Latin-Inspired Cauliflower “Rice” and Beans

By: Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Cinco de Mayo may be over but that’s no reason you can’t enjoy a Latin themed dinner almost any night.  With warmer weather (finally!) here, light, fresh, vibrant meals are on top of my list for family dinners. Cauliflower offers a lighter option for traditional dishes with rice and you can even use it in Pizza, mashed “potatoes,” spicy “wings,” poppers, soup, roasted or grilled, the possibilities are endless!  As a member of the important white color family in the micronutrient-rich rainbow, cauliflower is a great choice for immune supportive, cancer preventive and natural liver detoxification promoting nutrients.  Read more about the benefits of eating the rainbow here.

Beans and rice are a staple of a balanced vegetarian diet. Brown rice can be a healthy whole grain choice, rounding out the amino acid, protein building blocks with beans.  But we don’t necessarily need to eat this traditional pair in the same meal.  A well-rounded, varied diet with many plant-based foods can give your body what it needs.  Read more about how plant-based eaters can get the proper balance of nutrients for optimal health and wellness.   Beyond fiber and protein, black beans also provide us with important antioxidants, like anthocyanin, the same phytonutrient responsible for the purplish/blueish hue found in blueberries, purple cabbage and grapes.

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  • ½ head cauliflower
  • 2 cups (400 g) black beans (cooked from dried or BPA free canned)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ jalapeno
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Harissa, Sriracha or favorite hot sauce


  1. If cooking beans, soak overnight, then drain, rinse and cook 4-6 hours in slow cooker or 2 hours on stove. I like to add chopped garlic, onion and jalapeno as well as spices and sea salt to the water when cooking.  If using canned beans, drain and rinse.
  2. Cut head of cauliflower in half. Remove stem and roughly chop florets.
  3. Peel and chop garlic.
  4. Steam for about 8 minutes with chopped garlic, until a bit softer but still hard.
  5. Drain cauliflower then pulse briefly in food processor or blender, so it resembles shape of rice.
  6. Add to bowl and mix in beans, onion, tomato, jalapeno, spices, hot sauce.
  7. Garnish with chopped chives and diced avocado.



  • Black beans – kidney, pinto, white or any other bean
  • Cauliflower – brown rice, quinoa
  • Jalapeno – any hot pepper  (Serrano, habanero, etc…)
  • Red onion – yellow or sweet onion

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

  • Nutrition per serving:
  • Calories220
  • Fat8g
  • Saturated Fat1g
  • Cholesterol0mg
  • Sodium500mg
  • Carbohydrates29g
  • Fiber11g
  • Sugars4g
  • Protein 9g

Yields and nutritional information are estimated and will vary depending on produce size and equipment used.

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Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and an Integrative Nutritionist. She consults for various companies, focusing on health, wellness and innovative strategies to help increase individual’s fruit and vegetable intake. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist; she holds a BS degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA, with more than 20 years of experience. Stacy created and now serves as project manager and lead writer for nutrition services content on the Dana Farber website and the affiliated, nationally recognized nutrition app. Stacy is regularly featured on TV, radio, print and social media on behalf of Dana Farber and other organizations. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC. Stacy is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Health Coaching at William James College, currently teaching a graduate course in Health Coaching. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2,” and serves on the Reboot with Joe Medical Advisory Board. Stacy lives in Wellesley with her husband, two sons and three dogs. She enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Stacy is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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