Vegan Cheesy Grits with Tempeh Bacon and Greens

Lately, all I want to do is eat mustard greens.  I’m not sure if it’s the last push of dreary weather or what, but a comforting bowl of greens has been on my mind.  They are an amazing source of vitamins K, A and C, and have a sharp taste that works well with acids, especially lemon juice. 

With a bunch of collards, a bunch of mustard greens, and a bunch of red chard, I set out to make a delicious, flavorful greens topped with tempeh bacon all over a batch of cheesy grits. I used three types of greens, because I had them on hand. Feel free to use one type, two or all three.

If you choose to use the recipe for Easy Tempeh Bacon, it takes, at least 2 hours to marinate. You’ll want to get it marinating before you do anything else in this recipe. If you use a prepackaged tempeh bacon like Lightlife Smoky Tempeh, you don’t have to worry about waiting. Keep this in mind before starting this recipe.

Vegan Cheesy Grits with Tempeh Bacon and Greens

Tempeh Bacon:

1 batch Easy Tempeh Bacon (OR 6 ounce package of Lightlife Tempeh Bacon) – (see note above)


2 Tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 jalapeño, finely chopped (remove seeds, if you are sensitive to heat)

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1 dried prune, finely chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 bunch mustard greens, stems removed and torn into pieces

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and torn into pieces

1 bunch red chard, stems removed and torn into pieces

1 tsp red miso

1 cup water

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Hot sauce, to taste

Salt, to taste


12 ounce silken soft tofu

2 Tbsp vegan butter

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 cups fake chicken broth

2 ½ cups water

1 ½ cups coarse yellow corn grits

½ tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp lemon juice

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add olive oil, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, dried prune, and onions over high heat.  When it starts to sizzle, turn it down to low and sauté for ~7 minutes or until the onions are transparent.  Add the smoked paprika, and sauté for 1 more minute.

2. Stir in greens, and saute for 5 more minutes.  Add red miso and water.  Cover and simmer on low for 45-60 minutes.  At the end of simmering, add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and hot sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings (more salt?  more hot sauce?  more lemon?)

3. When the greens are basically done, start on the cheesy grits.  In a blender or food processor, add the silken soft tofu and blend until very, very smooth.  Set aside.

4. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add vegan butter and garlic cloves over medium heat.  When it just starts sizzling, turn it down to low.  Be careful not to brown or burn the garlic.  Sauté for 1 minute, constantly moving it around in the butter.

5. Add broth and water to garlic butter.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in corn grits and blended silken tofu, and turn down to low.  Stir constantly for 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in dijon, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese.  

6. In a skillet, fry up the Easy Tempeh Bacon OR Lightlife Smoky Tempeh (or your favorite vegan bacon!).

7. Serve. Load up a bowl with cheesy grits, and top with greens and tempeh bacon. Enjoy!

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