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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Authentic Southern Comfort Food, Ya’ll

While Southern food doesn’t automatically shout healthy, it doesn’t all deserve a bad rap. It’s been a year since North Carolina native Kristin Jackson opened Kiss My Grits, which she describes as a “hole in the wall” comfort food Mecca, in Puck’s Alley, and she has several things on the menu that are on the lighter side. Collard greens are a super food – chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Black-eyed peas boast pure protein and virtually no fat.

Kiss My Grits in Puck’s Alley serves up Southern favorites including chopped barbecue

Photos courtesy Kiss My Grits. Kiss My Grits in Puck’s Alley serves up Southern favorites including chopped barbecue

Pair those with a piece of cornbread and bowl of the restaurant’s signature Brunswick Stew, thickened with the juice from crushed lima beans, and you’ve got yourself a healthy and filling meal. Yes, Southern food can be delicious and healthy.

Kiss My Grits will celebrate its one-year anniversary with an expanded breakfast menu and extended weekend hours, opening Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. While it already boasts Southern favorites such as barbecue pork spareribs, chopped barbecue and fresh seafood, to name a few, it’s adding other dishes like Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken and Waffles. Breakfast will feature its signature biscuit sandwiches, custom-made omelets and waffle breakfast sandwiches, and will be served until 3 p.m. on weekends. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Happy first birthday!

Here Kristin shares her recipe for healthy Brunswick Stew with MidWeek readers. To learn more, visit kiss-mygritsyall.com.

Lima beans, one of the earliest cultivated crops, are believed to have originated in Central America. Lima beans are a good source of manganese, protein and fiber, and are iron rich. They also contain folate, protein, magnesium, potassium and copper, and carbohydrates.

Kiss My Grits in Puck’s Alley serves up Southern favorites including chopped barbecue

BRUNSWICK STEW

* 2 quarts water

* 1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut up

* 1 (15-ounce) can baby lima beans, undrained

* 1 (8-ounce) can baby lima beans, undrained

* 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

* 1 (16-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans

* 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

* 1 large yellow onion, diced

* 2 (15-ounce) cans cream-style corn

* 1/4 cup sugar

* 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine

* 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

* 1 teaspoon pepper

* 2 teaspoons hot sauce

Bring water and chicken to a boil in a Dutch oven. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove chicken and set aside. Reserve 3 cups broth in Dutch oven. Pour canned lima beans and liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into Dutch oven. Reserve beans. Add tomatoes to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for 40 minutes or until liquid is reduced by 1/3. Skin, bone and shred chicken. Mash reserved beans with a potato masher. Add chicken, mashed and frozen beans, potatoes and onions to Dutch oven. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for three hours and 30 minutes. Stir in corn and remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for one additional hour.

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