Spicy Cajun white beans and kale are served atop a bowl of creamy grits for a meatless meal that’s big on bold flavor.
cajun white beans and kale over creamy grits

Good news! I not only survived my dress fitting on Sunday, but I also didn’t faint during it.

And now you’re probably wondering why that’s relevant.


Well, apparently running 7 miles + speed eating lunch + standing for 2 hours in heels + 20 pounds of dress + unreasonably strong overhead lights = almost unconscious Joanne.

Almost being the key word.

But it was close.

(I blame the lights.)


Let’s just hope this was a one-off occurrence.

Or maybe I should just suggest that we line the altar with bubble wrap.

Just in case.


When I got home I felt like I should shock myself back into full consciousness with some big bold-flavored food.

And what is bigger and bolder than Cajun FLAVAH.

I promise I’ll never say flavah again. Pinky swear.


But this really does have lots of FLAVAH. It will wake you up from a wedding dress fitting fainting spell.

Pinky swear for real now.


Cajun White Beans and Kale over Creamy Grits
Spicy Cajun white beans and kale are served atop a bowl of grits for a meatless meal that's big on bold flavor.
Yield: 6 servings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups cooked white beans
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pot and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale to the pot and saute until wilted, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, beans, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, sweet paprika, and cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until broth has reduced slightly, stirring frequently. Set aside while you prepare the grits.
  2. In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the grits, butter, and salt. Lower the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until thickened. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. Serve grits topped with white bean kale mix.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ of recipe

For more big and bold recipes, check out these:

cajun sweet potato salad with cornmeal-crusted okra, corn and bell peppers

Cajun Sweet Potato Salad with Cornmeal-Crusted Okra, Corn and Bell Peppers

fried green tomatoes over basil-goat cheese grits

Fried Green Tomatoes over Basil-Goat Cheese Grits

spicy three-bean and corn chili

Spicy Three Bean and Corn Chili

From Around the Web:

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice from Cookie + Kate

Butternut Squash and Chard in Spicy Harissa Coconut Sauce from Gourmande in the Kitchen

Spicy Roast Cauliflower and Chickpeas from Honestly Yum

Spicy Black Bean Soup from Spoon Fork Bacon

Spicy Harissa, Spinach and Feta Skillet Pizza from Blogging Over Thyme


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51 Responses to Cajun White Beans and Kale over Creamy Grits

  1. you know this southern girl loves some grits and I do like the flavah you added 🙂

  2. Want these grits!! The name alone is enticing. Also, your dress fitting sounds like such a crazy day!! But super fun at the same time. Eeeeeee!!! The big day is getting so close!

  3. oh my gawd, be careful!! Maybe you need to work more carbs back into the diet and stop running 7 miles. . just take care of yourself. . and by the look of this dish, freaking delicious FLAVAH-ful cajun white beans and kale creamy grits, you’re not completely loopy from dieting because this is freaking brilliant and delicious. You’re almost there and you’re going to be beautiful. So excited for you!

  4. Sues says:

    LOVE this! I’ve never made grits before… But they’re totally a joke between me and my husband because he’s from Virginia and the first time my mom met him she asked him if his mom cooked a lot of grits. Maybe I should make some for him Haha 🙂

    Yay for your dress fitting!!!

  5. Woohoo for a successful dress fitting! You’re getting soooo close to the big day! So exciting 🙂
    And woohoo as well for this awesome looking dish!

  6. This looks delicious, Joanne! Love the flavours!

  7. Sune Moolman says:

    I’m a sucker for Cajun spice – this looks great!

  8. Deena kakaya says:

    Wow Joanne, seriously comforting food that is nutritious too! Like the use of grits x

  9. Monica says:

    I love anything with white beans! When I can’t decide what to have for dinner, I usually think white beans with something. This indeeds looks full of ‘flavah’. : ) . I can see how it’d wake you up from a fainting spell (btw, 20 lbs of dress?!). It’s like comfort food with sass!

  10. Pam says:

    I am so glad you didn’t faint! So excited to see your wedding dress & photos (hint, hint – please share with us after the wedding! K? Thanks).

    Also, I wish we were neighbors so you could share this tasty bowl of goodness with me! It looks hearty, healthy, & delicious!

  11. OOh yes – I am up for your take on grits w/beans and kale and tons of “cajun flavah”!

  12. So glad you survived the wedding dress session! And, yum, this dish won’t last a minute at my house!

  13. I have never had grits…the white beans kale topping looks awesome!

  14. Natalie says:

    eek! you’re getting so close!

    My last few dress fittings were painful, mostly because I had the WORST (read: slowest) seamstress in the history of all seamstresses! Hoping yours is a less painful experience 😉

  15. Grits are not really a thing over here, but I tried them for the first time a few months ago at an American BBQ place and I fell in love. I haven’t made them myself yet, but I am definitely trying this, it sounds amazing.

