Recipes

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

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My husband and I lived in the Charleston area of South Carolina for 11 years. We loved the low country and especially the cuisine. Every year, for our anniversary, we would go downtown for some authentic shrimp and grits at a fine dining restaurant. So good!

Food Tracking Momma Charleston shrimp and grits

It has been a challenge to create a Charleston shrimp and grits recipe that is not high in fat and calories. I believe this recipe is very close to the authentic style, yet comes in at just 500 calories per serving. The recipe has protein and carbs so it can be served as a complete meal with just a salad as a side. The biggest way I saved fat and calories from a traditional shrimp and grits recipe was by swapping andouille for turkey sausage and heavy cream for 2% milk.

For more information on counting and logging calories to lose weight (food tracking) or for recipes from the Food Tracking Momma, please CLICK HERE to subscribe to this blog and let me help you live life more healthy and abundantly (John 10:10). You will receive the FREE eBook LOSING WEIGHT WITH FOOD TRACKING.

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Shrimp and Grits Steps (Recipe below steps)

food tracking momma shrimp and grits- cheddar grits

There are many steps to this recipe but the most important thing is you MUST prep your ingredients before you start cooking the main part of the recipe. Start with making the grits by bringing to a boil the water, salt and grits. Then add the milk, lower the temperature to low and cover, stirring occasionally and simmering until cooked (15-20 minutes). While the grits cook, prep the shrimp (season and drizzle with lemon juice), slice the bacon and sausage, and chop the vegetables. Once the grits are cooked, remove from heat, stir in the cheddar cheese, and cover to keep warm. I LOVE these cooking utensils!

food tracking momma shrimp and grits sausage and bacon

In a large skillet (I use a dutch oven), cook the sausage and bacon until the bacon is almost crisp and there is color on the sausage. Stir often while cooking. Once done, remove the meat and set aside leaving a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan.

food tracking momma shrimp and grits vegetables and roux

Add the vegetables to the bacon drippings and cook until they are soft. While the vegetables cook, take a small saucepan and combine the butter and flour, whisking often (medium heat). Cook this until the roux become medium brown in color.

food tracking momma shrimp and grits vegetables and shrimp

Once the vegetables are cooked and the roux is ready, add the meat, the seasoned shrimp and the roux. Cook all until the sauce is thick and the shrimp is done (pink in color).

Serve shrimp over grits.

Recipe: Charleston Shrimp and Grits

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

Charleston Shrimp and Grits recipe
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Shrimp and Grits
Servings: 8
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Food Tracking Momma

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned grits
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups 2% reduced fat milk
  • 2 pounds uncooked shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 pound low-fat turkey kielbasa cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 slices bacon cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, prepare the grits by bringing water, grits and salt to a boil. Stir in the milk and simmer until grits are thickened and tender (15 to 20 minutes). Stir as needed. Add the shredded cheddar and set aside covered.
  • Remove shell and de-vein shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper (to taste) and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.
  • In a heavy skillet, cook bacon and sausage until bacon is near crisp. Remove meat and set aside, keeping 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan.
  • In the same pan with bacon drippings, add peppers, onion and garlic. Cook on medium high heat until vegetables are soft and onion is translucent.
  • While vegetables cook, in another saucepan, melt butter and flour on medium heat. Whisk and slowly cook until roux becomes medium brown in color.
  • To the vegetables, add the shrimp and the bacon and sausage and stir all together. Add the roux (butter/flour mixture), chicken broth, and Worchestershire sauce. Cook on medium heat until the shrimp are pink and the sauce thickens.
  • Serve the shrimp mixture over the cheese grits.
food tracking momma charleston shrimp and grits nutritional facts

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Recipes

10 Surprising Low-Calorie Dinner Ideas

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Beef Stew? Chili? Chicken Enchiladas? These 10 dinner ideas are not only delicious, but surprisingly are less than 400 calories per serving! I am always on the lookout for recipes that will please my family yet fit into my food tracking lifestyle.

food tracking momma 10 low calorie dinners

For more information on counting and logging calories to lose weight (food tracking) or for recipes from the Food Tracking Momma, please CLICK HERE to subscribe to this blog and let me help you live life more healthy and abundantly (John 10:10). You will receive the FREE eBook LOSING WEIGHT WITH FOOD TRACKING.

food tracking momma free ebook

Also like my Facebook page and Follow Me on Pinterest. For more support on calorie counting and food tracking, join my Facebook group, Losing Weight with Food Tracking.

1. Instant Pot Chili con Carne– 285 calories per serving

food tracking momma instant pot chili con carne

This is a delicious chili made with ground beef and beans that is easily adaptable to the tastes of your family. The recipe calls for 90% lean ground beef and the beef flavor is enhanced with bone broth. And because it is cooked in the Instant Pot, this low-calorie meal is ready in a short time and infused with great flavor. Click here for the recipe!

