Southwestern Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

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My 4 year old daughter helps me cook every time she catches me in the kitchen. She doesn't 
even wait for an invitation, just washes her hands, pushes out the folding step-stool, and hops up beside me, exclaiming, "Can I help, please, Mama?" How could you turn that down?

As a result, she can now tell me when something is simmering or boiling, she knows how much olive oil to add to a pan, and she is gaining a real appreciation for all things food-related. That's my girl! The other day, she said, "Food is much better when we cook it here." Amen, little lady. Amen.

This recipe is so amazing! 

Normally, I'm not really a huge squash fan, unless it is done just right. This, however, had me coming back for more. The flavour is amazing!

Here are my tweaks on the recipe found here on MyFitnessPal's blog:

Southwestern Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

1 medium (about 2 pounds) butternut squash, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp lime zest
2 MORE cloves garlic, minced
Handful of chopped cilantro (approx. 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 medium avocados, cubed
goat cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350F.

Toss cubed butternut squash in olive oil, salt, pepper and 2 cloves of garlic and spread into a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and soft.

Place quinoa in broth over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Let simmer until liquid is absorbed.

Mix the red wine vinegar with the lime juice, zest, 2 more cloves garlic, cilantro and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To make the salad, combine squash, quinoa and beans with dressing. Sprinkle with diced avocado and more cilantro as you like. Serve warm or cold - it's amazing either way!