Mexican Cauliflower Rice
October 24, 2020
Chilli, lime, tomato and coriander, this cauliflower rice has all your favourite Mexican flavours. The recipe makes a lot so it’s a great option for entertaining or meal prep, plus it’s low carb, keto-friendly and vegan!
Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to regular rice if you’re looking for low carb options or keto-friendly food. While I love a big bowl of rice or pasta I’m quite sensitive to carbs so a lot of the time I prefer to use substitutes for the carb-heavy ingredients. Cauliflower is a great example, it can be used for so many things! It’s a particularly helpful ingredient for people with a low carb lifestyle or those following a ketogenic diet.
It’s also nice to use substitutions sometimes to add a bit of variety and make healthier meals by using vegetables as the core part of the dish. Vegetarian dishes and vegan recipes can often be high in grains and carbohydrates which can be challenging if you’re sensitive to these foods. Using vegetables in place of those carbs every now and then can be good to take the pressure off your body’s digestive system and relieve some symptoms related to sensitivity.
The key to blitzing cauliflower into rice is to do it in stages and pulse for a short amount of time to avoid it becoming too fine. If the grains are blitzed too finely the cauliflower can tend to clump up when adding liquid ingredients during cooking, making it a bit of a soggy mess rather than a nice fluffy rice. Blitzing in batches (just a few florets each time) will ensure the cauliflower is chopped evenly, rather than having finely chopped grains at the bottom with larger chunks at the top which happens when you overload your food processor.
This Mexican cauliflower rice recipe takes longer to prep than it does to actually cook it, the cooking time is only about 10 minutes. The garlic is added on it’s own in the pan only for a short time, about 30 seconds, then the cauliflower is added. This is to bring out the flavour and aroma of the garlic. Make sure you’re constantly stirring for those 30 seconds to avoid it burning, as burnt garlic has a bitter taste.
Once the cauliflower and spices have cooked for a few minutes then the tomato paste is added. The wet ingredients are added later in the cooking process to avoid making the cauliflower rice soggy, which can happen if it cooks in the liquid for too long.
This cauliflower rice has a little bit of spice but not so much that I would call it ‘spicy’. You could definitely add more chilli powder or even some fresh chilli if you wanted to make it hotter. As someone who can’t handle too much spice this recipe has the perfect amount of heat to be enjoyable.
The recipe uses a whole cauliflower and makes a lot so it’s perfect for entertaining, particularly if you have keto guests or if you want a low carb dish. It’s also great for keto meal prep as well as vegetarian meals, or just another healthy dinner idea.
I hope you enjoy!
Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- 1 whole cauliflower roughly chopped into florets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 bunch coriander
Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil
Add frozen peas to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they all float to the top. Take off the heat, drain and set peas aside
In batches blitz the cauliflower in a food processor until it becomes finely chopped, resembling rice *See note
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly
Add cauliflower rice, cumin, paprika and chilli powder, stir and cook for 2 minutes
Stir in tomato paste and cook for a further 3 minutes
Remove from heat and stir in fresh lime juice and the cooked peas
Serve topped with coriander and additional lime wedges (optional)
*Note: when blitzing the cauliflower don't overcrowd the machine. Do a few florets at a time and pulse for a few seconds at a time. It won't take long to get the desired appearance, which is to resemble rice (the size of rice grains). If you over-blitz the cauliflower it will become too fine and can go a bit soggy during cooking.