Want a life full of health and happiness? This Chipotle Squash Salad with Jicama, Goat Cheese, and Avocado will help you get there!

Can you promise me we won’t grow old together?


That we’ll stop just on the verge.  The fine line between running/happy/whirling/swirling life. And delirium.

Before we forget who we are.

Before we go from making the most delicious Easter bread in the world to thinking that fish sticks dunked in orange juice are, not only good, but the best.

Before we get to the point where we’re eating fish sticks.  Period.


Pinky swear me with a cherry on top.


My grandfather passed away this weekend at the age of 96.  He was a wonderful, amazing man.

He read the Daily News every day.

He was recruited to play major league baseball, but didn’t because baseball was about the love of the game and not about multi-million dollar contracts back then, and his father didn’t think it was a good career move.  He worked in the family bakery instead.

He was married to my grandmother for over 60 years.  Had three children, two sons and a daughter.  Survived, somehow, the death of his daughter, exactly nine months before I was supposed to be born (I was a month premature).

He loved holding babies.  And eating Chinese food.

He would go out in the dead of winter to buy my grandmother a nice piece of cake, if she asked him.  Which she did.  Frequently.

He was stern, stoic and loving.  All at the same time.

And watching him lose his personality and his memory and his sense of self these past few years….now that was hard.

So that’s what I’m saying. Let’s let the years go by and let’s live life to the fullest. But let’s stop while it’s still fun.  While we can still remember.  While we’re still us.


And you know what’s going to help us extend that era of fun for as long as possible?  Eating crazy healthy delicious food.  All.The.Time.

When Sarah of 20something cupcakes asked me if I wanted to cook through the Food Matters Cookbook with her and a group of other fab-o-lous bloggers…I said of course, YES!  For those who don’t know, the Food Matters Cookbook was written by Mark Bittman and is all about eating more plants and less meat/processed foods in order to benefit both our bodies and our environments.  Bittman has a “vegan until dinner: food philpsophy that has helped him to lose weight and improve his health in general.  I approve.

I’ve made quite a few things from this cookbook already and have loved all of them.  These recipes, some of which do include meat, are a great way to incorporate less meat heavy meals into your diet without making any drastic changes!  Rather, it’s all about small steps and good food.  I can get down with that.

For more information, and if you want to join in (both bloggers AND non-bloggers are welcome!), check out the blog for The Food Matters Project, as we are calling it.

The first recipe we cooked was the chipotle-glazed squash skewers.  Though these were meant to be served as an appetizer, I couldn’t help but de-skewer them and turn them into a salad!  Spicy sweet from honey chipotle glaze, with cooling refreshing bites of jicama, goat cheese, and avocado in-between, this salad was exactly what I craved at lunch almost every day last week.  And I loved knowing that I was infusing health into my body with every bite.

Chipotle Squash Salad with Jicama, Goat Cheese, and Avocado
Want a life full of health and happiness? This Chipotle Squash Salad with Jicama, Goat Cheese, and Avocado will help you get there!
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1½ pounds butternut or other winter squash (you can also use sweet potatoes), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus some greasing for the pan
  • 1 or 2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped, with 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 jicama, peeled and chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • baby spinach
  1. Combine the ¼ cup oil, 1 chipotle chile, the adobo sauce, garlic, honey, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. (A mortar and pestle is ideal here.) Taste and add another chile if you like.
  2. Brush the glaze evenly over the squash skewers and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Toss squash together with jicama. Season to taste with lime juice and salt.
  4. Divide spinach among four bowls. Top with jicama/squash mix, goat cheese, and avocado.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

I am submitting this to Souper Sunday hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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94 Responses to Chipotle Squash Salad with Jicama, Goat Cheese, and Avocado

  1. Amy says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. This is a nice post.

  2. Luigi says:

    So sorry to hear about your Grandfather, 96 is a good age, but very sad all the same! And yes, living life is very important, especially when it involves lovely food!!

    Wow I have so many past posts to catch up on! Hope you are well. You and Mari both married yet??? (not to each other, I mean in general lol)

  3. london bakes says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather, I went through something similar with mine and I know how hard it is.

  4. Foodycat says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your grandfather sounds like an extraordinary man! This salad looks delicious, although I am not sure what jicama tastes like!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa- big squeeze!! I love what did with the squash, I bet the combo made a perfect, satisfying salad. Yum 😀

  6. Jeanette says:

    Joanne, so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather. No matter what age, it is always difficult. My father-in-law passed away last year at the age of 93 and it was tough watching him decline. But, the memories and stories of him remain with us. I love Mark Bittman’s book Food Matters and can’t wait to see what you all make. I might even join in on the fun if I can find the time.

  7. Simply Life says:

    your grandfather sounds like such an amazing man- I love hearing about him (and would love to hear more about your family!). so sorry for your loss.

  8. This is such a perfect salad….it includes so many of my favorite ingredients! So sorry to hear about your loss too – it’s always so hard.

  9. the addition of the chipotle to the squash makes for a killer dish. i have never done that before and i love the idea!

  10. My condolences to you and your family. He lived till 96, impressive. Seems baking runs in the genes:)

  11. Kim says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your Grandpa, Joanne. It’s so hard to see the people we love grow old and lose their quality of life, but it also sounds like you have lots of good memories to remember him with.

    Thanks for linking up with the recipe for the chipotle squash. I have cubed squash in my freezer and chipotle chiles in the fridge that need using up. Those skewers will be perfect for my lunch today!

  12. Beautifully written, Joanne. I feel the same way when I see my grandfather, it is so sad to see someone in that state. Hope your family is doing well today. Love you!

  13. Katie says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your grandpa. I enjoyed getting to know him a bit through this post, and hang on to those great memories.

  14. I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather, Joanne. Cherish those memories you have together and keep his recipes alive.

    I know you adore Bittman (and heck, I even liked his spiced red lentil pancakes thanks to you!), so this looks like a fun challenge. And this salad looks great! Yummers!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    File under stuff I love but never cook with: chipotle, and jicama! Yum

  16. erin says:

    I am going to have to try these in salad form because the addition of avocado sounds amazing!

    Sorry to hear about your loss- no matter what age, it’s always hard.

  17. vianney says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandfather. Sending abrazos. Great event and even better idea to add to a salad!

  18. MM says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather, Joanne. I know you will cherish the memories that you’ve shared here.

    This salad looks so fresh and clean.

  19. Nicole, RD says:

    Joanne, I’m so sorry for your loss…he sounds like one incredible man. Hugs!

  20. 1) your words are so lovely about such a sad, sad thing. hugs, sweetheart.

    2) this recipe looks amazing. do you have a suggestion of a cheese to use beside goat?

    xo alison

  21. Lora says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss. He sounded like such a likable guy, especially that part about getting your grandmother a nice piece of cake in all weather. Love. This post was a beautiful way of remembering him.

    I love everything in that salad. The chipotle glazed squash especially.

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I’m sure he will be happy to see you living your life to fullest with all these healthy bites. 😉

  23. Camilla says:

    Sorry for your loss, Joanne. I had three of my four grandparents until last year when my mom’s dad and my dad’s mom died within a month of each other. Both were in their mid-90s and had lived incredibly full, amazing lives. I was just grateful that both of my kids were able to know and spend time with them. What a gift. Also, I love, love, love that you made the skewers into a salad. The combination of the squash, jicama, and goat cheese sounds delectable.

  24. Sarah Caron says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Joanne! My thoughts are with you … Also, your salad looks incredible.

  25. I’m sorry for your loss, but wow 96! Imagine all the things in life he saw, amazing.

    Your salad looks wonderful! Great idea for a quick meal!!

  26. Danielle says:

    Im so sorry to hear about your grandfather – it seems like you have great memories.

  27. Cara says:

    Joanne, I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. It sounds like he was a wonderful man which is not surprising at all because I imagine you come from some very fantastic genes.

    And I totally agree with you, let’s take the best care of ourselves that we possibly can!

  28. brocstar says:

    He sounds like a wonderful man. 60 years of marriage is amazing! Sorry to hear about the loss in your family. Best wishes to you all!

  29. In so sorry for your loss, Joanne. He sounds like a gem. What fond memories you have!

    I’ve been on a jicama kick, so this is going on the list!

  30. Karen says:

    Lovely tribute to your grandfather. My sympathies.

  31. Jenna says:

    I’m sorry about your grandpa, but also happy to hear he had a full life.

  32. Barbara says:

    What a lovely post about your grandfather, Joanne. Please accept my condolences.

  33. So sorry for your loss. Your grandfather sounds like he lived a full and happy life. On a happier note, your salad looks hearty, flavorful and just what I need post-Superbowl!

  34. Nicole says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. The way you speak about him here is a wonderful tribute to his life.

  35. Amy says:

    Oh honey…I did not see that one coming. I am so so sorry. I was terribly close with both my grandfathers and miss them terribly. *sob*

  36. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. He sounds like a wonderful guy, you wrote such a lovely tribute. I love the baby steps approach to getting healthy. That I can definitely do, especially with the Chipotle squash salad. Looks fantastic!

  37. Oh Joanne, I’m really sorry for your loss. He sure sounds like a one-of-a-kind man. I hope your family is doing OK.

    All my love,
    Camila Faria

  38. So very sorry to hear about your family’s loss, Joanne. You write beautifully about your grandfather.

    This meal looks just glorious – I eat a lot less meat than I used to so it’s fun finding new recipes which reflect that. After opening up three brown avocados yesterday, I’m super envious of your beautiful green one!

  39. Juliana says:

    Joanne, sorry to hear about your grandfather…he sure sounds like a great man.
    The salad sounds and looks delicious I especially like the chipotle squash with all the different textures. Beautiful salad.
    Hope your grandfather memories give you some comfort in this sad time.

  40. I really enjoyed reading about your Grandfather. Love how his spirit lives on, now in the form of this post, as well as many other outlets I’m sure.

    I also really love what you did with this recipe! So glad to have you as part of the group.

  41. This is a cookbook I’ve been meaning to get my hands on. I have heard so many great things about it. If it generated this gorgeous recipe it is worth every penny.

  42. Rona says:

    I am sorry for the loss of your grandfather, Joanne. Thank you for sharing your memories, he sounds like he was a remarkable man.

  43. Geni says:

    I’m so sorry about your grandfather. I just lost my uncle this weekend. You grandfather sounds like a well loved man and it’s terrible when someone loses what makes them “themselves”. Your salad looks stunning. I love the sound of Bittman’s book and may jump in.

  44. I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather, Joanne. Sounds like he was such a wonderful man who lived a great life. It’s always nice to have so many positive memories of someone we love! You and your family are in my thoughts.

  45. Laura says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. It sounds like he lived a very full, long life. Your healthy recipes inspire so many people as do your heartfelt words.

  46. Kristen says:

    Joanne, I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather…more sorry that he was really gone a while ago. I know. My grandfather suffered the same way. Now my mother-in-law is going through it, too.

  47. Joanne,

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather, but from the way that you described him it sounds like he will always be around in the memories of family and friends. This squash dish sounds seriously delicious. What I love about it is the mixture of colors, tastes, and textures.

  48. Monet says:

    I am sorry about your grandfather. My thoughts are with you and your family. This looks delicious. You sold me at goat cheese and avocado! And I saw you in Rachel Ray’s magazine yesterday…so cool! Thank you for sharing…and thank you for all the support. It means more to me than you know. Hugs and love from Austin.

