Cauliflower “Spanish Style” Rice is a perfect compliment to many of our low-carb and Keto recipes and it is delicious! We eat a lot of Mexican and Spanish dishes in the Southwest. We are constantly making more of these normally carb-filled dishes into Low Carb and Keto recipes. Spanish rice is one of those conversion recipes. It is flavorful, with a little heat, and so low carb. It is also very easy to prepare and is a great leftover.
Our “Taco Tuesdays” and “Tostada Thursdays” are now even more special since we added our Cauliflower Spanish Rice. The rice is a perfect side dish with our Shrimp in Garlic Sauce (Gambas al Ajillo) or our Shrimp in Poblano Cream Sauce (Culichi Salsa). Virtually any Mexican, Spanish, or Southwestern recipe will be even more tasty when paired with Cauliflower “Spanish Style” Rice. We have a few suggestions below the recipe. A bowl of Southwestern Shrimp Bisque and a Low-Carb Margarita would be perfect!
Cauliflower “Spanish Style” Rice
Cauliflower is our substitute for rice. It eliminates the carb problem and is delicious. The texture is similar, and with the proper seasonings, any rice dish can be duplicated. The nice part is that in today’s world you can find it pre-processed, so there is no need for all of the chopping and blending. You can also simply cut off the edible portions of a cauliflower head and pulse in a food processor to produce a rice-like texture. Some bloggers call for blanching the cauliflower – not necessary! In fact, it will absorb too much water and leave you with a soupy rice dish.
A traditional Spanish rice will be seasoned with saffron. It adds flavor and coloring. But, it is an expensive spice. Mexican rice (Coliflor Arroz Rojo) substitutes tomato products for the saffron. Technically, our Spanish rice is more of a Mexican rice. We use tomato paste for flavor and color. We do use Spanish smoked paprika and cumin for flavor, as well as finely chopped jalapeño. Of course, our recipe includes chopped garlic!
The variable to our recipe is the amount of heat you desire. You can add more jalapeño or more cumin. If you are pairing the rice with a Spanish dish you may wish to add a bit more smoked paprika. We do like to season well with salt, it seems cauliflower is one vegetable that really needs salt.
Our Cauliflower “Spanish Style” Rice will cook quickly. Just 3 minutes should be enough time to soften the chopped onions and jalapeño. Adding the chopped garlic for 1 minute at the end of this step will be sufficient to blend the flavors. It will also only take 3 minutes to soften the cauliflower. You can taste it at the end of 3 minutes and determine if it is starting to soften.
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The cumin, smoked paprika, tomato paste, and salt and pepper go in next. It should only take about 2 minutes for the color and spices to blend. Again, taste your cauliflower rice for tenderness. You should not need any liquid. In fact, we strongly urge straining the cauliflower through cheese cloth to reduce moisture. This is extremely important after thawing when using pre-processed frozen cauliflower.
Serve the rice as a side dish with a bit of chopped cilantro on top for presentation. The finished dish is a versatile, delicious, side dish for any Mexican or Spanish recipe that has only 5g of carbs (4g net). Our rice only takes 10 minutes to make! We make this cauliflower rice all the time to serve with Tinga Chicken. That recipe is coming up soon. You will love our Cauliflower “Spanish Style” Rice for convenience and taste!
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeño, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic for the last minute and stir often.
- Add the cauliflower and sauté for 3 minutes until just slightly tender to taste.
- Add cumin, smoke paprika, salt, and pepper. Create a small well in the middle of your pan and drop in the tomato paste. Let it set for a few seconds until the thick paste begins to thin in the heat. Stir to coat the rice and cook for 2 minutes until heated through.
- Add some chopped cilantro and serve.