There are few meals in life that I love more than a spicy, hearty, colorful fajita bowl. Bowls like this manage to walk the line between totally healthy (this is like 95% vegetables!) and still somehow totally stick-to-your-ribs satisfying. This is the meal I’d serve to someone who isn’t too sure about healthy eating—this meal can make even the most skeptical person change their tune.
A typical fajita or burrito bowl has a base of seasoned rice to act as a vehicle for all the glorious toppings. If you eat grains, rice (especially sprouted rice) would be a great option. But here, I use cauliflower rice, which has the fluffy, starchy texture of rice but with the added nutrition, fiber, and flavor of cauliflower. Cauliflower rice (or cauli-rice as some folks call it) is a great option for those of us who struggle to digest grains or otherwise choose not to eat grains.
Cauliflower rice has been a thing now for quite some time, and when I first made it, I have to be honest, I thought it was so not appetizing. What crazy person said this was anything like rice? It was mushy and soggy and tasted like CAULLIFLOWERRRRRR! And I typically love the taste of cauliflower, but I don’t want my rice to taste like it!
I was determined to keep working at mastering cauliflower rice though, and I’m happy to say that I can now cook a pan of cauliflower rice like a boss! Here are a few tips to making good cauliflower rice each time:
- Use frozen riced cauliflower if you can. Most major supermarkets now carry frozen riced cauliflower in their frozen veggies section. Not only is it easier than chopping up a head of cauliflower in your food processor and more affordable than fresh, but I also find that it results in a much fluffier, rice-like end result. I’ve been able to make good cauliflower rice from fresh, but it takes a little more effort—from frozen, I get perfect results every time.
- Steam, don’t boil or sauté. Whenever you go to cook your cauliflower rice, add just a touch (a couple of tablespoons per bag of frozen riced cauliflower) of water and steam your rice—don’t boil it (too mushy!) or sauté it (not fluffy!). By the time the cauliflower is cooked through, all the water should have evaporated and/or been absorbed. You want your end cauliflower to be tender, but not over-cooked.
- Flavor your rice. Sulfur-heavy cauliflower can be a bit overpowering when left to its own devices, so make sure you season your cauliflower rice liberally. Strong flavors like garlic do a great job of helping to mask some of the cauliflower-iness.
Once you’ve mastered your Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice, you are ready to rock these Steak Fajita Bowls. This is the ultimate prep-ahead meal, because the flavors actually get better the longer the steak marinates. I highly recommend whipping up the marinade in the morning and letting the steak soak it up all day long.
And then when it’s time to cook dinner, it’ll be ready in less than 20 minutes! Just sauté up your peppers, cook the steak, and assemble!
Not only does this meal work great when you prep the individual elements ahead, but it also works beautifully as a fully-prepared meal prep meal. Make a batch of these steak fajita bowls on the weekend, portion them out into glass containers (more about the containers I use in this post), and then store them in the fridge for healthy work or school lunches all week long.
Depending on the toppings you choose, these steak fajita bowls can be paleo-friendly and Whole30—making them the perfect option for your new year’s resolution to eat a little bit healthier.
This meal also doubles and freezes wonderfully! Just make everything as written, and freeze the elements separately—then when it’s time to serve, defrost and warm through, and assemble your steak fajita bowls just as you would if eating from fresh. Enjoy!