I must confess that I went off track a little bit over the holidays and had myself a Burrito Bowl from Chipotle’s Mexican Grill. Holy moly that is so good!! So good, in fact, that I needed to find a way to make sure I can have something like that from this point on. Grated cauliflower is a very popular (and INGENIOUS) rice substitution. It was the clear option for mimicking that delicious seasoned rice base in those burrito bowls.
Here’s what you need:
- 1/2 of a large head of cauliflower or a full one if it’s on the small side
- 1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- zest of one large lime
- juice from half a lime
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- S&P, to taste
Grate the cauliflower or use a food processor to pulse into the right texture. Heads up–if you use the food processor, work in batches. If the processor is overloaded, the cauliflower won’t chop up evenly.
Heat a large pan to medium-high and add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add the onions and garlic. Cook until just translucent, then add the riced cauliflower. This is one time when overcrowding a pan and creating steam works to your advantage. For this recipe, we don’t want browned cauliflower–just gently cooked through. Give it a couple minutes… and by a couple, I mean about 5-7. Then add in the lime zest and fresh cilantro. You may also want to add a bit of salt and pepper too; season to your preference. Mix together in the pan (enjoy the smell!) and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze the fresh lime juice over the rice and serve.
Hopefully you are making this to accompany Crock Pot Carnitas! Layer a scoop (or two) of this cauliflower rice, a hefty serving of carnitas, shredded lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro and avocados for an amazing and completely Paleo version of Chipotle’s yummy Burrito Bowl!
And by the way, cilantro and lime isn’t just for meals with a Mexican flare — try it with Thai food! Cilantro is also called “Chinese parsley” and is very common in Asian food. Cilantro and lime together are classic Thai flavors. Enjoy!
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A few tools make ricing cauliflower go quickly and a food processor is at the top of the list. Good ol’ fashioned chef’s knife always works, as does a basic cheese grater. However, for speed and uniformity, I favor the processor. Here are some options to take a look at, plus an example of a microplane for zesting if you’re not familiar with that tool: