A few years ago, a good friend of ours moved back to her college town – her second home. The very first time we had the opportunity to visit in her element, she introduced us to one of her all time favorite places to be where everyone knows her name. That place is Yesterday’s.
The first time I visited, I did still eat meat, but I was in the “cutting back phase” of my journey and only eating meat or eggs about two meals a week. I heard stories about Yesterday’s for years throughout our friendship before actually enjoying the restaurant so my mouth was watering before I even walked in the door. I ordered a classic southern staple, Shrimp & Grits, which used to be one of my all time favorite meals, but my husband ordered a unique variation of the classic – Buffalo Chicken & Grits. He loved it so much that he still orders it every time we have the opportunity to visit! I have changed up my orders a little bit now. During our last visit, I tried their Veggie Mushroom Burger which was delicious as always, but you have to ask for no mushrooms since they are sauteed in butter. It’s worth noting too that even though it is a southern comfort food restaurant, they have made an effort to accommodate vegetarians/vegans as well as those that follow a gluten free diet. Their menu is clearly labeled which items are vegetarian and the staff is well versed in what items have hidden non-vegan items like butter, milk, and eggs.
Fast forward a few years and I see food a little differently now. When I dine out for a meal, I think “Can I make that vegan?” when reading through the non-vegan portions of the menu. My husband and I will toss around ideas while waiting on our order. This is where some of my inspiration comes when planning my blog posts as well. When I was planning out my meals for this week, I was craving this dish and knew instantly that I could easily make this vegan. Check out my easy and quick version below!
Vegan Buffalo Chicken & Grits
1 pack of Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
1 cup of Grits
4 cups of water
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vegan Butter to taste (I used Earth Balance)
Optional – Vegan Cheese will add a creaminess to the grits. I recommend Follow Your Heart Parmesan. For this recipe, I only seasoned them with salt, pepper and vegan butter.
1 cup of your favorite hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
1 tablespoon of Vegan Butter (I used Earth Balance)
- Bake the Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders per the instructions on the package. I baked mine a few minutes longer than the package instructions. This really paid off because the chicken stayed crispy after it was tossed in the buffalo sauce.
- While they are baking, you can get started with the grits and buffalo sauce. I used stone ground yellow grits in this recipe, but you could use polenta or even instant grits. I used 1 cup of grits and 4 cups of water which makes about 6 servings. Adjust your ratio based on how many servings you need. I’ll be having the leftovers for lunch and grits are never wasted in my house. Again, depending on what type of grits you are having, this will affect your cooking times. After they are done, I like to add some vegan butter for a more creamy consistency and salt & pepper to taste. For the buffalo sauce, melt the tablespoon of vegan butter in a saucepan with a cup of your favorite hot sauce (Only Frank’s Red Hot will do in our house!). Simmer to make sure the butter is well combined and transfer to a bowl to toss the chicken.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, simply toss the chicken in the buffalo sauce and assemble your plate. To kick it up a notch, you could drizzle a little bit of vegan Ranch dressing on top to cool down the heat. Enjoy!