February 13, 2024

Host a Healthy Fiesta: Cilantro Lime Brown Rice with Steak Tacos

cilantro lime brown rice

We love taco Tuesday at my house. How about you? There are so many delicious spins on what meals you can make for taco Tuesday, but we want to share with you our healthy spin with our Cilantro Lime Brown Rice and steak soft tacos. 

The real star of the show here are the limes. Their fresh burst of flavor takes this meal to the next level. So first, we're going to dive into everything you want to know about limes. Then we'll wrap up at the end with our Cilantro Lime Brown Rice Recipe and I've included our favorite steak soft tacos recipe to pair with it. 

Lime Nutrition Tips

Have you ever heard a sailor referred to as a "Limey"?  Have you ever wondered where the nickname came from? Limes were used by sailors at sea to prevent a disease called scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C. Limes are full of vitamin C and provided just what the sailors needed.  

In addition to a large amount of Vitamin C limes are low in calories, fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free. They enhance the natural flavors in many types of foods and are a healthy alternative when seasoning foods.

Types of Limes

There are two types of limes you typically see in the grocery store, Persian and Key limes.

Persian limes are larger than Key limes and have a dark green rind.

Key limes are more round with a yellowish rind and a highly tart flavor.  

When selecting limes look for smooth, glossy limes.  They should be plump and heavy for their size and free of soft spots.  

Although you can store them at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, they may be best stored in the refrigerator.  When they are exposed to light and air their tart flavor rapidly diminishes.

How to Juice a Lime

When squeezing a lime you want to make sure you get all of the delicious juice without any going to waste. Here are a few different ways to juice a lime:

  • Use a citrus juicer. A simple hand juicer will do and may help you get more juice than using your hands alone.
  • Use the microwave. Heating limes for about 20 seconds in the microwave will help the juice flow more easily. This is especially helpful if your limes have been stored in the refrigerator. Let them cool for a minute before you juice as the juice may be a bit hot.
  • Roll it. Use the palm of your hand to roll limes across your counter top. Rolling them will help loosen the segments inside the lime releasing the juice.
  • Cut them lengthwise. You can get a better grip on a lime if you cut it lengthwise which will make it easier to squeeze.
  • Slice them. If you slice your limes first, they will be easier to squeeze and twist to get all the juice.
  • Use a fork. Cut limes in half then stick a fork in the center of the pulp. Squeeze each lime and wiggle the fork around to release the juice from the flesh.

Is Cilantro Lime Rice Healthy?

Cilantro lime rice can be a healthy option when prepared with the right ingredients and in moderation. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Nutrient Content: Cilantro lime rice typically contains rice, cilantro, lime juice, and sometimes a small amount of oil or butter for flavor. These ingredients offer various nutrients, including carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Cilantro is rich in antioxidants and has potential health benefits.
  2. Portion Control: The key to maintaining the healthiness of cilantro lime rice is portion control. Rice is calorie-dense, and consuming large portions can contribute to excessive calorie intake. Be mindful of your serving size.
  3. Choice of Rice: Opt for brown rice or other whole grains instead of white rice. Brown rice retains more nutrients and fiber, making it a healthier choice.
  4. Lime Juice: Lime juice adds a refreshing citrus flavor and provides vitamin C. It's a healthy addition, as long as you don't overdo it with sugar or other unhealthy additives.
  5. Cilantro: Cilantro is a nutrient-packed herb. It's a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can add flavor and nutrition to your rice dish.
  6. Seasonings: Watch the amount of added salt, as excessive sodium can be a concern for some people. Consider using herbs and spices to enhance the flavor instead of relying solely on salt.
  7. Cooking Methods: Cooking the rice using healthier methods, such as steaming or boiling, is preferable to frying or using excessive oil.
  8. Customization: You can customize cilantro lime rice by adding healthy ingredients like vegetables for additional fiber and nutrients.

What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice?

Here are some delicious ideas to serve with cilantro lime rice:

  1. Grilled Chicken or Steak: The zesty flavors of cilantro lime rice complement grilled chicken or steak beautifully. You can marinate the meat with similar flavors for a cohesive meal.
  2. Fish or Shrimp: Whether you're serving grilled, baked, or pan-seared fish or shrimp, cilantro lime rice provides a fresh and tangy contrast.
  3. Tacos: Cilantro lime rice is a fantastic addition to any taco filling. It can be served as a side or used as a filling for a burrito-style taco.
  4. Vegetarian Options: Cilantro lime rice pairs well with vegetarian options like black bean and vegetable burritos, grilled portobello mushrooms, or roasted vegetable bowls.
  5. Mexican and Tex-Mex Dishes: It's a natural fit with Mexican dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, or chimichangas. The flavors enhance the overall meal.
  6. Cuban or Caribbean Dishes: It can complement dishes like Cuban mojo-marinated pork or Caribbean jerk chicken.
  7. Salads: Use cilantro lime rice as a base for a refreshing salad. Add ingredients like grilled chicken, black beans, corn, and avocado to create a hearty salad.
  8. Tofu or Tempeh: For a vegan option, serve cilantro lime rice with marinated and grilled tofu or tempeh. The flavors work well together.
  9. Soups: Add a scoop of cilantro lime rice to a bowl of soup, such as tortilla soup or black bean soup, for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  10. Grilled Vegetables: For a lighter option, serve cilantro lime rice with a side of grilled or roasted vegetables. The rice can enhance the flavor of the veggies.
  11. Tofu or Chicken Skewers: Skewers marinated in complementary flavors like lime, cilantro, and garlic are a great match for cilantro lime rice.

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice Recipe


1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Juice of ½ lime
1 Tbsp. butter
1-2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
¼ tsp. ground cumin


Combine rice and broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Decrease to a simmer and add the lime juice, butter, cilantro, and cumin.

Stir, cover, and simmer for 45-60 minutes until the rice is tender.

cilantro lime brown rice recipe

Steak Soft Tacos Recipe


  • 1 pound steak, cut thin
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped fine
  • Optional: tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, black beans, rice


In a large mixing bowl, combine orange juice, garlic powder, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce. Place the steak in the bowl with the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.

Place the steak in the skillet and heat until cooked through.

While the steak is cooking, heat a medium skillet over low-medium heat and warm each flour tortilla. Once warmed, place tortillas in aluminum foil to keep them warm.

When you are ready to serve, place steak, onion, avocado, cilantro, and optional ingredients of your choice inside each tortilla. Squeeze a lime slice over top and serve.

Steak tacos recipe

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