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-packed 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.
One of the great British favourites is traditional fish ‘n’ chips, hot from your local ‘chippy’, sprinkled with salt and vinegar and wrapped in paper. There’s nothing wrong with a ‘chippy tea’ now and then, maybe as a treat, but if you want to eat fish ‘n’ chips more regularly, why not try this healthier version, which you can easily make at home.
This dish is from the NHS’s Change 4 Life website, which has lots of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. It will also be cheaper to make your own at home and more convenient if you don’t want to venture out at the moment due to coronavirus restrictions. This recipe takes just 20 minutes’ preparation, a further 20 minutes’ cooking time and serves four people with a tasty, satisfying meal.
- 4 potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and each cut into 8 wedges
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 75g dried white or wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp cold water
- 4 fillets skinless white fish, such as haddock, cod or Pollock
- 300g tin of mushy peas (optional)
- 1 pinch ground black pepper (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / fan oven 180°C / gas mark 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil.
- Put the potato wedges into a roasting tin. Add the remaining vegetable oil and toss the wedges in the tin to coat them with oil. Season with black pepper if desired. Put in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes, turning them over after 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs onto a large plate and season with a little black pepper if desired. Dip each fish fillet in the beaten egg, then roll it in the breadcrumbs to form a coating.
- Put the coated fillets on the baking sheet then put them in the oven when you turn the potato wedges (after 20 mins), so that the fish cooks for 15 to 20 minutes. When the fish is cooked it should flake easily with a fork and the coating should be golden brown.
- Heat the mushy peas in a saucepan ready to serve with the fish ‘n’ chips.
Tips: If you don’t like mushy peas, swap for frozen, fresh or tinned garden peas. Not peeling the potatoes means you get more fibre in your diet, makes them tastier and takes less time to prepare. Some shop-bought breadcrumbs are flavoured with lemon or spices, which could give your fish some extra zing if you fancy it.
• Each portion (as per the recipe) contains: Energy 1682kj/402kcal; protein 34g; carbohydrate 56g, of which 3g sugars; fat 6g, of which 1g saturates; fibre 4g; sodium 440mg, equivalent to 1g salt.