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Dirty Cauliflower Rice

The original idea of cauliflower rice was inspired four years ago by Elana Amsterdam, of Elana's Pantry. More recently, I was headed to a party and was asked to bring a side dish. The entree was a Mexican chicken dish and I thought this would pair well and give others who may be cutting out carbs a delicious option to the traditional Spanish rice we all know and love. Two people asked for the recipe that night and I have made it three times since then. It's a winner.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cauliflower rice
Servings 6
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet in Santa Fe


  • olive oil for cooking, as needed
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 pound pastured ground pork you could easily use grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 3 stalks celery or 1 baby bok choy cored and sliced
  • 1/4 pound mushroom caps sliced
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided, plus more for seasoning while cooking
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower cored and cut into small florets, about 3-5 cups (depending on the size of your cauliflower)


  1. In a large skillet, place over high heat and add olive oil. When hot, turn to medium-high heat and add the onion. Saute 2-3 minutes and then add the ground pork. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt to season. Break up the pork into small bites and cook until onions are softened and pork is no longer pink. Drain any excess oil, place pork-onion mixture in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Wipe out the skillet, add more olive oil and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, begin adding the remaining chopped onion, green onions and celery (do not add bok choy yet, if using). Toss to coat with the oil and allow to saute until softened, about 3-6 minutes. Then add the bok choy, if using, and the mushrooms and saute a few more minutes until wilted. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and stir well to incorporate. When the vegetables are done, place on a plate and set aside.

  3. Using a food processor, add 1/3 of the cauliflower florets and pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice. Then dump the "rice" into a big bowl and repeat until all of the cauliflower is riced. There may be a few chunks leftover, but they can be pulled out and pulsed again with the next batch.

  4. Now put some more olive oil in the skillet, place over medium-high heat and, when the oil is hot, add the rice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Toss well to coat and allow to saute until softened, about 8-15 minutes. Before the rice is cooked through, add the pork-onion mixture and sauteed vegetables and parsley and toss well to combine, allowing it to heat through and the flavors to meld a bit.

  6. When well combined and hot, serve immediately. Reserve any leftovers and serve for breakfast topped with a fried pastured egg.