  49. Donna says:

    Oh, Joanne, Joanne. Healthy will always be FUN as long as you are alive. And blogging. Your gramps sounds like a wonderful man – how many grandmas are lucky enough to have someone who will run cake errands for them?

  50. Deborah says:

    Being completely honest, growing old scares me to death. Literally scares me more than dying. I’m sorry about your grandfather, but he sounds like he was a wonderful man and left a wonderful legacy.

    I’m loving this salad. I’ve seen the squash, but I really love what you’ve done with it!

  51. Beautiful post Joanne. My sympathies to you and your family.

    This salad sounds WONderful.

  52. MS2 says:

    So sorry for your loss 🙁

    Lovely post, though.

  53. Claudia says:

    Food matters. Family (however you want to define it) matters. Living matters. Your grandfather left you precious gifts. But you know that.

  54. elly says:

    LOVE this salad so much. I actually just made a jicama-goat cheese slaw the other day, and I’m excited to add some ingredients to it to make it even better. So sorry for your loss. Your grandfather seemed like a great person.

  55. Dearest Joanne, I’m so very, very sorry to hear of your grandfather’s death. Mine died several months ago and I miss his presence. I love your description of your grandpa. 🙂 I’m so glad you got to know HIM before Alzheimer’s took him away. XO

  56. Candace says:

    Joanne, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man. Thank you for your beautifully written tribute to him. It blessed my heart. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. *hugs*

  57. Beth says:

    Thank you for sharing the story of your grandfather He sounds like a wonderful man. Aging can be awfully hard, though, can’t it

  58. I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandfather, Joanne. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Wow, what an amazing age he achieved. With food like this, I’m sure you will pass him up. My SIL’s grandfather just passed away today too 🙁

  59. A wonderful tribute to your grandfather, Joanne… My condolences to you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  60. Dawn says:

    Will check out the blog. But I agree with you. Small steps.

  61. I’m so sorry about your grandfather. I lost my mom just before Christmas. Losing someone near the holidays is very rough.

    That’s a good looking avocado. I miss goat cheese.

  62. Wow 96. What a wonderful life your grandfather had. Definitely a celebration of life. Great tribute!

  63. Im so sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds like a wonderful man. What a beautiful post xo

  64. Katerina says:

    Joanne I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather! It is always painful to lose someone close to us. But it seems to me that he lived his life with the goods and bads, he had a solid marriage and a partner that accompanied him throughout his life and he lived to see his children growing up and his grandchildren! That’s a blessing! The salad looks delicious and definitely a healthy! Eating right surely gives us a good chance to extend our life expectancy!

  65. That Girl says:

    I know I’ve already expressed my sympathy for what you’re going through right now, but I’ll say it again – I’m sorry for your loss. And it sounds like a definite loss. My grandfather died when I was 5, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, so my relationship with him wasn’t as developed as your relationship with your grandfather. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you.

  66. Big Dude says:

    We don’t use a lot of winter squash in part due to not having creative ways to use it, so the chipotle glaze sounds like a nice option as does the entire salad.

  67. sally says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. It is especially difficult to watch grandparents decline in their later years. Your salad looks fantastic though. I’ll have to check out Food Matters.

  68. Allison says:

    Sounds like an amazing family man with an amazing life with an amazing granddaughter. I lost my grandma to Alzheimer’s and it was very hard. Thought are with you.

  69. Shannon says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandfather joanne. i know all too well about losing every sense of self (my grandmother has been doing so for the past couple of years). here’s to remembering the good times, and eating lots of food like this!!

  70. Joanne, you memories of your grandfather are beautiful and a wonderful tribute to him. He was lucky to have you for his granddaughter.

  71. Pam says:

    Joanne, I am so very sorry for your loss – he sounded like an amazing guy. This salad looks colorful, healthy, AND DELICIOUS!

