Categories: Eats, Life Style

Mexican "Rice"

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!

Mexican “Rice”

Adapted from: a recipe
Serves: 4


  • 1 small head cauliflower (or 4 cups frozen cauliflower rice)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 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

Optional Toppings:

  • shredded chicken
  • chopped avocado
  • salsa
  • reduced-fat (not fat-free) plain Greek yogurt


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

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