Broccoli soup and dandelion penne

Oh, spring! Not only is this wonderful time of year when we finally pull ourselves out from winter and see the forests and nature coming alive again, but it is also the time of year when our lawns begin to fill up with an edible plant! Today, we are going to talk dandelions! 

Though these plants are a pesky weed, they are incredibly useful! They are well known for their leaves’ use in salads, though flowers and roots can also be used. The leaves are best harvested before flowering (March-April, depending on where you live), the flowers any time during the season when you can find them, and the roots between May and June or August and October (again, dependent on where you live). 

Though the leaves are often used as a salad green, they can also be used for a variety of dishes including soups, lasagnas, pastas, and many more! The flowers can also be used to make a syrup, and by roasting the root we can make a coffee substitute that is quite similar to chicory root products. 

Dandelion is also rich in calcium and vitamin A. In folk medicine, it has long been used for its diuretic action to cleanse the urinary system. The French were so intrigued by this that they named the plant “pissenlit,” which means “pee in the bed!” Another less common French name for it is “dent-de-lion” (lion’s tooth, based on the shape of the leaves), which then transformed into the common English name dandelion! 

With today’s lunch, we also had some other nice plants gracing our table; we had some lovely linden tea, which possesses a delicate and sophisticated taste. Similar to dandelion, linden increases the speed of excretion of water from the body. Unlike dandelion though, it does this by increasing perspiration rather than urination. 


Recipe, preparation, and price

 

Quantity

(g or ml)

Price for 4 person (EUR)

Soup

Broccoli

450

2,24

Tartary buckwheat

50

0,50

Salt

4

0,00

Olive oil

15

0,08

Main dish

Penne

180

0,72

Dendelion

66

0,00

Basil pesto

60

0,82

Sunflower seeds

57

0,51

Salat

Radicchio

300

0,60

Pumpkin seed oil

20

0,20

Salt

5

0,00

Apple cider vinegar

20

0,02

Together

5,69

 

To make our soup, we first cut our broccoli into large pieces and boiled it in salted water. After ten minutes of cooking, we added Tartary buckwheat and marjoram and cooked for a further 5 minutes. To enhance the taste, we added a little olive oil at the end, which also had the effect of bringing a wonderful color to the soup!

If you don’t have a lot of time or just don’t want to spend much of your day in the kitchen, today’s main dish is meant for you! All you need to do is cook the penne. We chose to use corn and rice flour pasta in order to keep the lunch gluten free, but you can use any type you wish. You could even use another type of pasta rather than penne if you prefer. We cooked them in boiling water, which took about 12 minutes and then drained the pasta and added in dandelion leaves that we had cut into ~2 cm pieces. We also added in sunflower seeds and basil pesto.

The price for our 4-person lunch came out to 5.5€, or about 1.3€ per person. The most expensive ingredient was the broccoli and then the pasta, with the cheapest being our nice free dandelions gathered from our lawn (make sure not to collect from public lawns that may be sprayed with pesticides or from patches near busy roads and polluted areas!). 


Nutritional value

With lunch consumed quantity

% From daily needs

Energy

500,46

kcal

25,00

Proteins

15,02

g

26,80

Total fats

24,74

g

56,20

Carbohydrates

62,33

g

 

Starch

41,84

g

 

Sugar

3,98

g

 

Fibers

12,75

g

51,00

Calcium (Ca)

143,48

mg

14,30

Iron (Fe)

3,54

mg

35,40

Magnesium (Mg)

148,75

mg

37,20

Phosphorus (P)

442,25

mg

63,20

Potassium (K)

989,05

mg

49,50

Sodium (Na)

942,30

mg

171,30

Zinc (Zn)

2,98

mg

29,80

Copper (Cu)

0,83

mg

92,00

Manganese (Mn)

1,30

mg

56,70

Selenium (Se)

19,53

µg

39,10

Vitamin A

163,10

µg

16,30

Vitamin E

10,52

mg

70,10

Vitamin D

0,00

µg

0,00

Vitamin C

115,03

mg

115,00

Thiamin (B1)

0,28

mg

21,20

Riboflavin (B2)

0,32

mg

21,00

Niacin (B3)

3,92

mg

27,00

Pantothenic acid (B5)

2,27

mg

37,80

Vitamin B6

0,56

mg

37,00

Folic acid (B9)

180,80

µg

45,20

Vitamin B12

0,00

µg

0,00

Vitamin K

499,00

µg

712,90

 

With today’s lunch, we consumed 25% of our daily caloric needs. Along with this, we managed to get 26% of our daily protein requirements, 56% for our fats, and 51% for our fibre, mainly coming from the dandelion, broccoli, and buckwheat. We got 35.4% of our requirement for iron, largely coming from broccoli, dandelions, and the sunflower seeds. We also managed 37.2% of our daily requirement for magnesium, mainly from our pasta, buckwheat, and broccoli. We managed 29% for zinc and 39% for selenium as well, both important for our immune systems. Our calcium intake was a bit low and would need to be complemented throughout the day. What is worth noting is that the calcium mainly came from the broccoli and then from the dandelion, but we consumed much less dandelion than broccoli, showing how rich in calcium this weed is! It also contains a lot of vitamin A, contributing almost half of the lunch’s content for this vitamin. We did not consume any vitamin D or B12, as usual for vegan foods that have not been fortified. 

If you have questions about today’s lunch (or ideas for future lunches) then feel free to write to us at hungry.pumpkin.blog@gmail.com and we will get back to you!

Have a great weekend!

-The Hungry Pumpkin Team

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