Quinoa with Squash, Apples, and Goat Cheese

I confess, I had never eaten quinoa until a couple of years. And I feel kind of bad every time I eat it since its new popularity in the US has made the price skyrocket in places that use it as a dietary staple like South America. However, I still love it. With more flavor and texture than rice, not to mention health benefits, you can make an entire meal by mixing it with a few vegetables. And of course, a dash (or a whole log) of goat cheese. Which clearly makes everything better. Quinoa with Squash, Apples, and Goat Cheese (serves 4-6)

1 large butternut or kabocha squash, halved and seeds removed

1 apple, cored and cut into 1/2 in pieces

1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups quinoa

3 cups chicken broth

2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and roast until very tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown at the edges, about 8 minutes. Stir in quinoa and broth, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. reduce heat to simmer, and cook, covered, until quinoa has absorbed broth, about 15 minutes.

When squash is done, cut off the skin and cube into one inch pieces. Toss with squash, then add apples and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper, then top with goat cheese.