Easy vegetarian dinner- Cannellini beans and Butternut Squash Salad

After a weekend of eating too much meat, I have been eager to have a low-key dinner full of veggies. As the weather has been getting colder, winter food seemed like a good idea as well, stewing something and making a winter salad.

I love gremolata, even in the winter, as it gives a fresh zing to any dish (as it did with these otherwise boring beans). The butternut squash salad, I’ve been craving for a while, and the roasted butternut squash and toasted walnuts added a real cold-weather feel to the dish. Both of these recipes are quite quick to make and are perfect for a quiet lunch/dinner in.

Cannelli Beans with Gremolata (serves 2)

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Ingredients: two cans of cannellini beans, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1 tsp of lemon zest, 1 TB of lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt

1. Cook the cannellini beans (the can I used said to cook them for 5 minutes, but it may depend on the can).

2. On the side, mix the garlic, lemon zest, and parsley (you can load the parsley in or just put a tablespoon it, it’s really to taste) together in a bowl.

3. Once the beans are cooked, mix them with the lemon juice and salt to season. Add them to the bowl with the garlic/parsley/zest and mix.

Butternut Squash, Feta and Toasted Walnut Salad (serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter)

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Ingredients: 2 butternut squashes or one large one (skin removed and cut into 1/1.5 inch cubes), 1/4 cup of walnuts, 1-2 ounces of feta, 5-6 cups of spinach leaves , 1 TB of walnut (or argan) oil, 1/2 TB of cider vinegar, salt and pepper

1. Roast the squash in the oven at 200 degrees C (400 F) for 30-40 minutes.

2. Mix the walnut oil and cider vinegar in a small bowl. 

3. In the meantime, cut the walnuts into small pieces and put into a frying pan on the stove – toast lightly, mixing the nuts every minute or two so that they don’t burn – for a total of 8 minutes.

4. Cut up the feta into cubes – add to a bowl of spinach. When the squash and walnuts are ready, add them to the bowl, along with the vinaigrette, and toss. Eat while still hot!

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