Swap this Mexican-Style Cauliflower Rice for traditional rice for a vegetable-packed Cinco de Mayo side dish that’s ready in under 15 minutes!
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market.
Cinco de Mayo is coming up. Though our friends in Mexico don’t celebrate it the same, here in Atlanta, it’s become a big day to enjoy all things Mexican – the food, drinks, and the parties!
Throngs of people head to the nearest Mexican restaurant and gather around a bowl of chips, queso, and pitchers of margaritas for the evening. What you eat on the one day is not a big deal. But if you’re celebrating all week long, there’s no need to sacrifice nutrition for flavor.
To help, I’m sharing a few tips to help you host a fit fiesta any night of the week. Even if it’s just a party of one or two, put on some music, pour some drinks, and make this Mexican cauliflower rice recipe or my Chipotle Shrimp Guacamole Bites from last week.
Slimming down the main menu can help you leave a little extra room for those drinks and chips.
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If you’re trying to eat more vegetables, this Mexican-Style Cauliflower Rice is a fun and flavorful way to start. Cauliflower rice has been trending for a couple years – as has cauliflower in general.
And it goes without saying, swapping vegetables for grains saves a few calories. In this Mexican cauliflower rice recipe, it’s the difference between 205 versus 75 calories per cup. And it’s surprisingly filling too!
You can even add black beans or pinto beans to the mix to make it a complete meal.
3 tips for healthy Cinco de Mayo
1- Swap in veggies. This cauliflower rice is an easy start! You can also use lettuce leaves to hold taco fillings. Try jicama for a crunchy slaw or taco topping. And don’t forget that salsa counts as a vegetable! Use it generously for incredible flavor.
2- Focus on flavor. Try smoked paprika, cumin, ground chipotle or ancho chile powder to add deep, rich flavor to meat and vegetable dishes. Fresh herbs and lime juice also brighten up dishes with a burst of fresh flavor.
Of course, a little salt helps enhance flavor but sprinkle it on yourself versus using premade spice mixes, sauces, and dressings which tend to be very high in sodium.
3 – Use fruit to sweeten things up. Muddle fresh berries or puree mangoes as the base for your mocktails and cocktails drinks. This method provides flavor, fiber, Vitamin C and a boost of other antioxidants that you just won’t get from a mix.
Mexican-Style Cauliflower Rice
- 1 small cauliflower (riced) (about 4-5 cups)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup sweet onion, diced small
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- ½ lime, juiced
- salt to taste
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- Fresh chopped cilantro (optional only if you think it tastes like soap)
- If using a head of cauliflower, cut or break the florets from the stalk. Pulse in a food processor until the pieces are about the size of a grain of rice. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Sauté about 3 minutes - until the peppers and onions begin to soften.
- Add the riced cauliflower and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is heated through and the tomato paste is incorporated.
- Add the lime juice and salt to taste.
- Remove from the heat. Plate and top with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro. Serve as a side to your favorite Mexican entrée or add pinto or black beans to make it a full meal.
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