  72. Rhonda says:

    Sorry about your loss, you’re post is a lovely tribute to your grandfather, whom you obviously adored. The salad lured me from Foodgawker to here, glad I visited.

  73. Sorry for your loss. <3 Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man. 🙂 I love how you turned the skewers into a salad.

  74. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, I would love a big bowl of this salad!! I just looks so fresh and delicious. Blessings my dear, Catherine xo

  75. Reeni says:

    I’m so sorry about your Grandpa! This was a sweet tribute to him. Sending you giant HUGS! Your salad looks amazing – I love the wide array of ingredients that I probably wouldn’t of thought to put together in one bowl. Unique.

  76. I am so sorry for your loss! So sad to lose a grandparent at any age. He sounds like an amazing man. And, I think you are amazing as well.
    I love this salad recipe – looks delicious! Your cooking is fantastic!
    love, anna

  77. Dominica says:

    Love your take on the recipe!! Looks great 😉

  78. grace says:

    avocado makes me swoon, in a good way. in a ryan gosling way. 🙂

  79. Kalyn says:

    What a lovely tribute to your grandfather, and it sounds like he had a wonderful life. And OH MY, I love the sound of this recipe!

  80. Christine says:

    Lovely photo, looks good enough to eat right off the screen!
    Terribly sorry to hear about your grandfather. You were fortunate to have known him! Wow, 96 years, to think of all he’d seen just overwhelms me. Hope you’re finding peace in the happy memories.

  81. Fabulous dish! Thanks for sharing, and so glad to hear about your wonderful memories of your grandfather – that’s what makes life good! hugs!

  82. Mo 'Betta says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. 96 is pretty impressive! It is very hard to see someone you love, who you’ve known your whole life, suddenly not know who you are or even their own children. I experienced that with my grandfather, who passed away this summer, and it gave me a whole new insight on families who deal with Alzheimer’s and such.

    P.S. I just bought fish sticks after banning them for months and months. I’m desperate to get my kid to eat something other than chicken nuggets, cereal, and yogurt! *sigh*

  83. Johanna GGG says:

    sorry to hear about your grandfather – sorry that he spent his last years losing his sense of who he was and that he is now gone because a little is better than nothing! I want to be like my grandmother who lived independently until she was 93, then she had a stroke, told everyone she was too tired to get better, said her goodbyes and died two weeks later! If this salad will help I can’t think of a more delicious way to achieve this aim!

  84. teresa says:

    oh joanne, totally wiping tears right now. i’m so sorry for your loss, what an amazing man. you two were lucky to have each other in your lives. hugs to you and your family.

  85. Sorry to hear about your grandfather, he sounds like a good man who had a good long life. Very inspiring.
    And what a salad! Great use of the squash.

  86. Muneeba says:

    Your grandfather sounds like a good good man. Cheers on your philosophy for life! I’m all for putting good things inside us, as long as they taste good going down … and this is going on my list for next week’s menu!

  87. Chris says:

    Sorry to hear your grandfather’s passing, Joanne. He was obviously a very meaningful person in your life, your description of him reminded me of the “Moonlight Graham” character in the Field of Dreams movie.

    Very slick trick with turning the kabobs into a salad, the glaze sounds fantastic.

  88. Jim Purdy says:

    The salad looks awesome.

  89. Trish says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your grandfather. You have good memories to hold onto.

    I feel like I should have commented on this recipe already…. maybe not. But this looks fabulous. I love the flavours here… and I’m going to look for the Food Matters Cookbook. Sounds great and I’m a big fan of Bittman.

  90. I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather but it sounds like he had a very long and rich life. I think that your salad makes excellent use of the squash and makes it even more tempting. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

  91. Kevin says:

    Now this is a nice and hearty and tasty salad!

  92. sandra says:

    I am sorry to hear about your grandfather. I follow your blog but only found this post since it is wild card week over at The Food Matters Project and I think I might make this dish… what I originally wanted to say was, What’s wrong with fish stick? But I get your point…

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