Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Turn off heat, add corn kernels, and let sit for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

    In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil; add onion, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes more. Set aside half of onion mixture in a small bowl. Add reserved corn to pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Set aside.

    In a bowl, mix cornmeal and grits well. In a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal and grits until no lumps remain, return to a boil, then quickly reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent grits from sticking to bottom of pan, until grits have absorbed most of the liquid and are thickening, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and simmer 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in creamed cashews and corn-onion mixture. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until grits are soft and fluffy, about 30 minutes.

    Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Garnish with onion mixture.

    This recipe was adapted from Vegan Soul Kitchen, by Bryant Terry (Da Capo).


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