  16. oooh yum! i totally remember the wedding dress days. they are so heavy! ugh. but pretty too. 🙂 i came kinda sorta close to fainting during a friend’s wedding. i was a bridesmaid and the ceremony was just wayyyy too long! oops.

  17. i just got through making red beans and rice this weekend and boy oh boy wishing I would have seen this and done your take on it. Love the creamy grits! love it all

  18. So glad you stayed conscious during that day Joanne! 😉 Love the flavors in this dish – I always forget about grits and they’re so good.

  19. Danguole says:

    20 lbs sounds like a lot of dress! Can’t wait to see it, but for now, the grits and beans will do. 😉

  20. Eileen says:

    Yay! Beans, greens, and grains, together forever. (Although I don’t tend to think of corn as a grain. But that’s ok!) I love how spicy and savory yet totally comforting this is.

  21. Susan says:

    Congratulations on surviving the dress fitting 🙂 A delicious meal to celebrate. Kale and beans are wonderful together!

  22. I just started making grits a few years ago and now I want to put it everything on top of it. Great winter food too… perfect comfort food.

  23. I love the idea of using kale and white beans to top your grits. I am a big fan of grits especially in the winter. Can’t wait to try!

  24. Kate says:

    Grits are amazing. But I think collard greens are more fitting than kale, with the whole Southern thing grits have going for them.

  25. OMG, I’m glad you’re alright!! I refuse to do anything without a hearty meal and know I have proof that I’m not crazy for being unrelenting in that. I can only imagine all the flurry of stress during this time and I think it’s amazing that you come up with such amazing meals like this!

  26. Hello comfort food, THIS LOOKS INCREDIBLE, Joanne! And 2 hours in heels? You’re amazing.

  27. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I have never tried grits before, but you are making me want to try!
    By the way, you better post a billion wedding dress pictures once you get married. To know your almost faint counted for something.

  28. Nicola says:

    Oh man, oh man I love me some big flavors! Looks delicious! I once almost fainted in a bikram yoga class- It wasn’t fun. Eat your protein and maybe cut some of the lower layers out of your dress. NObody will notice.

  29. This sounds like the best kind of winter veggie comfort food (even though I have no idea what grits are … haha! Think it’s time to look it up!)
    Thank goodness you lived to tell the tale after your dress fitting … sounds like it was a close one!

  30. Yikes! Maybe refrain from the 7 mile run n the actual day. 😉 Glad you came out OK and this dish looks fabulous. I love the flavors (flavahs?) and those grits look super creamy.

  31. I am seriously DYING for a bite of this goodness!

  32. Whoa you put yourself thru the wringer on that day. All good stuff, but it does take a toll.
    Well this certainly qualifies as a hearty dish. So you did good.

  33. tigerfish says:

    Warm and soothing for the chilly nights! I usually cook millet till how you achieve the grits’ consistency.


  35. Now this is perfect for fall- heavy yet healthy!

  36. Hotly Spiced says:

    How fantastic that your dress fits. You must have been so excited when you tried it on (if you weren’t so worried about fainting!) I do love white beans and this does seem like a great meal to come home to after all that running and standing in heels xx

  37. I need a big bowl of this right now! So delicious!

  38. Mmm yummy… my mouth is watering!! Looks so delicious!

  39. Christina says:

    Yum…. love grits. Now I’m wondering if id mess them up…??

  40. With the near fainting in mind, don’t forget to eat before you walk down the aisle!

  41. Kelly says:

    Yay that your dress fits but yikes 20 lbs and fainting? Hope it was only a one time thing and you take it easy throughout the day.This looks like comfort in a bowl – sounds delicious!

  42. Lynn says:

    I remember the bridal gown fitting worries. So glad it went well and you didn’t fall over! Yum on the grits and kale – two of my favorite things.

  43. grace says:

    beans. grits. two of my favorite food groups, for sure. 🙂

  44. Kathryn says:

    Congrats on surviving the dress fitting! Having been through several when I was a bridesmaid for my best friend, I know how exhausting they can be. This definitely looks like the perfect way to re-build your strength!

  45. Katerina says:

    I love white beans and this dish looks very filling and super tasty!

  46. Teffy says:

    YUM! I’ve been having a craving for white beans (no idea why!) and I’ve got some kale in my fridge!
    I’ve never made grits before, so might try having it with some sweet potato mash =)

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  47. I am happy that you made it through the dress fittings. I love the white beans and kale, sounds yummy.

  48. Johanna GGG says:

    I am unlikely to be doing all that running and dress fitting – neither is my sort of thing – eating good food like this appeals immensely though – and I think I might need to use polenta as I have never seen grits anywhere local

  49. I dunno – bubble wrap aisle kind of sounds like the best idea ever!

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