Buckwheat-stuffed eggplant and rutabaga sauce

Many plants that we find commonly in our diet come from the botanical family Solanaceae. Tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes are all found in this family. In addition, we also find a vegetable here that will be the focus of today’s meal: the eggplant.

Unlike these other plants in the Solanaceae which originated in the Americas, eggplant is said to have originated in India, where they are still grown today. Some claim though, that they originated in Africa. The first records that we have of these plants are agricultural documents from China dating back to the 6th century. The range of Arabic and North African names for this plant combined with its absence in ancient Greek and Roman texts suggests that it was spread into the Mediterranean region in the middle ages through the middle east and Africa. 

The plant’s stem is often prickly and it blooms with white to purple flowers. Due to its similarity to potatoes, the fruit was once thought to be poisonous in Europe. The toxic substance, solanine, is indeed present in the leaves and flowers of the eggplant, so poisoning could occur if a large quantity of these parts of the plant were consumed.

The taste of raw eggplant is bitter, but this is lost in cooking, developing a rich and full taste. In some recipes, it is recommended that you first cut your eggplant and let them sit in salt, and then squeeze them to remove moisture. This may also help remove some bitterness as well, but if you know us at Hungry Pumpkin, you know we are also hesitant to lose nutrients in this manner. Even the bitterness of eggplant can have its charm and find its place in cooking! It also helps that eggplants absorb fat and sauce during cooking, so they are used to thicken various dishes. They can be baked, steamed, fried, roasted, stewed… the list is limited only by your imagination. T

his time, we chose to stuff them and roast them in the oven. 


Recipe, preparation, price

 

Quantity

(g or ml)

Price for 4 person (EUR)

Main dish

Eggplant

780

1,24

Buckwheat

200

0,96

Olive oil

20

0,12

Carrots

100

0,10

Salt

5

0,00

Side dish

Rutebaga

600

1,13

Onion

180

0,21

Olive oil

30

0,18

Peanut butter

20

0,17

Almond flour

15

0,50

Salt

5

0,00

Salad

Spinach

200

2,19

Lettuce

200

0,55

Pumpkin seed oil

15

0,18

Vinegar

5

0,02

Salt

5

0,00

Together

7,55

 

We washed our eggplants, cut them in half, and dug out the insides with a spoon, leaving behind a layer of the white tissue a couple of centimeters thick next to the skin. Since we wanted these shells to be soft and not need too much baking with the filling, we put them into the oven empty for 10 minutes at 200 degrees to precook them. Meanwhile, we cut up the inner parts of the eggplants and cooked them up on the stove in oil. To this, we added buckwheat, water, and spices and cooked for 10 minutes. When the buckwheat mixture was almost cooked, we put it in the precooked shells made of the eggplant skins and baked the whole thing together for 15 minutes in the oven. We also added some sprigs of immortelle to our well-ventilated oven, which refreshed our dish with its scent. In the end, we drizzled the entire dish with a bit of olive oil.

We also prepared a rutabaga sauce, which went well with the eggplant. We cooked up some onions in olive oil, adding sliced rutabaga and a bit of salt. We allowed this to cook a bit more before adding in water. Once the rutabaga had softened, we added in a spoon of peanut butter and

a bit of almond flour to thicken the sauce and give it a nice, creamy texture. In addition to the main course, we also prepared a salad, this time of fresh spinach and lettuce, which we seasoned with salt, pumpkin oil, and a bit of vinegar.

The price for today’s lunch came out to 7.55€ for 4 people, which is 1.9€ per person. The most expensive ingredient was spinach. We could have saved some money on this by buying a larger pack of spinach and then having some to use later in smoothies or other recipes. The rutabaga and eggplants also were among the most expensive ingredients. Instead of eggplants, large zucchinis could be used, which may be a bit cheaper (and is something many people are more likely to have in their home gardens). 


Nutritional value

With lunch consumed quantity

% From daily needs

Energy

504,58

kcal

25,20

Proteins

15,16

g

27,10

Total fats

22,85

g

51,90

Carbohydrates

69,99

g

 

Starch

31,88

g

 

Sugar

15,07

g

 

Fibers

20,48

g

81,90

Calcium (Ca)

178,10

mg

17,80

Iron (Fe)

4,56

mg

45,60

Magnesium (Mg)

238,03

mg

59,50

Phosphorus (P)

370,19

mg

52,90

Potassium (K)

1719,33

mg

86,00

Sodium (Na)

1590,03

mg

289,10

Zinc (Zn)

2,32

mg

23,20

Copper (Cu)

0,84

mg

93,40

Manganese (Mn)

2,32

mg

100,70

Selenium (Se)

7,45

µg

14,90

Vitamin A

633,20

µg

63,30

Vitamin E

7,92

mg

52,80

Vitamin D

0,00

µg

0,00

Vitamin C

120,75

mg

120,70

Thiamin (B1)

0,39

mg

29,80

Riboflavin (B2)

0,45

mg

29,80

Niacin (B3)

6,10

mg

42,10

Pantothenic acid (B5)

1,71

mg

28,50

Vitamin B6

0,82

mg

54,80

Folic acid (B9)

223,45

µg

55,90

Vitamin B12

0,00

µg

0,00

Vitamin K

322,61

µg

460,90

 

Today’s lunch gave us 25% of our daily caloric needs, along with 27.1% of our protein requirements, 81.9% for fiber, and 51.9% for fats. The meal was also rich in both vitamins and minerals, containing as much as 45.6% of our daily requirements for iron, 59.9% for magnesium, 86% for potassium, with us only falling a bit short for zinc (23.2%), calcium (17.8%), and selenium 14.9%). Of our vitamins, the main one we ingested was vitamin C (120%), mainly from the rutabaga, spinach, and eggplant. Our vitamin A intake, though less, was still impressive at 63.3% of our daily requirements, mainly from the carrots, spinach, eggplant, and lettuce. We got 52.8% of our daily need for vitamin E, mostly from pumpkin seed and olive oil, and spinach. We also consumed lots of vitamins B1 and B2 (29.8%), B3 (42.5%), B5 (28.5%), B6 (54.8%), and B9, otherwise known as folic acid (55.9%). We got no vitamin D or B12, which is usual for unfortified vegan foods and the reason why many vegans take a daily multivitamin.

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

Have a great weekend!

The Hungry Pumpkin Team

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