Brussel sprouts, tomato sauce, and a twist on traditional mashed potatoes
Brussel sprouts, as you may have guessed from their appearance, are from the same botanical family that gives us cabbage and a range of other edible plants (see our recent post on this group of plants HERE).
Like these relatives, brussel sprouts originate from the Mediterranean, but have since become established throughout Europe, especially around Brussels, thus giving them their name. These cute little leafy balls are rich in vitamins C and K, and if you eat enough brussel sprouts to meet 2% of your caloric needs for the day (not a large amount) you will get more than 100% of your daily need for these vitamins! They're also high in other nutrients such as vitamins B1, B6, and B9 and iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Though not high in protein, they still manage to give us a good dosage of this as well!
Though brussel sprouts can be eaten raw, people usually choose to cook them, and that's exactly what we did today. So, here come some cooked brussel sprouts and carrots accompanying a tomato sauce and mashed potatoes with beans in them for an extra nutrient hit!
Recipe, price, and preparation
First we began by preparing our mashed potatoes with beans. Since potatoes take a long time to coo, we wanted to get them going while we did other things. We peeled and diced the potatoes before cooking them in salted water. Once cooked, we drained them and added beans. We chose to use them from a can, but you can also cook up for own beans to save some money. We added olive oil to the mixture and mixed it up well. At the end, the potatoes were the usually consistency for mashed potatoes and the beans were still partly in bigger pieces.
While we had the potatoes cooking, we started working on our tomato sauce. First we chopped up a small onion and fan fried it in some olive oil. We then added in our tomatoes and cooked for a while. Finally, our lentils went in and we cooked the sauce for 40 minutes. At the end, we seasoned the sauce a bit with salt and pepper; today we chose to use pepper, cumin, and our Indian blend of chilli-based spices. Since the sauce was not as thick as we wanted, we also added some flaxseed flour. If you don't have this, you can just use ground flax seed, or grind up flax yourself in a coffee grinder (make sure to clean it out well though... you don't want to be the person who messes up someone's morning cup of coffee!).
In addition to these yummy parts of our lunch, we also prepared our roasted carrots and brussel sprouts. We washed the vegetables and then cut the brussel sprouts into quarters and the carrots into semi-circle disks. These got pan fried in olive oil and we salted to taste. We also prepared a pickled cabbage salad seasoned with a bit of pumpkin seed oil and some black cumin seeds.
With today's lunch, we each consumed 25.7% of our daily caloric needs. We also managed to get 37.4% of our daily need for protein and 77% of our need for fibre! This meal wasn't kidding around. We also managed to consume enough iron, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals, though selenium, which is important for our immune system, was a bit low. Selenium-rich foods such as Brazil and cashew nuts, red cabbage, tofu, artichokes, and various seeds and mushrooms should be incorporated into other meals to make up for this. again, this shows the important of eating a varied diet!
We also did quite well for vitamins today, with 35% of our needs for vitamins A and E being met in this meal. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, while vitamin A is required for normal growth, vision, the immune system, iron metabolism, and is important in the building and functioning of skin and mucous membranes. As always, vitamins D and B12 were lacking from the meal. Grab those supplements, friends!
If you have any questions about today's lunch or have ideas for future lunches, then write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly answer you!
Have a great week and stay at home!
The Hungry Pumpkin Team