Don’t get me wrong; plump grains of perfectly steamed rice are a glorious thing, but more often than not, I’ll take a skillet full of its cauliflower cousin over the real deal. When done right, cauliflower rice is quite tasty in its own right; it’s much lighter and provides tons of fiber, making it an excellent accompaniment to everything from carnitas to garlic-ginger kale. The secret to success when cooking this quasi-grain is simple, and not much different than with traditional rice: Either pair the mild vegetable with a boldly flavored main or, as in this case, dress up the cauliflower rice itself.

This version, a Chipotle-esque take made with plenty of garlic, onions, lime, and cumin, is my current favorite way to enjoy the Paleo-friendly side. It, and many other easy, crazy good Paleo recipes like Cantonese crispy chicken thighs, roasted Catalan shrimp with romesco sauce, and garam masala vegetable soup, can be found in Nom Nom Paleo’s newish cookbook Ready or Not ($35). If you’re looking for doable Paleo (and in many cases, Whole30-compliant) recipes that are actually exciting (read: drawing on an international pantry), I’d highly recommend picking up a copy.


Adapted from Ready or Not: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong, copyright © 2017. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.

(Makes 6 servings)



  1. Add the oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the diced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, salt, and cumin, stir, and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant with garlic and spice. Add the riced cauliflower, stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Add the cilantro, lime zest, and juice. Season to taste with additional salt, if needed. Serve hot.


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