EATING well is a foundation stone for good health, especially in later life. If you can enjoy a wholesome balanced diet, with a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, you’ll have more energy, find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and generally feel better all round.
A great way to know exactly what you’re eating and avoid many of the additives, preservatives or high levels of salt and sugars in pre-packed foods, is to cook plenty of your own meals at home. Many healthy and nutritious meals are quick and simple to prepare, and taste delicious.
This recipe for old-fashioned sausages and mash is from the NHS’s Change 4 Life website, which has lots of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. It takes only about 20 minutes of preparation time and a further 25 minutes to cook, but will serve four people with a hearty and nutritious meal. The mash is made with carrots and swede as well as potato, making it extra-tasty and at the same time increasing your intake of vegetables. Try to use sausages that are low in fat, although grilling your favourite sausages will allow excess fat to drain off.
- 4 medium-sized carrots (approx. 300g) peeled and chopped
- 300g swede or turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
- 700g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 8 reduced-fat sausages
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 100ml reduced-salt vegetable or chicken stock
- 200ml cold water
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 2 tbsp cornflour, blended with 1 tbsp of cold water
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Cook the carrots, swede or turnip, and potatoes for about 20 minutes in a large saucepan of gently boiling water, until tender.
- Meanwhile, preheat the grill and arrange the sausages on the grill pan rack. When the vegetables have been cooking for about 10 minutes, start grilling the sausages under a medium heat, cooking for 10 to 12 minutes and turning regularly so they brown evenly and don’t burn.
- At the same time, start making the red onion gravy by heating the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan and then adding the onion. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is soft and lightly browned.
- Pour the stock and water into the frying pan, add the parsley and dried herbs then simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the blended cornflour and stir until thickened, keeping the gravy hot over a low heat.
- Carefully drain and mash the vegetables, seasoning with the pinch of black pepper. Serve 2 sausages per person with a quarter of the mash and garnished with the red onion gravy.
Tip: You could make the recipe suitable for vegetarians by using meat-free sausages and vegetable stock. You can also add variety by using sweet potato or butternut squash instead of swede or turnip. Don’t be afraid to experiment with ingredients.
Each serving of this recipe contains: Energy 1339kj/320kcal; protein 21g; carbohydrate 51g, of which sugars 12g; fat 5g, of which saturates 1g; fibre 7g; sodium 325mg, equivalent to 0.8g salt.