Cauliflower “rice” and peas (a twist on a Jamaican classic)

Jamaican cauliflower rice and peas

Yep, you read right. Cauliflower rice with a Caribbean flare, Jamaican style. This is a break through in all things low carb. As I was preparing ideas for mother’s day dinner, my mom made a simple request. That request to have cauliflower “rice” and peas for her mother’s day dinner.

Rice and peas is a classic dish in Jamaica. You’ll find it in almost any restaurant across the island, as well as in the homes of locals. Traditionally, it’s prepared using red kidney bean (I made mine with pigeon peas known as gungo peas in Jamaica), coconut milk, water, scallion, thyme and other seasonings. The rice is last thing to be added. I never met a single Jamaican who didn’t eat rice and peas. It’s such a staple and important part of our heritage.

Cauliflower rice substitute

This is a classic that I was going to miss eating low carb. I knew I had to get inventive and portion everything just right. That’s the best part about the low carb life. It teaches you how to find interesting ideas for your favourite food. I’ve seen this with so many low carb food bloggers. They think of everything like mashed cauliflower from i breathe I’m hungry. Or this delicious Fat Head Pizza from Ditch the Carbs.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made cauliflower rice for dinner. In fact, the first time I made it, my dad took a bite and instantly fell in love. The following sunday (as per Jamaican tradition) I made cauliflower rice with red kidney beans.  I know some foreigners call it “coconut rice and beans”. It’s ok if you’re familiar with that name but it’s simple rice and peas for us.

The best part of making this was fulfilling my mom’s mother’s day wish. She loved it and that’s all that matters. To all my fellow Jamaican that are trying to eat healthy and live a better quality of life. Cauliflower “rice” and peas is a great substitute for a dish that’s so deeply rooted in our culture. Another great alternative would be quinoa. Quinoa is higher in carbs so if you’re eating certain amount of a day, be careful of your intake. I haven’t had the opportunity to try quinoa as yet but one day, I look forward to.

If you’re lover of low carb food and Jamaican food, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we did.  Please remember to tag me on social media if you make this Cauliflower “rice and peas recipe.

Cauliflower “rice” and peas (a twist on a Jamaican classic)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • ¼ cup Gungo peas
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 pieces of scallion
  • a sprig of thyme
  • 2 large garlic gloves
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 2 cups of cauliflower rice
  • 1 tbsp of sweetener I used splenda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of Maggi All purpose seasoning
  • 1 green scotch bonnet pepper


  1. Wash and soak the peas in 2 cups of water. It's best to have it soak overnight.
  2. Put a large pot over medium high heat. Pour in the peas that's been soaking in water. Add in the garlic and ginger. When the peas begins to float to the top, pour in the coconut milk. Cook for about 10- 15 minutes. If you have a pressure cooker , you can pressure it for 10 minutes once it begins to whistle.
  3. Once the peas is cooked, add in the thyme, scallion, salt, sweetener, seasonings and scotch bonnet pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Wash the cauliflower rice, drain and add it in. Reduce the heat to low and let the cauliflower rice cook. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Once the rice is cook and the water is dried out, turn off the stove. You can serve the rice and peas with whatever you wish. It's great with stews, roasted and grilled meat.

Recipe Notes

It's best to smash the scallion with a bottle. This helps it release it's flavour.
Just before you pour in the cauliflower rice, make sure very little water is left in the pot. If it has too much water, it will take longer to cook and the rice will become too soggy.
A pressure cooker is a great time saving kitchen tool to have when cooking beans. I use a stove top cooker but an electric one works fine. Kidney beans usually takes longer to cook. So if you choose to use red kidney beans, cook it in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes once it begins whistling

7 thoughts on “Cauliflower “rice” and peas (a twist on a Jamaican classic)

  1. Thank you for these recipes! I am Caribbean Latina so I LOVE my traditional foods! I am learning to be more health conscious taking on a paleo diet. So this totally works. I haven’t used cauliflower as a “rice” I’ve used quinoa. So I am excited.

    Question: for this recipe, should I get Raw cauliflower or should I purchase It from like Trader Joe’s or something?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi there! I’m so glad you love my recipes. Raw cauliflower definitely! Try getting it from your local farmer’s market. Thank you again. I keep getting emails of people asking me to consult.

  2. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

    1. Hi Marlin. As content creators of blogs, there’s not much we can do about it. Unless your blog is a registered business then maybe you can seek legal help. So think about registering your blog. Check your local laws and let me know how it goes.

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