Cauliflower "Rice" with Leeks and Parmesan.

I'm 100% a grain girl. I love pasta almost as much as I love my husband, and rice comes in at a close second. For years, not a day went by that I didn't have one or the other. I'm talking serious dedication.

As I get older, I've realized the need for more variety in my diet. There were hundreds of delicious vegetables out there just waiting to be tried. At first, I thought I would have severe withdrawals from my daily bowl of pasta, but honestly I've enjoyed trying new things. If I had never branched out, I wouldn't have tried dishes like { mashed cauliflower } or { kale salad } (which I could honestly eat every day of my life!).

I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, but rather gaining an appreciation for our ability to choose what we eat, in a world where not as many people are that lucky. It's a daily goal to find new-to-me foods to try or to find new ways to enjoy old favorites. The latter is exactly how this recipe came about. I'd seen cauliflower "rice" recipes floating around on the internet and was skeptical at first. Could anything taste as good as my beloved rice?

Yep. It can. Does it taste exactly like rice? No, afterall, it is cauliflower. But, it's also a delicious alternative and a great way to introduce kids to a new vegetable in a familiar form.

My challenge this week is to find one vegetable you've never tried and give it a whirl. Chances are it's no more difficult to prepare than anything you've had before, and it'll make you feel great for branching out. After all, you don't usually find anything amazing in life if you don't set out on an adventure first.

Cauliflower "Rice" with Leeks and Parmesan

{ Serves 3-4 as a side }

1 head cauliflower

*1 leek, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 TBS coconut oil

salt + pepper

1 lemon

2 TBS Parmesan

Take the head of cauliflower and cut off the stalk. Cut the remaining cauliflower into large chunks. Process in a food processor at 2 second intervals until the cauliflower resembles large chunks of rice.

Add processed cauliflower to large bowl along with the sliced leek and minced garlic. Drizzle with coconut oil, a few pinches of sea salt and black pepper and toss well to combine.

Spread mixture on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes until mixture begins to brown, stirring mixture halfway through.

Remove from oven, add juice from 1 lemon and Parmesan and toss well. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve.

* Here's a { great tutorial } for how to clean and slice leeks.