photo courtesy bbcgoodfood.com

in efforts to cut back on our meat intake, i've been looking for some easy-to-make veggie meals. i came across this recipe for butternut squash chili with quinoa. being that i had just purchased 4 pounds of organic quinoa at costco a few days before, and had squash on hand from our csa box, i decided to give it a go.

i've never cooked with quinoa before. actually, i don't even think i've eaten much of it either. but this grain-like seed is certainly a healthy food, high in protein, fiber, and magnesium. it also contains all of the essential amino acids that work to build muscle in the body--nice because i am finally trying to work off the last of the pounds that hudson has so graciously bestowed upon me. (thank you, darling son).

anyway, the recipe worked out well. we substituted kidney beans for canellini beans because that was all we had. we used tomatoes from the freezer that i put away during the summer--they were nice and flavorful. we also upped the garlic from 2 cloves to 5 or 6. and we topped the finished dish with grated parmesan cheese. if you're making the recipe, i'd recommend you cut the squash into very small cubes--ours took much longer than 15 minutes to get tender, and in the end, a few of the larger bites did have some crunch to them.

it was the kind of meal that would have been fabulous with a pork chop, you know? but we're working hard at changing our habits around here. which means my 4 pound bag of quinoa is my new best friend!

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