Healthy Fish and Sweet Potato Grits

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Can there be such a thing as healthy fish and grits or is this an oxymoron?

Healthy Fish and Sweet Potato Grits
Healthy Fish & Sweet Potato Grits by Angela Roberts

Healthy is a loose term to be sure.   In Southern circles grits aren’t grits if they don’t have a big hunk of butter and cheese.  Healthy to some people means to cut out all the fat, going from 60 to 0 and maybe even cutting out the salt.

In Spinach Tiger circles healthy is good old fashioned food, fresh ingredients, and nutrition sensibility. It doesn’t mean low calorie; it means lower calorie, which in today’s world of overeating, equates to the right amount of calories to sustain a reasonable weight, kicking out the extremes of feast and famine mentality.

It also means not using artificial ingredients and chemicals which abound in many “diet” foods.

My inspiration for this dish comes from the Southern Oyster & Steak Restaurant  I posted about here.  When I love a dish, I try to figure it out, and  make it more suitable for home cooking and everyday eating.

Restaurants tend to put a lot more fat into food than we would at home. Where they use a stick of butter, I’ll use a tablespoon, opting for the trimmer, lighter fare that I can control, but I wouldn’t dream of using margarine or butter substitutes or trying to make food that has no fat.

No fat, no flavor, and deprivation leads to overeating.

It starts with these sweet potato grits.

Pan Fried Healthy Fish with Sweet Potato Grits by Angela Roberts

This is the lighter, scaled down version of Southern comfort food, the kind of dish that you can work out hard for an hour and come home to, and feel like you are eating real food that satisfies and nourishes.

I used red snapper as my fish of choice, but you could use whatever you want. Halibut was in the original inspired dish, but tilapia or even flounder would work as well.

The key is to slim down the grits, add in the sweet potatoes  which are a filling, yet good complex carbohydrate and top with a buttery fish that wasn’t cooked in butter, but flavored with high impact.

I didn’t use any tasso or sausage in this version, but I’m sure there will come a day when I will make a dinner party version, pumped up with  the traditional fat trinity, pork, butter and cream. In the meantime, enjoy a balanced, lighter, taste of the South.

You might also like these Fish Dishes

Red Snapper with Pistacho Pesto

Sword Fish Agridolce

Salmon with Shoe String Sweet Potatoes

Sole Meuniere

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Healthy Fish and Sweet Potato Grits

A slimmed down version of a Southern Classic, made with red snapper and sweet potato grits.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 1 1/3 pound red snapper (or any milk white fish) boned with skin on, cut into 4 serving pieces.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon cajun spice such as Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

Red Cabbage Slaw



  • Heat heavy bottom frying pan with olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Rub fish on both sides with cajun spices
  • Heat pan to medium heat. Place fish in hot pan.
  • Cook for 2-4 minutes skin side down, until skin is crispy and fish easily moves. Turn over, cook for 2-4 more minutes.

Red Cabbage Slaw

  • In another pan, saute onion and cabbage until wilted about 6 minutes.
  • Add in salt and pepper to cabbage.
  • Arrange fish on top of grits garnished with red cabbage.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo

Serve the snapper over these sweet potato grits.


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  1. 5 stars
    I have known “health nuts” who take all the joy out of eating. I want to eat healthy, and at the same time, enjoy food, truly one of the great pleasures of life. Mrs. ST has taught me that the two are not mutually exclusive. I love the way we eat and and I am healthier than I have ever been because of it. We all have to eat to live, so it should be something enjoyable. It isn’t much harder to make delicious and healthy food than it is to make junk, and well worth the effort. So, I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to ST for making every day a feast in every way. I’m living proof that her tag line is true!

  2. Oh my Angela, that second photo is so dreamy!
    And I really enjoyed what you wrote about cooking with moderation, but still indulging in butter. If we all ate the way you do, our country would be full of good health.

5 from 1 vote

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