Butternut Squash & Apple Salad with Tahini Dressing

By Amie Valpone, thehealthyapple.com

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to start your New Year’s Resolutions to eat and live clean. What do I mean by that? 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 (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, which guides you through the kitchen detox process). Focus on one ingredient, whole, organic foods- you can base your entire day around these foods by selecting proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates at the food store and tossing them together to make your meals and snacks, like the recipe below. Think of healthy proteins as organic chicken, beans and 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. Eating clean is a lot easier than you think- start your New Year off on the right foot by tossing those processed foods that leave you feeling heavy, bloated and tired (which is a sure sign of inflammation) and instead reach for whole, organic foods. 

Here’s an easy recipe you can make this week for dinner and serve leftovers for lunch. Tahini is a great way to get protein in your dressing; it looks just like peanut butter but it’s made from pureed sesame seeds, which are high in calcium and protein. It’s a win-win.

    Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp. 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 small cucumber, diced
  • 3 tbsp. raw walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large scallion, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 tbsp. tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • 1 tsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest

    Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Remove and discard the seeds. Drizzle with the coconut oil, sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender.

3. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes. Peel the squash, discard the skin and cut the flesh into ½-1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl. Add the chopped Swiss chard, kale, cabbage, apple, cucumber, walnuts, cilantro and scallion. 

4. 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 mixtures. Garnish with the hemp seeds and orange zest. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and serve warm.

 

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