2. Oven Baked Chicken Breast– 286 calories per serving

Recipe Tin Eats oven baked chicken breasts

This recipe is a new favorite of my family. My toddler is not a picky eater, but he tends to eat less animal protein than anything else on his plate. Well, he gobbled up this chicken! The spice rub is sweet with just a touch of heat. And the chicken breasts were the most moist oven-baked chicken breasts I’ve ever eaten! Click here for the recipe (photo credit: www.recipetineats.com)

3. Instant Pot Ham Balls– 359 calories per serving

food tracking momma instant pot ham balls

This recipe is so delicious and only takes 10 minutes of pressure cooking time! The ham balls are salty and moist while the sauce is sweet and sour. It’s the perfect combination of flavors. This low-calorie recipe always brings back good memories of my Grandma who would always make them for family gatherings. Click here for the recipe.

4. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burgers– 380 calories for burger and bun

cookie and kate veggie burger

When my family first tried a veggie burger, we made it to “be good” and eat a healthy meal. But after tasting the burger, we were amazed at how much we enjoyed it! In fact, in the summer (although it can be any time), veggie burgers make a regular appearance at our house. This recipe is 180 calories for the veggie burger and I allotted 200 calories for a large hamburger roll. Click here for the recipe (photo credit: www.cookieandkate.com)

5. The Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken– 342 calories per serving

family fresh meals best crockpot bbq chicken

I love, love, love this recipe. It is so quick and easy to make. You will have it put together in your slow cooker in less than five minutes! The picture above shows it as a sandwich, but this bbq chicken is just as good served straight with a side a vegetables. The calories are for the bbq chicken only (no hamburger roll). Click here for the recipe (photo credit https://www.familyfreshmeals.com).

6. Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Taco Slaw– 158 calories per serving

well plated shrimp tacos with creamy taco slaw

My husband and I like fish tacos, but even more we love shrimp tacos. I do have to admit, my toddler won’t eat the spice in these, but I am able to adapt his serving so his shrimp and sauce is not spicy (simply saute in butter and ranch dressing for him). This low-calorie recipe is so delicious and the calories are so low, I know you will enjoy it! Click here for the recipe (photo credit: www.wellplated.com).

7. Chicken Enchiladas– 194 calories per serving

skinny taste chicken enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas make a frequent appearance as a dinner entree in my house because they are a great, low-calorie meal. The seasonings add dimensions in flavor and the part-skim (low fat) cheese and sour cream help cut calories. Serve with a side of Spanish rice and you have a complete meal for under 400 calories! Click here for the recipe (photo credit
www.skinnytaste.com).

8. Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna– 332 calories per serving

food tracking momma pumpkin sausage lasagna

The first time I had pumpkin ravioli, I was at a fine-dining restaurant and it was so delicious! I committed to finding and replicating that recipe. Although I love to cook, I’m just not a fan of making homemade ravioli. Enter this recipe! The sausage balances the taste of the pumpkin which is then smoothed with the cheeses. Add in the taste of sage and you have the perfect Autumn bite that even your children will enjoy. My toddler ate his entire piece! And you can enjoy it knowing that this lasagna is less than 350 calories! Click here for the recipe!

9. Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew– 364 calories per serving

food tracking momma slow cooker tangy beef stew

This is the slow cooker beef stew recipe I pull out whenever my family is hungry for a hearty, all-in-one beef dinner. Yes, it is possible to eat beef stew yet stay under 400 calories. The beef is just enough to satisfy and the additional veggies help fill you up. The highlight of this low-calorie recipe is the sauce! It is so good and my family has to be served bread with this stew just to help sop up the sauce. Click here for the recipe.

10. Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce– 234 calories per serving

pop culture spinach stuffed shells with meat sauce

I love anything pasta (I get my love for carbs from my mom). So I allow myself to eat carbs but still stay within my daily calories for the day. This recipe is perfect. The slight bitter of the spinach is balanced with the creaminess of the cheese. And then top it all with the tang of the meat sauce and you have a balanced dinner. And you get to enjoy your carbs too! Click here for the recipe (photo credit: www.popculture.com).

If you enjoyed this post or tried any of these recipes, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks, Andrea
The Food Tracking Momma

Recipes

Instant Pot Ham Balls

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I previously posted my Grandma’s recipe for Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce. Oh, I wish she was here so I could share this new preparation of her recipe! My Grandma would wait one hour for the traditional recipe to cook in the oven. But now, with the beauty of the Instant Pot, I am happy to share with you a new 10-minute cook time for ham balls!

food tracking momma instant pot ham balls

As with all of my recipes, the nutritional information for this dish is listed just below the recipe. A serving of 5 Instant Pot Ham Balls comes in at 359 calories and 14.7 grams of fat. If you are on a low-sodium diet, let me say “I’m sorry.” This is pretty high in sodium.

