I’m in the midst of another round of Whole30, and I have been massively craving shrimp and grits. That spicy, Cajun flavor is something that takes me back to the few years I lived in South Louisiana, where I learned to cook a bit of food from the locals.
While this dish isn’t fully authentic, it is quite flavorful and checks every single box to being Whole30 compliant. The base of that flavor is my make-ahead Cajun Spice Blend, which I try to have on hand at all times. It saves time (and money) in the kitchen, since I don’t have to individually measure each component of a Cajun-based recipe.
Here’s what’s in the blend:
Cajun Spice Blend
3 parts paprika
2 parts kosher salt
2 parts garlic powder
1 part black pepper
1 part onion powder
1 part dried oregano
1 part cayenne pepper
½ part dried thyme
The “grits” in this recipe are made from frozen, riced cauliflower. They get magically creamy with the addition of canned coconut milk and definitely provide a rich, delicious base to offset the spiciness of the shrimp.
- 4 cups riced cauliflower
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ to 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons Cajun Spice Blend*
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups zucchini, diced
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
Divide riced cauliflower, placing half in a food processor and pulsing until broken into smaller pieces. Add all 4 cups of cauliflower rice to a medium saucepan with 1 cup canned coconut milk.
Bring to a boil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper. Reduce to a simmer and continue stirring and cooking until a creamy texture is reached, about 10 minutes. Most of the liquid will have cooked off.
Remove cauliflower rice “grits” from heat, stir in ½ teaspoon dried thyme and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, season shrimp with 2 tablespoons Cajun Spice Blend. Toss to coat evenly.
Add shrimp in a single layer to the skillet, cooking for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 minutes, until cooked through. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to the skillet, along with diced onion, bell pepper and minced garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Squeeze juice of half a lemon into the skillet to deglaze the pan. Stir in diced zucchini, season with extra salt and pepper (as needed), and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add cooked shrimp back to the pan, stirring to combine and reheat.
Make a bed of cauliflower “grits” in two shallow bowls. Spoon on Cajun Shrimp and veggies, and serve garnished with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.