Cook grits according to package directions, or use this grits recipe (omitting all the optional ingredients and butter). Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Saute vegetables and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until lightly browned and dry. Remove from heat and add to grits along with remaining ingredients.
Combine the mixture until there are no lumps—you might need to get dirty and use your hands.
With damp hands, form patties about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, turning once halfway through baking time. Alternately, you can place the grits mixture in a muffin tin. Cakes should be golden brown and firm.