“Mummmmmyyyyyyy, can we have Toad in The Hole for tea?”
So popular is this dish now that the children at school have taken to nicknaming each other Toad in the Hole. I kid you not. I am asked at least once a week for this culinary delight of sausages encased in Yorkshire pudding, and I have to confess that I totally get it. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t lurrrrrve this meal.
It’s not all that healthy though is it? I usually make mine with full fat milk, full fat sausages and then lashings of salt-riddled gravy. I have nothing against standard gravy, but it is rather salty isn’t it?
The problem is that we are rather stuck in our ways in this house when it comes to family recipes. We love a good home cooked meal but if you were to suggest to my mother, who has proudly declared that her age gives her a free reign to be staunchly opposed to change, that we were going to try “reduced fat” sausages or even utter the words “red top milk” (to us normal folk this is skimmed milk) she gets glassy eyed and pretends to have a nap. Toby and Reuben can spot a change in food from ten paces, Reuben in particular takes great pleasure in denouncing the latest “off brand” purchase I’ve made of something like fruit purée pots – his not-so guilty pleasure – and will inform me that he simply can’t eat it because it’s different and yuck. Lastly, Adam is the gravy man of the house, he will lap the leftovers up with half a loaf of bread whilst the dog sits and watches him with a mixture of resentment and hidden promise to dig up his grave. Adam would notice if I switched our gravy… or would they? Would any of them notice if I made subtle, healthy changes to our meals?
I’m testing out the theory with Tesco’s Helpful little swaps campaign. I’m switching out our normal sausages for reduced fat sausages, I’m using skimmed instead of full fat milk and I’m using reduced salt gravy to top it all off.
Here is my recipe:
- 2cups Plain flour
- 500ml skimmed milk
- 4 eggs
- 6 Tesco reduced fat sausages
1. Place the sausages in a roasting tin and place in the oven at GM8 for 10mins.
2. While the sausages start cooking, mix the ingredients for the Yorkshire pudding until smooth.
3. Pour the batter over the top of the sausages and place back in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Serve with potatoes, broccoli and carrots or your favourite veggies.
Did they notice? Well… yes, they did notice the gravy, but only the adults and neither felt that it was “worse” just different. No one noticed the sausages AND the batter for the Yorkshire pudding was deemed “the best yet!” Mummy for the win.
To test my experiment, and Tesco’s helpful little swaps range, further, I decided to have a stab at pudding too. I made a peanut butter cheesecake using reduced fat cream cheese, reduced fat cream, reduced fat digestives AND reduced fat peanut butter. I even went for Tesco’s unsalted butter. I cut back on the icing sugar for good measure, using half the amount I would normally and I have the rest of the sweetening job to good old fashioned vanilla essence.
Here is the recipe for my no-bake, reduced everything cheesecake:
- 1 pack of Tesco reduced fat digestive biscuits
- 150g Unsalted butter
- 2 x 200g packets of Tesco reduced fat cream cheese
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 1 jar Tesco reduced fat peanut butter
- 1 pot Elmea reduced fat double cream
1. Place the biscuits in a bag and bash until fine sand like mixture is achieved, add the 150g melted butter. Place in the fridge (or freezer if in a rush) while you make the topping
2. Whisk the cream until thick, then add the peanut butter and icing sugar. Blend together until smooth – I like crunchy peanut butter for a bit of bite, but you can use smooth too.
3. Add the cream cheese and blend again.
4. Pour filling over the top of the base and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
The result: NO ONE NOTICED A THING. I kid you not. The kids smashed it, my mum had a small piece as she isn’t a dessert person and Adam ate most of the rest. Honestly, everyone loved it and no one complained that it tasted any of the things that they have been known to say when “low fat” products have graced our fridge before. No “it’s not as creamy” or “it’s a bit bland”… none of it.
What do you think? Try these recipes and let me know how you get on turning family favourites into healthier meals just like we did!