Some days I crave good old fashioned comfort food! While I love comfort food dishes, I don’t love all the extra calories and fat that typically accompanies this type of food. I always do what I can to lighten up the dish and make it a bit more on the healthy side than the original recipe might call for. So, when Smart Balance challenged me to try their blended butter sticks in one of my favorite recipes to see how they performed, I went for it with our favorite Cheesy Home-style Sausage grits recipe.
The usual changes I make to lighten up a dish is to swap out the full fat fat ingredients for lower fat/calorie versions. (Greek yogurt for sour cream or mayo, mashed bananas or avocados for fats in baked goods, evaporated skim milk for cream.)
For this recipe I swapped out regular sausage for turkey sausage, full fat cheese for 2%, full fat milk for 1%, and I switched the regular butter for the Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks. These substitutions saved 104 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving. (calculated via myfitnesspal recipe calculator.)
The important thing to know about Smart Balance products is that they always been made without hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and are naturally 0g trans fat. They also contain a unique natural blend of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats designed to help improve the ratio of good HDL cholesterol to bad LDL cholesterol. (and my hubby can certainly stand to improve his ratio of goo to bad cholesterol.) Plus, the Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks and spreadable Butter & Canola Oil Blend are a 1-1 substitution for butter so you can make the same version of your favorite recipes, without all the saturated fat.
If you are looking for more healthy recipes, Smart Balance has a printable recipe plan with 14 delicious heart healthy meals. You can download it for free here.
- 1 cup precooked Turkey Sausage crumbles
- 2 cups lowfat/skim milk
- 3⁄4 cup Healthy Request condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 4 packets (1 ounce each) instant grits
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1⁄2 cup shredded 2% Mexican blend cheese
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 4 tsp Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks, cut into tiny pieces
- *optional 1/8 tsp garlic powder (if you like garlic)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl, mix together milk, soup, onion powder and optional garlic.
- Add the grits and stir until smooth.
- Mix in cheese, and sausage.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon mixture into 6 well greased ramekins and top each with 1 tablespoon of butter pieces. (I only had 4 ramekins and put the rest in a oven proof cereal bowl.)
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until heated through.
- (If you don’t have ramekins, use a 1.5 or 2 quart casserole dish and add about 10 minutes to the baking time- keeping your eye on it towards the end.)
(A couple of recipe notes:
1. Don’t fill your ramekins as full as mine. I wasn’t thinking… The grits will puff up a tiny bit while cooking and might cause the butter to overflow into the oven.
2. Even though this recipe is “lightened up,” it is still very rich will all the sausage, cheese and butter. You could easily lessen the amount of butter and sausage by a quarter of the amount called for and probably not even notice a difference…)
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smart Balance.