This low carb Mexican rice recipe will win over vegetable phobics and kids alike. It’s one of the best things I have made– maybe ever. And that’s a big statement.
Mexican rice is always something I push off to the side of my plate when I’m out at a Mexican restaurant. Not because it’s not delicious- but because it’s greasy, heavy, and a ton of calories I just don’t want in my body. And I’d prefer to eat the chips. Yum, chips and salsa.
I love the versatility of cauliflower. I’ve learned it can transform into just about anything, thanks to a ton of bloggers’ creativity! I first came across a recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust a few years ago, and was instantly hooked. I even made it wrong for the first two years (I didn’t wring the water out after steaming the cauli, so my crusts were always too wet and fell apart), and still loved them. I started using this cauliflower “rice”, that I had learned about when making the pizza crust, to make ginger fried rice. I’ve been making mashed “potatoes” out of cauliflower for years. That sprung out of the low carb/South Beach diet craze. And now, cauliflower Mexi rice. Maybe the best use of cauliflower yet. Maybe I’ll work on a cauliflower ice cream recipe (okay, maybe not. Maybe it can’t be made into everything.)
This will have to be added to my “Cauliflower is Magical” Pinterest board. So many ideas there, I’ll never get to them all.
Alex plays along with a lot of my vegetarian and vegetable heavy recipes, even though he prefers meat and real carbs. After eating this meal, I asked him if he could tell it wasn’t rice. He said, “it wasn’t? Oh, what’s that you use– quinoa?” Nope! Although a quinoa Mexi rice does sound like a good idea. Another day! He loved it as much as I did.
- We used it for burrito bowls (recipe will be posted soon!).
- I had the leftovers with scrambled eggs, salsa, and avocado.
- Alex really enjoyed a Mexi “rice” and bean burrito for lunch.
Ricing cauliflower is very easy. Maybe even easier than preparing cauliflower the traditional way. Simply break up the head of cauliflower into smaller pieces (I do this with my hand- just rip it apart!), then put half a head of cauliflower at a time into a food processor. Process for 10 or 12 seconds, and like magic, your cauliflower has become rice. Except way better than rice, because it’s a more nutritionally dense food.
I calculated the nutrition facts of this recipe out of curiosity. I found a lot of conflicting information on how many calories are in the Mexi rice at a Mexican restaurant, so I’m comparing it to just plain white rice. Keep in mind that the calorie and fat counts of the plain white rice will jump up quite a bit when cooked in oil like it typically is.
- 1 large head of cauliflower (riced)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
- ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt (more or less- adjust to your tastes!)
- 1½ teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon soya sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 limes
- cilantro (garnish, optional)
- Break apart cauliflower, and "rice" half of it at a time in a food processor. Alternately, you could finely chop it with a knife, but that would take a long time.
- Add olive oil to a large wok or frying pan, and saute the onions and garlic until they are soft over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, corn, and peas, and continue to saute until the carrots are soft.
- Add the spices and soy sauce to the vegetable mixture.
- Add the riced cauliflower to the wok with the vegetable mixture, and add the tomato paste, stirring to lightly cover all of the "rice" mixture.
- Continue to cook over medium-high heat for 8-12 minutes, until cauliflower is softened.
- Garnish with fresh squeezes of lime juice and cilantro.