If you're one of those people who didn't grow up eating grits like I did, 1) I feel kinda sorry for you and 2) you just might fall under that category of folks I could never understand, The Grit-Haters. Well, the Kiss My Grits Breakfast Casserole (p510) may never bless you with the gum-smacking and coffee-pouring skills of Miss Florence Jean Castleberry, but it just might change your mind about grits.
I've made this twice now, the first time with Lightlife Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips and most recently using the recipe for Tempeh Bacon (p525) pictured here as it was browning in the pan.
The strips fell apart on me a bit, but this was fine since its was going in the casserole anyway. When I cooked the second batch I went ahead and crumbled it in the pan and was able to get the pieces nice and extra crispy. Combining soy sauce and liquid smoke provides a tasty basting liquid for your bacon, but I can't say it's worth simmering the tempeh, waiting for it to dry and cool, carefully slicing, and then pan frying if you can purchase tempeh or another type of vegan bacon in your local store. However, if you don't have access to a vegan bacon or if you don't have any on hand but you DO have a pack of tempeh, it's quite simple to make yourself some tasty bacon.
But back to the casserole and kissing my grits!
Here's another simple dish to put together--the biggest chunk of time is the baking--that gives a lot in terms of flavor and texture. I used low fat soymilk, Daiya as the cheese, and for the corn, Trader Joe's frozen roasted (which I pretty much put in everything that calls for frozen corn).
At the moment, I can't recall what size pan Robin lists in the directions (and to be honest, I'm cozy and too lazy to go downstairs to look it up!), but I know the first time I made the casserole I used a larger pan. This made the casserole thin and a bit polenta-like. The second time, I used a round dish that provided a deeper dish. This is probably closer to the intended texture of the casserole, but I actually preferred it on the thin side. It's delicious either way--the thicker the creamier, and the thinner the crispier, so go with your preference. Or make it twice like I did and pick your fave!
The word "breakfast" may be in the title, but don't let that stop you from having this casserole any time of day. It's best served hot, but not bad cold; and it's vegan-, vegetarian-, and omni-approved. In fact, I caught an omni helping himself to thirds.
--The Divine Miss V