Rhys Baker teaches science at Arthur Mellows Village College in Peterborough, UK.
There are four ways around the "I don't have time to cook" problem:
- Order takeout
- Buy microwaveable meals
- Cook recipes that minimise preparation time
- Cook simple recipes that don't need a lot of attention
The birth of my son has sapped away almost all of my previously 'free' time and is eating into the rest of my time too—including time to prepare and cook meals. Both my wife and I are determined not to fall into options 1 and 2, but to cook healthy, tasty meals. We have learnt many tricks and tips to ensure that we continue to cook, but most of these have been around option 3. This meal is one that takes a while, but needs so little attention that it can be prepared in stages over the course of several hours, or even days!
Casseroles and stews are great options for new parents. They are full of healthy vegetables, are filling, and are really easy to prepare—you just bung all the ingredients into a casserole dish and shove into the oven. This recipe is easily modified for pretty much any meat-based stew, or you can forgo the meat entirely! What's more, this dish doesn't require you to prepare anything as a side dish.
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|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
2 hours 30 min
2 hours 50 min
- 1 Medium Broccoli
- 3 Medium Carrots
- 1 Medium Corgette
- 1 Large Pepper, (Any colour will do)
- 1 Pack Pork Sausages
- 4 Cubes Oxo, (or any beef stock cubes or gravy granules)
(Substitute the stock cubes if you are using a different meat—e.g. chicken stock for chicken)
Sausage Casserole Recipe
- Pre-heat oven to 200C or Gas mark 5.
- Cook sausages in oven for 15mins (you can also grill or fry sausages).
- While sausages are cooking prepare the vegetables—you can use any vegetables but root vegetables work better. Chop the vegetables and potatoes into larger chunks as they can reduce when cooking.
- Boil a pint of water and add three stock cubes to make gravy—at this stage, you can add some spices or chilli flakes to your taste.
- Add all the vegetables, potatoes, and sausages (cut up) into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle a further stock cube over the top.
- Add the gravy making sure it covers all the ingredients (otherwise the food above the gravy will go dry or burn)
- Place the ovenproof dish into the oven and cook on a low temperature (120C) for a minimum of 2 hours until all the vegetables have softened. This can be left for upto 12hours whilst you're at work, however, it is safer to use a slow cooker if you intend on leaving the house.
- It can be served at your leisure and goes really nicely with crusty bread and butter. It is also okay for the following day for second servings.
- A great, easy, healthy meal for anyone with a busy lifestyle or for a family that comes home at different times and can just help themselves!
Picture Guide: Sausage Casserole
© 2012 Rhys Baker