Gnocchi with zucchini, fennel, and a side of purple cabbage

Have you ever found yourself wondering about the botany behind some of the veggies on your plate? Some of them look so different, while others are quite similar. Though broccoli and cauliflower look somewhat similar, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, and kale all have unique appearances different from these plants. That being said, all of these vegetables are actually not only from the same plant family, but are the same species, Brassica oleracea! Though this seems crazy, it’s also true, with each of these vegetables being just a variety within this species. Though red cabbage may look very different from cauliflower, they are actually no more different from each other than different apple varieties are from each other! Each variety has been selectively bred by humans over time for different parts that we want to eat; broccoli produces the great flowering heads while cabbages were selected for their leaves. As a result, we have directed the evolution of this species into the many different varieties that we find on our grocery store shelves today.

Getting onto the topic of purple cabbage, it really is the same as regular cabbage except for its intense colour. This colouration is due to the presence of dyes called anthocyanins. Though the colour may be reminiscent of beets, these dyes are actually completely different! In fact, they are the compounds that give red wine its colour! Perhaps the most interesting thing about anthocyanins is that their colour is dependent on the acidity of their environment; as such, they are more red in acidic environments, purple in neutral environments, and a bluish colour in basic environments. This cool cabbage is often used in salads, as well as being steamed, boiled, roasted, and baked! In addition to some protein and fibre, it contains lots of vitamin C and potassium.

This time, we decided to prepare roasted red cabbage with apple, cinnamon, peanut butter; gnocchi with a zucchini and fennel sauce; and a bean salad.


Recipe, preparation, and meal price

 

Quantit (g or ml)

Price for 4 person (EUR)

Main dish

 

 

Gnocchi

450

1,12

Fennel

350

0,7

Olive oil

10

0,06

Salt

4

0

Zucchini

300

0,9

Side dish

Red cabbage

400

0,4

Peanut butter

30

0,28

Cinnamon

5

0,09

Olive oil

30

0,18

Apple

50

0,08

Salt

5

0

Salat

Onion

100

0,1

Beans

200

0,39

Pumpkin seed oil

10

0,12

Salt

4

0

Together

4,41

 

 

To begin, we prepared all of the vegetables. For the roasted cabbage, we cut the leafy head into thin strips, though it could also be grated. We also sliced up the fennel and zucchini. The cabbage was pan fried in oil for a bit before having some water added and then being left to simmer for a while. While it was stewing, we cut up a small apple to add in as well as adding some cinnamon; right before the end we added in some peanut butter. We then salted the mixture to taste.

While this was simmering away, we prepared our gnocchi sauce. First, we quickly fried up the zucchini, soon followed by the fennel. We cooked this together until the vegetables were soft. At the end, we seasoned it with a bit of salt, some garlic powder, and an Indian spice mix.

If you have the time, homemade gnocchi are of course the best option! Though not a demanding task, it is a bit time-consuming. We chose to save time and use store-bought gnocchi instead though. You need to watch out though, as not all gnocchi are vegan! We cooked the gnocchi in salted boiling water for a few minutes and before serving pan fried them a bit and seasoned them with a bit of garlic powder. We also prepared a bean and onion salad, which was salted a bit and seasoned with pumpkin seed oil.

The cost of our lunch for 4 people came out to 4.41€, which is just over 1€ per person. That being said, the price of the lunch is of course very dependent on what vegetables you use and the time of year; we suggest using seasonal vegetables, ideally from local sources. Though local veggies may be a bit more expensive, they support local business, and also generally have a lower carbon footprint as they do not need to be shipped so far.


Nutritional value

With lunch consumed quantity

% From daily needs

Energy

510,53

kcal

25,50

Proteins

15,10

g

27,00

Total fats

17,63

g

35,26

Carbohydrates

77,61

g

155,23

Starch

19,67

g

 

Sugar

13,05

g

 

Fibers

15,50

g

62,00

Calcium (Ca)

172,39

mg

17,20

Iron (Fe)

4,30

mg

43,00

Magnesium (Mg)

112,42

mg

28,10

Phosphorus (P)

291,16

mg

41,60

Potassium (K)

1465,90

mg

73,30

Sodium (Na)

897,80

mg

163,20

Zinc (Zn)

1,92

mg

19,10

Copper (Cu)

0,42

mg

46,30

Manganese (Mn)

1,57

mg

68,30

Selenium (Se)

16,53

µg

33,10

Vitamin A

116,50

µg

11,70

Vitamin E

4,22

mg

28,10

Vitamin D

0,00

µg

0,00

Vitamin C

98,12

mg

98,10

Thiamin (B1)

0,35

mg

27,10

Riboflavin (B2)

0,26

mg

17,30

Niacin (B3)

4,00

mg

27,60

Pantothenic acid (B5)

1,15

mg

19,20

Vitamin B6

0,75

mg

50,00

Folic acid (B9)

163,71

µg

40,90

Vitamin B12

0,00

µg

0,00

Vitamin K

105,15

µg

150,20

 

With today’s lunch, we again consumed 25% of our daily caloric requirements. As much as 27% of our daily protein requirements were met, as well as 62% of our fibre requirements, mostly from the fennel, red cabbage, and gnocchi. Potassium was also no issue with this meal, as we reached 73% of our daily requirements. In terms of iron, we managed to get 43% of our daily need. Both selenium and zinc are important for the immune system, with the former of these being consumed sufficiently and the latter only slightly lacking. We were a bit short on calcium, but this could easily be made up for with a range of other plant foods at other meals. There were also many vitamins in our food, and for most we consumed above 25% of our daily requirements. We fell a bit short for vitamins A, B2, and B5, and naturally lacked B12 and D, which are not found in plants.

If you have questions about today’s lunch or suggestions for future lunch then email them 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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