EATING well is one of the foundation stones for good health, especially in later life. If you can stick to a wholesome balanced diet, with a 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.
One of the best ways to know exactly what you’re eating, and avoid many of the artificial additives and preservatives in pre-prepared foods, is to cook plenty of your own meals at home. Older people are generally better at home cooking than younger ones, not having grown up in the ‘fast food’ and ‘ready meals’ era, but some people still shy away from the stove. There’s really no reason to, as many healthy and nutritious meals are quick and simple to prepare, and taste delicious.
This recipe for tasty tomato and mushroom savoury pancakes is from the NHS’s Change 4 Life website, which has lots of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. Serving up to four people, they can be a healthy breakfast or light meal, taking only 10 minutes to prepare plus 15 minutes’ cooking time.
- 100g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp lower fat natural yoghurt
- 250ml 1% fat milk
- 200g closed cup mushrooms, sliced
- 50ml reduced salt vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 handfuls cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the egg, yoghurt and milk. Use a whisk or hand-held electric beater on a slow speed to combine the ingredients to make a smooth batter.
- Heat a few drops of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add a quarter of the batter, tilting the pan so that the batter flows over the surface. Cook until bubbles appear and the batter has set, then flip over to cook the other side. Repeat to make four pancakes, keeping them in a warm place.
- Meanwhile, put the sliced mushrooms and stock into a large frying pan and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve each pancake topped with the mushrooms and tomatoes.
Tips: You could mix the batter in a blender for 15 to 20 seconds if you prefer. For a sweet variation of this recipe, makes the pancakes as above but instead of the tomatoes and mushrooms, top each one with slices of banana and an extra dollop of low fat natural yoghurt.
• Each portion contains: Energy 210kj/177kcal; protein 9.5g; carbohydrate 26g, of which 7g sugars; fat 5g, of which 2g saturates; fibre 2g; sodium 257mg, equivalent to 0.6g salt.