Mexican Rice (Grain-Free, Paleo)

Mexican Rice (Grain-Free, Paleo) via

I’m excited the message about real, unprocessed foods is slowly reaching the mainstream. Last week, the New York Times announced that a “large and exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events.”.  This latest study only affirms this study from The British Medical Journal, this study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and dozens more. Saturated fats are not the enemy!

So what kinds of fats should we eat? Unprocessed fats from healthy sources help keep a body healthy and help heal from disease and inflammation. Saturated fats from organic, pastured animals are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have been a staple of my diet, especially while healing from Hashimoto’s disease.

Here are the fats and oils I use in my kitchen:

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  1. Organic Butter
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Organic, Pastured Lard
  4. Organic, Pastured Tallow
  5. Palm Oil (from sustainable sources)
  6. Ghee (so easy to make yourself!) {link to instructions}
  7. Olive oil (in strict moderation)

I only use olive oil in moderation because it contains quite a bit of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is an essential fat, but we tend to consume too much of it. It’s ideal to eat a diet with twice as much omega-3 as omega-6 to reduce inflammation and keep the body healthy.

Mexican Rice (Grain-Free, Paleo) via

When I cook Mexican food, I tend to reach for the coconut oil because the flavor blends well with cumin, garlic and other Mexican spices. I have sorely missed Mexican rice since I started eating a grain-free diet a few years ago. This “riced” cauliflower dish substitutes beautifully with bright, vibrant flavors and a bit of spice. Come back later in the week when I’ll share with you the perfect Slow-Cooker Chicken Fajitas to pair with this side dish. 

Mexican Rice (Grain-Free, Paleo)

Serving Size: Serves 4-6

Mexican Rice (Grain-Free, Paleo)


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (you can add more if you like a bit more heat)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock(I make this once a week and store it in mason jars in the refrigerator)
  • 1 head cauliflower, “riced”*
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat and swirl to coat. Add onion, then cook until the onion is just turning soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until tomatoes have softened and start to release their moisture. Add tomato paste, salt, cumin, garlic, chili powder and jalapeño to the pan, stirring until hot, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until incorporated and cauliflower just begins to turn soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve.

*To rice cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into bite-size pieces and place half of the pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 12-15 times until cauliflower is the size of rice. Repeat. As an alternative, you can grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or chop finely with a large chef's knife.

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    • I think the texture and flavor of the riced cauliflower improves a lot if you “dry fry” it – once it has been riced, quick saute it in some hot oil over the stove (will take a few batches for an entire head of cauliflower) until the “kernals” are slightly crisp. Just an idea! :)

      • Deliciously Organic

        I use that method for fried rice, but you’d have to change the oil in this recipe to do so, as you wouldn’t want to oxidize the coconut oil by deep frying. Maybe some lard would be a good option!

  1. Gillian

    I love Mexican food and really miss it now that I don’t eat grains. Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to serve it with your fajitas recipe this weekend!

  2. Carrie, the two recipes you posted today look amazing! Being from Texas I LOVE Mexican food! The Chicken Fajitas served on wheat free tortillas would be almost like Mama used to make. ;o)

  3. Renee P.

    I’ve only been doing riced cauliflower with Asian flavorings but I think it’s time to try it with our favorite Mexican flavors! Off to check out those chicken fajitas, too…

  4. Greg

    Made this tonight and it was really great. I added some protein but otherwise exactly as specified. I would add more spice if making it again but looking forward to diving into the archives on this site and making more great food. Well done!


  1. […] This recipe for crock pot chicken fajitas combines the ease of the slow cooker with vibrant, fresh flavors. The chicken marinates overnight then goes into the slow cooker with the vegetables in the morning. Marinating the meat the night before is an easy way to give slow cooker dishes loads of extra flavor. Don’t forget to serve this up with some Mexican “Rice”! […]