Three-coloured pasta and a wild sauce

Autumn is the time of year when many edible fruits ripen in nature. Perhaps the most famous example in certain parts of the world are chestnuts, though wild apples, hazelnuts, and black thorns are on the list too. Mushroom picking is also popular in this season.

Today’s sauce was made from three main ingredients, all of which can be harvested in the wild: mushrooms, chestnuts, and cranberries. A note on wild harvesting though: never eat anything you have collected unless you are 100% sure of the identification. This does not mean just looking at a photo and deciding they look similar! We have known people to collect elder leaves thinking they are linden because they “look the same” (they do not. At all.) to make tea. Though linden tea is lovely, elder foliage is poisonous. Also avoid overharvesting as this can be not only harmful to the plant or mushroom you are taking from, but to the whole ecosystem!

The true chestnut tree (Castanea sativa) is a vigorous tree that can often represent a considerable portion of trees in some forests. It belongs to the same botanical family as oak and beech, but is not related to horse chestnut. Horse chestnut has poisonous seeds and is distributed worldwide as an ornamental tree for its beautiful spring flowers.

Chestnuts are so widespread around the world that some researchers believe humans may have been spreading them since the Stone Age in order to always have their fruits nearby. There are several types of chestnut around the world, all in the Castanea genus. In Europe, however, only the true chestnut grows.

For today’s meal, we also made a beverage with an ingredient harvested from the forest. We made a sort of coffee that was a mixture of acorns, barley, and hemp. Though used less than chestnuts, acorns have been an important pig feed in the past. They have also been used at various times to make flour for bread and to make coffee substitutes. To make our coffee substitute, we roasted and ground the seeds before placing them in boiling water, boiling them again, and then allowing the grounds to settle out.

Another fun facet of today’s lunch is that we used our own containers to buy the pasta since we bought it from a no packaging store. Disposable packaging is terrible for the environment, so zero waste living is an important goal to strive for (thankfully it is much easier today than it was a few years ago).


Recipe, price, and nutritional value

 

Quantity(g or ml)

Price for 4 person (EUR)

Soup

 

 

Pumpkin

250

0,35

Salt

2

0,00

Olive oil

15

0,09

Main dish

Olive oil

10

0,06

Onions

150

0,13

Chestnuts

90

1,04

Mushrooms

250

1,00

Salt

3

0,00

Sweet paprika

3

0,02

Chickpeas pasta

120

0,98

Lentils pasta

120

0,98

Buckwheat pasta

120

0,96

Cranbearries

40

1,89

Salad

Lettuce

170

0,62

Pumpkin seed oil

10

0,15

Sald

2

0,00

Pumpkin seed

4

0,04

Together

8,32

 

We began our meal prep as it is the easiest to prepare. We cut our squash into large pieces and quickly fried it up in olive oil before adding water and allowing it to cook. When it had softened enough, we visited it with our great stick mixer and made it into a nice, creamy soup.

To make our wild sauce, we first fried up onions with olive oil and sliced the mushrooms and chestnuts while we had that on the stove. We also added sweet paprika and some salt. We cooked the sauce for a long time until all of the ingredients were cooked and regulated the thickness by adding water as needed. When the sauce was almost done cooking, we put salted pasta on to boil. They cooked quickly, so we kept an eye on them to make sure we didn’t overdo them! The sauce and pasta were served together with a sprinkle of dried cranberries on top to add extra flavour.

We also prepared a salad and seasoned it with pumpkin oil, salt, and pumpkin seeds.

Our lunch ended up costing just over 8€, a little more than 2€ per person! The ingredients that we collected from nature are also shown here with their trade price. We realise that with the fast pace of modern life it can be difficult to get away from work, let alone take the time to go into nature and collect wild delicacies. We are very fortunate to have this ability and to have so many different vegetables coming from the home gardens of our wonderful staff!


Nutritions

With lunch consumed quantity

% From daily needs

Energy

515,91

kcal

25,8

Proteins

22,10

g

39,5

Total fats

12,99

g

29,5

Carbohydrates

82,69

g

 

Starch

44,46

g

 

Sugar

12,23

g

 

Fibers

13,32

g

53,3

Calcium (Ca)

94,73

mg

9,5

Iron (Fe)

6,17

mg

61,7

Magnesium (Mg)

173,94

mg

43,5

Phosphorus (P)

434,53

mg

62,1

Potassium (K)

1418,64

mg

70,9

Sodium (Na)

722,98

mg

131,5

Zinc (Zn)

4,06

mg

40,6

Copper (Cu)

1,20

mg

133,8

Manganese (Mn)

2,17

mg

94,3

Selenium (Se)

21,40

µg

42,8

Vitamin A

426,26

µg

42,6

Vitamin E

3,87

mg

25,8

Vitamin D

0,06

µg

1,3

Vitamin C

23,42

mg

23,4

Thiamin (B1)

0,73

mg

56,1

Riboflavin (B2)

0,62

mg

41

Niacin (B3)

6,48

mg

44,7

Pantothenic acid (B5)

2,34

mg

39

Vitamin B6

0,79

mg

52,9

Folic acid (B9)

357,96

µg

89,5

Vitamin B12

0,06

µg

2,1

Vitamin K

67,18

µg

96

 

As for the nutritional value of our lunch, it contributed 25% of the daily calories for an average person, as usual. We also obtained most nutrients in good amounts. We got 39% of our daily protein needs with this meal, mainly coming from the pasta as it was made from chickpeas, lentils, and buckwheat. We alsop got enough fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and selenium. The latter are important for the immune system, especially as we transition into colder weather. We were a bit low on calcium, and of course lacked vitamins D and B12 as they are not found in vegan food. Vitamin C was also a bit low, but this could easily be fixed by having some fruit for dessert.

If you have any questions, feel free to write to us at hungry.pumpkin.blog@gmail.com.

Have a great week!

The Hungry Pumpkin Team.

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