January 09, 2017 04:08 PM

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of eleven books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

It can be hard to find healthy food when out and about. Even seemingly good-for-you foods can be loaded with calories. Today, I’m talking about the tofu (a.k.a. sofritas) bowls at Chipotle Mexican Grill. (Play around with the Nutrition Calculator on the chain’s website to see how those numbers rack up.)

Luckily, when you DIY at home, you can save cash and calories. Cauliflower rice is the all-star here. My recipe isn’t an exact dupe of the Chipotle bowl — it’s more of an “inspired by true events” adaptation — but I promise you’ll love it.

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

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So-Good Sofritas Cauliflower Rice Bowl 

Serves 1


2 tbsp. chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. chopped canned chipotle pepper (about 1 pepper, previously packed in adobo sauce) + 1 tsp. canned adobo sauce
1/4 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika


2 cups roughly chopped cauliflower
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. block-style extra-firm tofu
Dash each salt and black pepper
2 tbsp. shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese
Optional toppings: additional salt, salsa, light sour cream

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1. Place sauce ingredients in a small blender or food processor. Add 2 tbsp. water, and blend until smooth.

2. Pulse cauliflower in a blender until reduced to rice-sized pieces.

3. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, cilantro, lime juice. 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/8 tsp. chili powder, and 1/8 tsp. onion powder. Cook and stir until cauliflower has mostly softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover to keep warm.

4. Remove skillet from heat; clean, if needed. Re-spray, and return to medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and cook and stir until softened and slightly blackened, about 4 minutes. Add black beans and cook and stir until hot, about 1 minute. Transfer to the medium bowl, and re-cover to keep warm. 

5. Remove skillet from heat; clean, if needed. Re-spray, and bring to medium heat. Sprinkle tofu with salt, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/8 tsp. onion powder, and 1/8 tsp. chili powder. Cook and crumble until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

6. Add sauce to the skillet. Cook and stir until hot and well mixed, about 1 minute. 

7. Transfer to the medium bowl, and immediately top with cheese.

HG Alternative: Instead of blending 2 cups of roughly chopped cauliflower into rice-sized pieces, use 1 1/2 cups premade cauliflower rice or crumbles, like the kinds by Trader Joe’s and Green Giant. Both brands offer frozen options as well as refrigerated ones. 

Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes  

Nutritional information: 334 calories, 11g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 685mg sodium, 36.5g carbs, 11.5g fiber, 11g sugars, 25.5g protein 

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