We recently returned from vacation in San Diego. As usual, we ate at one of our favorite restaurants in La Jolla, “The Promiscuous Fork.” Joanie loves their “lollipop lamb chops” and their tempting sides. We have to admit that we sampled their delicious coconut rice with jalapeños . . . so many carbs, but so delicious! So, we decided to duplicate this tasty side in our kitchen with a low-carb version . . . cauliflower is the answer! Try our Coconut Cauliflower Rice with Jalapeño with any meat dish and you will be hooked. It turns otherwise bland cauliflower rice into a tempting treat!
We will have to call this one a “working recipe” since this is really our first attempt. Help us out, try it, and offer suggestions and comments on how to make this recipe even better. We do think it is delicious.
Ingredients for Coconut Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a staple in any low-carb lifestyle. It replaces all the carbs of rice grains and offers a similar consistency and color. You can use your food processor and pulse a fresh head of cauliflower after separating into smaller florets or just purchase the pre-riced cauliflower that is now readily available. Costco sells 2 pound bags that are easy to use and very nutritious. We use it for our cauliflower mash and also our cauliflower pork fried rice. We even use the pre-riced product for our cauliflower pizza crust.
The main flavor behind this tasty side is coconut. We have an abundance of coconut products in our pantry. It really is part of the new healthy food craze and we are “all in.” Our recipe uses a combination of coconut oil for sautéing the jalapeños and coconut milk for cooking the rice to a softened consistency. We even added coconut flakes to the mix and, of course, toasted coconut flakes make the perfect garnish.
Our Southwestern touch is the chopped jalapeños for a little kick and the cilantro and lime juice for added flavor. We also think you could substitute mango and pineapple for the Southwestern ingredients if you wanted more of an “island inspired dish.” That would add to the carbs, so we will stick with our jalapeño/cilantro/lime juice version. All three are essential to the taste. We removed the seeds from the jalapeños and it resulted in just a little heat. The lime juice was a nice touch – the zest added a nice citrus flavor.
Cooking Tips for Coconut Cauliflower Rice
We chopped our jalapeños fairly fine as we wanted to allow the heat to permeate throughout the dish. We also removed the seeds and membrane from the peppers – if you like more heat you can skip that step. Make sure you do not sauté the coconut flakes more than one minute since they may burn and lose their texture.
When the coconut milk begins to saturate the cauliflower rice the cauliflower will give off some moisture and your dish may start out looking “soupy.” The liquid will cook off and become more absorbed. When the rice becomes tender to your taste the consistency should be just like regular rice. If it become too dry, just add a bit more coconut milk. You will have to stir now and again to make sure it cooks evenly.
We used the zest of one lime and just squeezed the juice from half. We estimated that equaled 1 tablespoon, but you can add more if you prefer. The lime is really essential as it adds so much fresh flavor.
You will be amazed at how much this recipe actually resembles traditional rice. We think our recipe actually tastes better than our favorite La Jolla restaurant serves. We know it has a lot less carbs. It will be a perfect side dish for almost any dinner, especially meat dishes. Joanie made our Dry Rub and Slow Roasted Beef Roast tonight and the coconut rice was delicious! Let us know what you think?
- Sauté jalapeños over medium heat in coconut oil for 2 minutes. The coconut flakes are added next and cook for 1 minute.
- Add cauliflower rice, coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes until softened to your taste consistency. Use more coconut milk if needed.
- Finish with the lime zest and cilantro and stir well to combine. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve hot.