For more information on counting and logging calories to lose weight (food tracking) or for recipes from the Food Tracking Momma, please CLICK HERE to subscribe to this blog and let me help you live life more healthy and abundantly (John 10:10). You will receive the FREE eBook LOSING WEIGHT WITH FOOD TRACKING.

Free eBook Losing Weight with Food Tracking

Please like my Facebook page and Follow Me on Pinterest. For more support on calorie counting and food tracking, please join my Facebook group, Losing Weight with Food Tracking.

Instant Pot Ham Balls- Steps (Recipe below steps)

One of the first challenges when making this recipe is finding ground ham. You have a couple of options. First, if you live near a grocery store that sells ground ham, then it will be easy. For me, it’s difficult to find ground ham. So the second option is to ask your grocery store to grind some ham for you. The final option is to use a food grinder or a food processor to chop the ham to mimic a ground ham. For this recipe, I had my meat department grind the ham for me. Also, I crushed up Ritz crackers (about 10 of them) in a sandwich bag.

food tracking momma instant pot ham balls ingredients

Combine the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. To shape them into meatballs, I used a large cookie scoop. This step took me about 20 minutes. Set the uncooked ham balls aside.

In the Instant Pot (or whatever electric pressure cooker you use), add the remaining four ingredients. Whisk together to combine. The mustard wasn’t fully mixed for me but it cooked up just fine. Don’t worry about it.

Add the uncooked meatballs (it’s OK if some don’t get down in the sauce).

food tracking momma instant pot ham balls in the pot

Close the lid and set the valve to seal. Pressure cook (manual) for 10 minutes. When finished, go ahead and do a quick release. Gently stir or re-position the ham balls so all of them get glazed.

Instant Pot Ham Balls Recipe

Instant Pot Ham Balls

Instant pot ham balls with sweet and sour sauce
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ham Balls, Instant Pot
Servings: 7
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Food Tracking Momma

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds smoked ham (ground)
  • 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 oz)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Combine the first 5 ingredients and shape into ham balls. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining 4 ingredients into the Instant Pot and whisk to combine. 
  • Add the ham balls and secure the lid. Turn pressure valve to seal and set to pressure cook (manual) for 10 minutes. When finished, do a quick release and carefully stir to coat all of the ham balls in the glaze.
food tracking momma instant pot ham balls nutrition facts

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it, please let me know by leaving me a comment and a rating!

Thanks, Andrea- The Food Tracking Momma

Related posts:
Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Instant Pot Chili con Carne
Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew

Recipes

Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Jump to Recipe

There are a few recipes that I always associate with the person who made them for me in the past. This Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce recipe was a specialty of my Grandma. She grew up in the farm country of Western Maryland which was heavily influenced by many of the traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch. This recipe was a favorite to be enjoyed at our many family gatherings and I’m happy to share it with you. I am sure you will love it as much as we do.

Continue reading “Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce”
Recipes

Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Jump to Recipe

Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna Recipe

Have you ever enjoyed a pumpkin ravioli at a fine dining restaurant? If you have, this Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna recipe is for you! It has the clear taste of pumpkin which is balanced with the sausage and the cheeses. It’s fairly easy to make and it is kid friendly (my toddler gobbled it up).

Continue reading “Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna”
Recipes

Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Jump to Recipe

Everything within me screamed to title this recipe, The BEST Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew because it really is the easiest and tastiest beef stew recipe. In our family, we only make one beef stew recipe and it is this one. This comes from my mom’s collection of recipes, and anytime I make this, I always think of her.

Continue reading “Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew”
Recipes

Skinny Corn Muffins

One of the nice things about counting calories is that I allow myself to eat whatever I want to eat. The trick is that what I eat (and especially how much I eat) fits into my daily allowance of food calories. So considering that, I’m always trying to lighten up existing recipes. Sometimes this works successfully and I enjoy a new skinny recipe. Other times I have a not-so-tasty but now skinny food item. I am happy to announce that this recipe for Skinny Corn Muffins is tasty, low fat, and low calorie.  Continue reading “Skinny Corn Muffins”

Recipes

Instant Pot Chili con Carne

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Jump to Recipe

I can’t even count the number of blog posts I have read that start with, “I love my Instant Pot.” Not being one to go with the crowd, I think I’ll say, “I really love my Instant Pot!” I received it in June and I have used it no less than 3-4 times per week. It is an essential tool in my house. This is why I am happy to share with you my Instant Pot Chili con Carne. Please note this recipe can be made in a slow cooker by sauteing the meat and veggies in a skillet, adding all to the slow cooker and then cooking on Low for 5 hours. If you don’t own an Instant Pot, I highly recommend you get one.  Continue reading “Instant Pot Chili con Carne”