Butternut Squash & Apple Salad with Tahini Dressing

butternut squash

It’s a New Year, which means it’s time to start your New Year’s Resolutions to eat clean and live clean. What do I mean by that? Well, for starters it means tossing all the processed foods from your pantry and fridge and replacing them with whole foods.

I know that probably sounds overwhelming, but eating clean is a lot easier than you think. Start your New Year off on the right foot by ditching those processed foods that leave you feeling heavy, bloated and tired — a sure sign of inflammation — and reaching for whole, organic foods instead. (If you need some guidance, check out my best-selling cookbook Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.)

Concentrate on healthy proteins like organic chicken, beans, and other legumes; healthy fats such as avocado, walnuts, almonds, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and pumpkin seeds; and complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, squash, and gluten-free whole grains.

Here’s an easy recipe you can make this week for dinner (and eat for lunch the next day!). Tahini is a great way to get protein in your dressing. Tahini, which looks a lot like peanut butter, is made from puréed sesame seeds, which are high in calcium and protein. It’s a win-win.Butternut Squash & Apple Salad with Tahini Dressing

(Serves 4)

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 T. melted coconut oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups finely chopped Swiss chard
  • 2 cups finely chopped flat (dinosaur) kale
  • 1 cup chopped purple cabbage
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • 1 cup green or red grapes
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 T. chopped raw walnuts
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large scallion, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 T. tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • Hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender.

After the squash has cooled for 10 minutes, peel it and cut the flesh into ½-to-1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl, and add the Swiss chard, kale, cabbage, apple, green bell pepper, walnuts, parsley, and scallion.

In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice and tahini until it creates a creamy dressing consistency. Drizzle this dressing over the squash and kale mixture. Garnish with the hemp seeds and orange zest. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and serve warm.