White corn grits with smokey maple, tamari coconut, black beluga lentils, and baby greens

Heirloom tomatoes, nutritional yeast, sumac, purple dulse, and nori flakes add some additional colour and flavour to a traditional breakfast dish.


For the lentils
2/3 cups water
1/4 cup black beluga lentils
1 sprig dried kombu (about 1″)
1/2T olive oil
1T nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the grits
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1/2t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup white corn grits (grits are treated corn meal)
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
1T olive oil (use sesame seed butter as a flavourful alternative)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced (4″ green reserved for garnish)
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T water
2T nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the coconut
2T coconut flakes
2t maple syrup
1T tamari
A dash liquid smoke
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the garnish
3-5 heirloom grape tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup baby greens (I use a mix of baby spinach and baby kale)
1T nutritional yeast
Scallion green sliced at an angle (as noted above)
A good pinch each: dried ground sumac, purple dulse flakes, and nori flakes.

Start lentils, then the grits, then the coconut. In a small sauce pan with a lid, bring the water and sea salt to a soft boil. Add the lentils and kombu, cover and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. When done, drain the lentils, remove the kombu, and rinse. Set aside until you’re ready to plate.

While the lentils cook, make the grits. In a small sauce pan with a lid, bring the water and sea salt to a soft boil. Add the grits slowly, whisking as you go. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook for roughly 20 – 30 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. The grits will be done when they’re quite thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cooking time varies by pan and grind — use the consistency of the grits to determine when they’re done. When the grits are done, add the garlic, scallion, olive oil, and soy milk. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes on low. Stirring continuously, add the tapioca mixture until thickened. Remove from heat, add the nutritional yeast, and stir to combine.

With grits and the lentils well underway, make the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350F. Toss the coconut in the other ingredients until well-coated. Arrange the coconut in a a small glass or ceramic baking dish in an even layer. Bake on the middle rack until brown, about 10-12 minutes, stirring here and there. Ovens vary; use the color and dryness as a guide and be careful not to overcook.

When everything is ready, toss the black lentils with the oil, and nutritional yeast. Season the lentils and grits to taste. Spoon half of the grits onto the plate in a circle, thinner in the middle than at the sides. Sprinkle with the sumac, nutritional yeast, nori and dulse around the edges. Add half of the black lentils a couple of tablespoons at a time, layering half the baby greens in between tablespoons of lentils. Add a sprinkle of coconut to the top. Add half the sliced tomato around the sides. Repeat for the second portion and serve.

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