Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is a low-carb grain-free paleo-friendly substitute for rice or couscous - it's a great way to add more vegetables into your diet
Have you tried the cauliflower rice trend? You know it’s a big hit when the grocery stores start selling it ready-made as riced cauliflower. You can pretty much find it in all grocery stores now. But I like making it on my own because it’s super easy to whip up, costs less and is more fresh this way. In this post I’ll show you how I like to make my cauliflower rice and then share a quick and easy way to cook cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
What is cauliflower rice
To start, what actually is cauliflower rice? It’s basically cauliflower pulsed in a food processor until it looks like rice or couscous. Does it taste like rice? Not really. But pulsing it forms light and fluffy granules like rice. So we can pretend! Plus it has a tender bite like rice. There’s definitely a taste of cauliflower to them. But to me, the texture is so satisfying and it looks like a grain, so it’s a great way to get more vegetables into my diet.
Cauliflower rice nutrition
We eat a lot of rice in my family because it’s a base for a lot of stews and a side dish for many Lebanese dishes. But having rice often can leave me feeling overly full. So I love the idea of substituting a vegetable for a starch. Plus check out these other health benefits of cauliflower:
- It is significantly lower in carbs than grains and legumes. A cup of cauliflower has 5 grams of carbs compared to 45 grams of carbs in a cup of rice – that’s 9 times the amount!
- One cup of cauliflower has only 25 calories.
- It has a high amount of fiber – 4 grams in one cup. That’s going to really fill you up.
- It can help you lose weight. Because it’s a good source of fiber, cauliflower slows digestion and helps you feel full, which also means you’ll likely be eating less calories throughout the day.
- It’s vegan, grain-free, paleo-friendly and keto-friendly
How to make cauliflower rice
Time to make the cauliflower rice. And then turn it into the amazingly delicious cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
To start, you want to wash and dry the cauliflower really well. Then remove it’s core, cut it into florets and pulse it in the food processor. You only need a to pulse for 30-60 seconds before the mixture starts looking like couscous. That’s pretty much it…you’ve got cauliflower rice!
But you’re making cilantro lime cauliflower rice, so let’s move on to step 2. To give it some flavor, you want to saute onions and garlic in a skillet. And then add the cauliflower rice to the mixture. I season it simply with just salt and pepper. But you can also add some cumin, paprika, coriander or cayenne.
Throw it all in a bowl, toss in the cilantro and lime, and it’s ready to be served with your favorite foods!
What to serve with cauliflower rice
Even though we’re cooking the cauliflower rice here to make cilantro lime cauliflower rice, you can totally serve it raw. Keep in mind that it will have a slight crunch to it. But it’s a great addition to salad recipes like my tabbouleh or butternut squash pomegranate salad. You can also use it in rice bowl recipes like my Vegan Buddha Bowl or my Chicken Burrito Bowl.
The second way to serve cauliflower rice is cooked. You can season it and cook it with some olive oil on the stovetop to make it more tender like in this recipe. When cooked, it makes a great side with dishes like curry, Middle Eastern stews or stir-fry.
I served it here with some stir-fry shrimp and steamed spinach – such a healthy simple meal! And you can tell, I did not skimp out on my serving(s) of cauliflower rice.
Tips for making cauliflower rice:
- You can use a box grater if you don’t have a food processor. You want to look for a box grater with medium-sized holes, which is normally used to grating cheese. This will take more time than using the food processor, but it’s still very effective.
- Do not over process the cauliflower in the food processor or it will get mushy. The goal is for it to look like short grain rice or couscous.
- Use a cheese cloth to squeeze out excess moisture. This isn’t really necessary. But, I would recommend it if you feel there is excess moisture in the cauliflower after it’s been riced. You can use a cheese cloth or paper towel. Use your hands to squeeze out the extra moisture to ensure that rice doesn’t come out soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does cauliflower rice taste like?
Don’t think that cauliflower rice is bland – in fact it has more flavor than white rice! It does have a milkd taste, but it is slightly nutty with a very slight hint of bitterness. Cauliflower soaks up flavors, so this cilantro and lime recipe brightens it up and leaves it with a slight zing.
How long does cauliflower rice last?
You can store cooked cauliflower rice in an airtight container inthe fridge, and it will last for 3 to 5 days, so it’s a great idea to make a big batch! You can also freeze it, just let it cool and pop it in freezer bags or boxes.
Can you eat raw cauliflower rice?
You of course can eat cauliflower raw, but by cooking it, it makes it easier to digest and it also helps get all of the flavors into the finished dish.
Is cauliflower a superfood?
Cauliflower is absolutely considered a superfood because it is so nutrient dense. It’s rich in fiber, vitamin B and vitamin C. It’s also packed with antioxidants, so it’s a great healthy swap for rice!
So, whether you’re trying to go low-carb or keto for the new year, trying to sneak in extra vegetables into your diet or just looking to try something new and healthy, give this cilantro lime cauliflower rice a try!
More low carb cauliflower recipes:
- Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Cauliflower Casserole
- Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Cauliflower Waffles
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- 1/2 head cauliflower rinsed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 small onion diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Remove the core and let the cauliflower dry completely.
- Roughly chop the cauliflower into florets, and place half the cauliflower in a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is small and resembles couscous. Set aside and store the other half of cauliflower for a later time.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the cauliflower softens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add lime juice and fresh cilantro and toss gently to combine. Serve warm