Every year when the Seattle rain starts to get to me, I strategically plan a vacation to Puerto Vallarta. Visiting the Mexican tourist destination has become a bit of a tradition for my pack of friends – and many others.
It’s an affordable place to visit and, for me, it’s also home to my absolute favorite cuisine. There are so many memories made around sizzling plates of fresh-off-the-grill fajitas and plenty of blended cocktails. The flavors of Mexico, no matter when I have them, instantly transport me back to the beaches of Puerto Vallarta.
I recently booked accommodations for my next trip to the Jalisco city on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. I can’t wait for the sandy beaches, the frothy frozen drinks and the sizzle of those “this plate is hot” dishes. Plus, the street-side taco carts. It’s all so delicious.
While the cuisine is packed with beyond exceptional flavors, the added bulk of calories can be overwhelming to my waistline. I especially love a good bowl of Spanish-style rice, but it doesn’t always love me back.
I updated my recipe for Spanish Cauliflower Rice to bring out the bold tomato flavors (hint: tomato paste). Pairing this side dish with a platter of Fajita Shrimp and Veggies, a bowl of homemade guacamole and whatever else your heart desires can be done with ease. It’s a great way to feed a family or a group of friends for any any-night-of-the-week dinner party without much fuss.
Tip: I batch make my own Fajita Seasoning Mix – you can Google about a million recipes for this, all featuring pantry staples you likely have on hand – and use that to add the right amount of spice and flavor of this traditional side. Of course, you can easily buy a packet of fajita seasoning at the store, as well.
- 4 cups cauliflower rice
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Fajita Spice Mix
- ½ lime, juiced
- Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Add olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once heated, add diced onion and cook for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium and add in riced cauliflower. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in diced tomatoes and fajita seasoning.
Stir and cook down until juice from tomatoes has evaporated and soaked into the rice. Create a well in the center of the dish and add in tomato paste.
Stir to combine and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in juice from ½ lime and cilantro, as desired. Serve.