Vegetable risotto and three-green salad

This time we prepared a mushroom risotto and a salad with a combination of greens for our lunch. That means today we have two ingredients that we have not previously used on this blog: mushrooms and spinach. We will write some more about spinach next time, but for today we will dive into the funky fungi world of mushrooms.

For this dish, we used the most common mushrooms that you can find at any grocery store. These mushrooms belong to the family Agaricaceae and find their way into our bellies through many types of dishes. That being said, this family also has many poisonous members in addition to its yummy and healthy ones.

When we talk about mushrooms in a culinary context, we tend to refer to them as vegetables. Now, there is nothing wrong with this scientifically (since “vegetable” isn’t actually a scientific term at all) but it does give us the impression that mushrooms are plants. This, however, isn’t true. In 1969, Whittaker classified fungi (including mushrooms) as their own kingdom, distinct from animals and from plants. Even though they may be similar in our minds, mushrooms actually have more in common with animals than with plants!

Mushrooms have a very long history of use for culinary purposes. In Roman times, mushrooms were considered food of the gods, while in China they were viewed as elixirs of life. Pretty fancy for this unassuming little veggie!

Research has shown that mushrooms are an excellent food item (well, except the poisonous ones of course) as they contain a lot of fibre and are low in fat while at the same time being a rich source of digestible proteins (ranging from 20-40% dried weight!). They also take many minerals from the substrates in which they grow, making them packed full of goodness for us; they are especially good for phosphorus, potassium, and some calcium and iron. In addition to minerals, vitamins (especially the Bs) are also present.


Recipe, preparation and cost

 

Quantity(g or ml)

Price for 4 person (EUR)

Main dish

 

 

Rice

450

0,67

Carrots

100

0,15

Mashrooms

125

0,50

Peppers

150

0,33

Zucchini

220

0,55

Tomato

220

0,66

Onion

80

0,20

Salt

2

0,00

Olive oil

10

0,06

Salad

Arugula

40

0,38

Lettuce

60

0,57

Spinach

50

0,48

Salt

1

0,00

Olive oil

5

0,03

Vinegar

3

0,00

Together

4,58

 

Today’s dish was a very colorful addition to our menu; in addition to the mushrooms, it contained 5 different types of vegetables! We cut all of the vegetables into small cubes, though you are welcome to have them as large as you would like! To begin, we sautéd the onions in oil until they had taken on a lovely golden color. We then added the carrots (since they need a bit more cooking time than the other vegetables) and then the pepper, zucchini, and tomato.

Finally, we added in the mushrooms and rice quickly followed by our water. Since it is difficult to estimate how much water you will need since it is hard to say how much the vegetables have already lost, it is better to be cautious and use a bit less water. You can always add water in, but ending up with a risotto soup is a sure way to ensure that your family will have quite a laugh at your expense! (We speak from experience on that matter…). We cooked the dish until the rice was al dente, and added some salt and spices in the meantime. Today’s salad was a triple threat, combining arugula, spinach, and young lettuce all tossed together and seasoned with oil.

Our lunch for 4 came out to 4.58€, quite similar to our usual cost. This ends up being just over 1€ per person.


Cost and nutritional value

With lunch consumed quantity

% From daly needs

Energy

499,683

kcal

25

Proteins

10,887

g

19,4

Total fats

4,982

g

11,3

Carbohydrates

102,018

g

Starch

0,358

g

Sugar

7,345

g

Fibers

7,005

g

28

Calcium (Ca)

72,82

mg

7,3

Iron (Fe)

6,153

mg

61,5

Magnesium (Mg)

70,708

mg

17,7

Phosphorus (P)

218,51

mg

31,2

Potassium (K)

824,12

mg

41,2

Sodium (Na)

337,273

mg

61,3

Zinc (Zn)

2,18

mg

21,8

Copper (Cu)

0,508

mg

56,4

Fluoride (F)

1,659

mg

72,1

Manganese (Mn)

25,632

µg

51,3

Selenium (Se)

422,25

µg

42,2

Vitamin A

1,996

mg

13,3

Vitamin E

0,031

µg

0,6

Vitamin D

74,615

mg

74,6

Vitamin C

0,781

mg

60,1

Thiamin (B1)

0,365

mg

24,4

Riboflavin (B2)

7,203

mg

49,7

Niacin (B3)

2,361

mg

39,4

Pantothenic acid (B5)

0,573

mg

38,2

Vitamin B6

354,588

µg

88,6

Folic acid (B9)

0,031

µg

1

Vitamin B12

104,353

µg

149,1

 

 

As always, we planned the lunch to cover 25% of the daily caloric needs of an average person. Though there were no rich protein sources such as legumes here today, we still satisfied 19% of our protein requirements. Of the 10 g of protein we each consumed, 7g came from the rice. Folic acid (vitamin B9) was also present in today’s meal, with a huge 88% of our daily requirements covered by this meal alone! Though this vitamin is rarely lacking in people’s diets, it is very important for our health, and especially so for developing babies. As such, it is suggested as a dietary supplement for pregnant women. Most of this folic acid came from the rice, though it is worth noting that rice is generally enriched with this particular nutrient in order to contain as much as 231 μg / 100 g. Adding folic acid to rice and bread is a common practice in various countries around the world, just like adding iodine (and fluoride in some cases) to salt. If unfortified rice had been used, it would have provided only 3 μg /100 g folic acid, meaning the spinach, pepper, and zucchini would be the main sources of this vitamin in the meal. Though in this case you would get less B9, you would still have enough to meet 25% of your daily need. The lunch also adequately met our needs for most other nutrients, though calcium and magnesium were lacking a bit, as well as the obvious vitamins D and B12, which need to be supplemented. Regular readers of our blog will notice that we actually managed to record a small amount of vitamin D and B12 for the first time today. We can thank the mushrooms for this, but a supplement is still required to adequately receive these vitamins.

Wishing you a great week!

The Hungry Pumpkin Team

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