Hey, What’s Cookin’?
As m.e.l.t.ers, we are all pretty well aware that cauliflower makes a good substitute for rice. As part of a meal, cauliflower rice is a great way to both increase vegetable intake and reduce carbohydrates. And as far as basic white rice goes, plain cauliflower does a pretty good job as a stand-in.
But what can you do when you miss flavored rice dishes, like Mexican Rice? Can cauliflower adequately substitute there, too? The answer is YES! If you’ve been missing a side of Mexican Rice to go with your Fajitas, here’s the way to have it!
Adapted from: a recipe
- 1 small head cauliflower (or 4 cups frozen cauliflower rice)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbs + 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika (must be SMOKED–no substitutes)
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, including juice
- 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 fresh jalapeños, sliced and seeds removed
- shredded chicken
- chopped avocado
- reduced-fat (not fat-free) plain Greek yogurt
- Cut the cauliflower into chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is reduced to small, rice-sized pieces.
- In a nonstick pan over medium heat, sautee the onion in 1 tbs olive oil for 3 minutes or until the onions soften. Add the garlic and sautee for 1 more minute.
- Push the onion & garlic to the sides of the pan. In the center, add 1 tsp olive oil. Add the the cumin, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper on top of the oil. Stir the seasonings for 30 seconds, then mix entire pan contents together.
- Add in the cauliflower rice, lime juice, and tomatoes, stir well, cover with a lid, and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cauliflower rice becomes tender but not mushy.
- Taste the mixture and add the salt, if needed. Stir in the cilantro and jalapenos. Serve.
Want to turn the ‘Mexican Rice’ side dish into a hearty lunch?
Add chopped chicken and sliced avocado, and top with salsa and a dollop of plain reduced-fat Greek yogurt!
Photograph via Pinterest