Scallops and Rutabaga Grits

Posted on Posted in Blog, Recipes

This post is part two of my Nutrient Density post. Click the link to read all about nutrient density if you haven’t already! Also click here to read Part 3 and get the recipe to my Strawberry Balsamic Steak and Kale Salad!

Growing up in the Northeast, I never experienced real shrimp and grits. By the time I moved to North Carolina, I had to follow a diet that was primarily wheat, dairy and corn-free. I didn’t want to let this stop me make a dish that was similarly hearty, but also healthy. For this dish, I used rutabagas, collard greens, scallops, and bacon which can all be purchased from LoMo!

I love making mashes and “rice” out of different veggies, so I thought that I could make grits out of rutabagas. If you haven’t tried rutabagas, you’re in for a real treat! Rutabagas are an extremely versatile root vegetable that are low in carbohydrates, and are a good source of vitamin C, zinc, and fiber. Rutabagas are cruciferous vegetables, which have been shown to help reduce risk of cancer.

I could have used shrimp in this dish, but wanted to switch things up and use scallops. LoMo Market gets Beautiful scallops from Locals Seafood, and I try to use them anytime I can! These little scallops are a great way to get protein, especially if you are a pescatarian. Three ounces of scallops are under 100 calories and provide about 20 grams of protein! They are also excellent sources of Vitamin B12, and provide healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Last, the collard green. One of my favorite green veggies! Collards are excellent sources of Vitamin C, and also good sources of calcium. Bring all of these together (with a little butter and bacon for good measure), and you have yourself a healthy, filling dish! Since I’m primarily dairy-free, I opted to use coconut milk instead of cream in this dish, but feel free to use cream, and stir in some cheddar or your favorite cheese in the grits at the end of their cooking.

Scallops and Rutabaga “Grits”

*Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Pescatarian


For the Grits
¼ Cup Onion
2 Rutabagas, grated in a food processor or cheese grater
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1.5 Cups Chicken Broth
¾ Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk (or Cream)
Salt to taste (will depend upon salt content of broth)

For the Scallops
½ lb. Dry-Packed Scallops (like those from LoMo Market/Locals Seafood)
Black pepper, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp minced Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
2 Tbsp. Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

For the Collard Greens
4 Cups Collard Greens, sliced thin
2 Slices Bacon
2 Tbsp. Chicken Broth


  1. Dry scallops well with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with paprika, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper. Allow to rest in the fridge while You prepare the grits.
  2. Grate rutabaga in a food processor. Add 1 Tbsp. butter to a large pan at medium heat and saute ¼ cup onion and 2 cloves garlic until onions begin to soften.
  3. Add rutabaga and stir for 3-5 minutes, until rutabaga begins to soften. Add ½ cup chicken broth. Stir until broth begins to bubble and lower heat to medium-low. Add another ½ cup chicken broth and ¼ cup coconut milk and stir. Cover pan with lid and cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove lid, stir, and add another ½ cup chicken broth and ¼ cup coconut milk. Cover again and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, and try to smush the grated rutabaga with a fork or the back of a large spoon. You ideally want this to be like a slightly thinner, yet chunky mash. Add last ¼ cup coconut milk and stir well. If rutabaga needs more time, add water or chicken broth ¼ cup at a time, and cover for 5-10 minutes, then stir and check consistency again. Shut off heat, and keep covered with lid.
  5. In a cast iron pan, cook 2 slices of bacon on the stove top or in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove bacon once crispy, and set aside half of the bacon fat.
  6. Remove scallops from fridge, and heat cast iron pan at medium heat. Once hot, add scallops to pan. Sear 1-2 minutes on one side, then carefully flip with tongs, and sear for another 1-2 minutes on other side. Remove scallops from pan and set aside on a plate.
  7. Add 2 Tbsp. minced onion and smashed garlic to pan, and stir until onion begins to brown. Add 2 Tbsp. chicken broth and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Let liquid bubble and reduce until onion is soft and sauce begins to thicken. Add a dash of salt and stir, then carefully add scallops back and coat in sauce. Pour sauce and scallops back to plate.
  8. Add remaining half of bacon fat to pan. Once hot, add collard greens and saute with tongs. Add chicken broth and a dash of salt. Continue to saute until greens are soft and begin to crisp, almost like stir-frying. If needed, add more chicken broth, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Chop reserved bacon and add half fo the bacon to the collard greens.
  9. To assemble the dish, transfer greens to a plate, add “grits” on top, and place scallops on top of the grits. Spoon the sauce from the scallops on top, and garnish with remaining chopped bacon and parsley.