Vegetable layers and a cucumber sauce

Stewed dishes with vegetables are popular in many parts of the world, and as you can imagine, every region has its own take on how to make such dishes. The most famous variants are moussaka from the eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, Egypt), and ratatouille from Provence in France. Lesser known (but still tasty) versions include briam from Greece, ajapsandals from Georgia, and many more! Naturally, each of these dishes has its own specific method of preparation; moussaka and briam are always cooked in an oven, while ratatouille can be cooked in the oven or in a pan. Moussaka often (but not always) contains meat, while ratatouille and briam generally do not. Of course, we would be forever ashamed if we talked about ratatouille without mentioning the 2007 Pixar film of the same name, featuring the only rat we ever want running around in our kitchen.

These dishes may have the vegetables thrown in like a true stew, or they may be a beautifully arranged collection of layers of thinly sliced vegetables that is then soaked in sauce. The sauce can also vary. Sometimes a tomato sauce, sometimes a firmer, flour-based version known as bechamel sauce. Moussaka usually has a few inches of stacked vegetables with bechamel sauce over them. This sauce is prepared by roasting equal parts of flour and oil together and then adding liquid (usually milk) before seasoning it, usually with nutmeg or cinnamon.The vegetable layers can be made from a variety of of veggies, as in ratatouille, or only one vegetable, for example in moussaka.

For lunch today we decided to make such a dish using zucchini and potato. Our sauce was a creamy one, but naturally made free from milk! We have to admit, the consistency of our sauce didn’t turn out quite as we planned. Some of our friends here cannot eat gluten and so we used buckwheat flour, which behaves differently than regular flour. The zucchini also released a bit more water than we expected, which made the sauce more watery than anticipated, but still delicious!In addition to our creamy vegetable dish, we also prepared a salad.


The recipe, preparation and the lunch price

 

Quantity(g or ml)

Price for 4 person (EUR)

Main dish

 

 

Zucchini

400

0,32

Potatoes

500

0,45

Bechamel

Buckwheat flour

50

0,14

Olive oil

30

0,18

Salt

3

0,00

Side dish

Cucumber

400

0,48

Onion

70

0,06

Peppers

150

0,28

Olive oil

20

0,12

Salt

3

0,00

Salad

Cabbage

200

0,18

Salad

150

0,36

Olive oil

20

0,12

Salt

3

0,00

Together

2,68

 

 

We started with oiling our metal baking pan and then alternately stacked layers of zucchini and potato. Both were in thin slices. We baked the vegetables without sauce for 15 minutes. In the meantime, we prepared our sauce by roasting the buckwheat flour in oil and then adding water and seasoning. Then we poured our sauce onto the vegetables and cooked the whole dish together for 30 minutes.

Our cucumber sauce was prepared by roasting onions, cucumbers, and peppers in oil. As they released water, they also stewed in their own juices. We salted and seasoned with paprika and an Indian spice blend, though the options here are endless! In a non-vegan version of the dish, sour cream could have been used to sweeten the dish and give it a pleasant colour and texture. This would mostly contain saturated fats, but our vegan version uses the healthy unsaturated fats from the olive oil. To get a nice colour and consistency, however, we took about 1/4 of the sauce and then blended it with the stick mixer before adding it back in with the rest. We also prepared two salads, an herb salad and a lettuce one. Both were seasoned with salt and olive oil and we added some sunflower seeds to the lettuce salad.

Today’s lunch cost us €2.68, which means it was just 0.67€ per person! This is a new record for the lowest price at Hungry Pumpkin. Many of the vegetables came from home gardens of colleagues and family members (thank you!), but in our table we have included the prices as they would be if you were to buy the vegetables. A garden takes a little work and gives back such great rewards! Not everyone has this option of course, but even some herbs in pots on a windowsill can go a long way!


Nutrients

As always, today’s lunch covered 25% of the calorie requirement for the average person. We also covered this same percentage for most nutrients. We received a little less protein than we should have at 15.5g, as well as calcium, selenium, and zinc. Our next meal should include foods rich in these things to make up for this, or the lunch can be adapted (for example, adding beans or nuts/seeds to the salad) to make this better. Red beans, lentils, soy, and nuts contain lots of selenium while Brazil nuts, red cabbage, tofu, and artichokes contain lots of zinc. Broccoli, spinach, chard, leeks, Brazil nuts, and soy are all rich in calcium. Get some of these tasty things into your meals to stay balanced on these nutrients!

 

With lunch consumed quantity

% From daily needs

Energy

508,9

kcal

25,4

Proteins

8,7

g

15,5

Total fats

32,2

g

73,3

Carbohydrates

52,2

g

Starch

32,9

g

Sugar

10,3

g

Fibers

9,3

g

37,2

Calcium (Ca)

108,9

mg

10,9

Iron (Fe)

3,5

mg

34,7

Magnesium (Mg)

124,6

mg

31,2

Phosphorus (P)

245,8

mg

35,1

Potassium (K)

1489,8

mg

74,5

Sodium (Na)

763,7

mg

138,9

Zinc (Zn)

1,8

mg

17,5

Copper (Cu)

0,4

mg

45,4

Manganese (Mn)

1,0

mg

45,4

Selenium (Se)

2,3

µg

4,6

Vitamin A

135,5

µg

13,5

Vitamin E

5,0

mg

33,3

Vitamin D

0,0

µg

0,0

Vitamin C

114,1

mg

114,1

Thiamin (B1)

0,4

mg

27,2

Riboflavin (B2)

0,3

mg

19,2

Niacin (B3)

3,5

mg

24,3

Pantothenic acid (B5)

1,4

mg

23,1

Vitamin B6

1,0

mg

64,7

Folic acid (B9)

111,3

µg

27,8

Vitamin B12

0,0

µg

0,0

Vitamin K

143,0

µg

204,4

 

 

Have a great week!


The Hungry Pumpkin Team


PS- as always, if you have any questions about today’s lunch, its nutritional value, or if you have suggestions for future lunches then send us an email at hungry.pumpkin.blog@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *