Lightened Up Cajun Shrimp and Pepperjack Grits

OH man what a weekend I had! It was so nuts I had to take an extra day off from blogging to recover.

Where to start? Well Saturday I worked my first event with the Wild Cheff. It was a blast but a LONG day! Poor Matt.

I roped him into coming after he worked all night. He was up for a good..let me think…38 hours?! He was snoring in the seat on the way home about 30 seconds after we left. I don’t know how he does it. The event was great. We made the following:

Wild Game antipasto with pheasant patee, mousse tuffee (SP?), smoked duck breast, smoked trout mousse


and deviled eggs with capers, lemon oil and DUCK BACON.


Ohhhh my goodness I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing those were.

Next was Country (Farmhouse?) Pheasant Chowder, Wild Game Torties,

 Venison Loin over Celery Root Puree with Wild Blueberry Sauce and finished with Canadian (Maple) Sugar Pie. All amazing.

Now FRIDAY, I was true to word on attempting at least one recipe a week with my plethora of Wild Cheff blends. Friday was Cajun blend and Cajun Shrimp and Pepperjack Grits!

Now, let me preface this by admitting to you what most Italians are simply too snooty to: Grits and Polenta…same thing. Difference? Well, Grits is often much more coarsely ground and they tend to be served a little differently. But both are ground corn meal. Simple. Well I ended up using the polenta I had on hand which yielded a slightly different texture and WAYYY too much of it! So my suggestion? Cook your grits according to package directions, using chicken broth instead of water and finish it off with cream or milk, Chobani and your cheese. Also, keep in mind, regular grits takes longer to cook and may have to be made in the oven. Quick cooking grits is well, quick.

I modified a recipe from Emril Lagasse that I cannot, for the LIFE OF ME find! But really this is MY recipe, I make it up as a I go but I did get the idea from him, lets give credit where credit is due.

*I was attempting to make this as light as humanly possible…not an easy thing with most southern cooking. By adding milk instead of cream and adding some Chobani 0%, I was able to make this creamy and oh so yummy without adding a lot of fat!

Lightened Up Cajun Shrimp with Pepperjack Grits


  • 1 cup of polenta or quick cooking grits
  • 2 cups of chicken broth + more for thinning (or whatever the package calls for)
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup of low fat milk
  • 1 cup of Chobani 0%
  • 1 block of pepperjack cheese shredded
  • 1 lb of raw shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
  • 2-4 Tbs. of Wild Cheff Cajun Blend
  • OPTIONAL FOR SAUCE (butter, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth. *see below)


  • Start by rinsing your shrimp under cold water and patting dry. I like to remove the tails from mine but leave them on if you prefer.

 Sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and toss to coat. set aside.

  • Next shred your cheese and get your chicken broth heating to a boil. Generally with polenta or quick cooking grits you boil the liquid, whisk in the grits and reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes. This is what I did. Now because I used polenta I needed WAY more liquid then I originally thought. I chose to use milk.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium/high heat.
  • Add just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Once the polenta is whisked into the chicken broth, whisk in the milk and butter.
  • Remove from the heat and add Chobani and cheese. Add more chicken stock to thin if needed.
  • *When your shrimp is cooked you have the option of making a sauce. Add more butter (about 3 Tbs.), whisk, add 2 Tbs. tomato paste, 2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce and enough chicken stock to thin. Serve over the Polenta. I made a little bit of this and added some off to the side but it’s not necessary and I would suggest forgetting it if you’re trying to make this light!
  • Plate the grits immediately and top with shrimp.

This was delicious and sooo fast! The Wild Cheff Cajun Blend did not disappoint but it was spicy so watch out! The Polenta mellowed the heat but the addition of the pepperjack cheese (which I added last time on a whim and it turned out perfectly!) gives it a nice pepper taste and a little heat.

Grits in its orginial form often has LOADS of butter and cream. By adding just a small amount of butter and using the milk and the Chobani, it had a wonderful creamy texture and a nice tang from the Cho. I think this lightened up version was quite a success! I served it along side some steamed asparagus and it was a fabulous and super fast way to end a week!

I had originally intended to make this for friends on Thursday night and serve it alongside some green beans with bacon and shallots but that didn’t end up happening. No matter, it was all for the best.

Now for this week, I’m feeling a lot better! I was back at the training full force this morning, taking a spinning class with my Mom. It was not at my usual gym and the class can’t even begin to compete with RPM at Powerhouse Gym, but it a good start!

Now I just need to hunt down a new head lamp, some reflective strips and a cheap digital watch because running starts soon! The snow is nearly gone so no more risk of not being seen so maybe next week if it’s not to cold, I’m moving off the elliptical and out onto the street! Wish me luck at my least favorite form of exercise ever!! 😉


TRAINING: Spinning class at 6am. This was…well it was OK. I was not too impressed with what we were doing so I kinda did my own thing but I made it into a good workout.


  • Kashi Dark Mocha Almond Bar (on the way into spinning class)
  • 1 Horizon organic low fat chocolate milk and 1 slice of light oatmeal bread with 1 Tbs. Teddy’s Peanut Butter.
  • Leftover Pork “Fried” Rice from last night, mango and strawberries
  • Steak with brown rice and asparagus

About Lindsey @ trail to train

I'm a (somewhat) normal girl with slightly unusal ideas about everything. I do fitness my way because thats the only way I know how and my extensive mishmashed knowledge of food and cooking to make great, fast, healthy meals.
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2 Responses to Lightened Up Cajun Shrimp and Pepperjack Grits

  1. Great job on the shrimp n’ grits!!!! And using Chobani… definitely perfection 😉

    • Oh it was SO good! I love the tang it gives everything and of course the creaminess is the best part. I really wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to lighten up something like shrimp and grits but it really did come out well.

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