Meatless Creole Grits

s.a.l.t. sisters sriracha sea salt adds spicy-sweet flavor to this vegetarian main.

Nutty pan-fried hempeh, a soy-free alternative to tempeh, takes the place of shrimp in this Creole-style main, served over creamy whole-grain grits. (If you prefer, you can substitute with tempeh as well.) This recipe is mildly spicy thanks to the sriracha salt, but you can adjust to taste if you prefer a milder dish.  

Prep Time
15 min
50 min


  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1¼ tsp s.a.l.t. sisters Sriracha Salt, divided  

  • 3/4 cup polenta    

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided   

  • 1 6-oz pkg Smiling Hara Smoked Salt and Pepper Hempeh Steak, cut into 1-inch cubes 

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped 

  • 1 stalk celery, sliced 

  • 1/2 each green and red bell pepper, sliced 

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

  • 1 tsp dried thyme    

  • 1 14.5-oz BPA-free can unsalted diced tomatoes, with juices  


1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water, bay leaf and ¼ tsp sriracha salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.

2. Meanwhile, prepare hempeh mixture: In a medium sauté pan on medium-high, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add hempeh and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate.

3. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in pan; add onions, celery and bell peppers and sauté until onions begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add tomatoes, ½ cup water and remaining 1 tsp sriracha salt. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Fold hempeh into tomato mixture and cook until heated through, 2 minutes. Serve hempeh mixture over polenta. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 cup sauce and 3/4 cup polenta
  • Calories 459
  • Carbohydrate Content 44 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 27 g
  • Fiber Content 9 g
  • Protein Content 15.5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Sodium Content 490 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 14 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 4 g