There's an unwritten rule in our house - I cook, my husband washes up. So I imagine it won't overly surprise you to hear he loves today's recipe, not least for the fact it is delicious (of course 😉 ) but it takes just a couple of trays to make. Woohoo, practically a night off! Not only does a lack of chores make for happy husbands though, it keeps you right on track with your daily nutrient requirements and here's why.
Different experts have their own views as to what appropriate vegetable consumption should be. For instance, governments across much of Europe campaign for a "5 a Day" guideline, that is five servings of fruits and vegetables in total. A British single serving, for the record, is 80g or the equivalent of 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked kale, 3 heaped tablespoons carrots, 2 broccoli spears or a 5cm piece cucumber. Quite laughable really!
Down under they are a little more ambitious, Australians being advised to "Go for 2+5" and New Zealand "5+ A Day". Interestingly the U.S. changed from "5 a Day" to "Fruits & Veggies - More Matters", their citizens being encouraged to eat anything up to 6.5 cups per day, although over 90% of them do not!
In the holistic world far away from government nanny states, Dr Terry Wahls, who wrote The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles, credits eating nine cups of high nutrient dense fruits/vegetables a day for putting her Multiple Sclerosis into remission and replacing her wheelchair for a bicycle. In a podcast interview with Eileen Laird (of Phoenix Helix) Dr Wahls breaks it down as follows: 3 cups (about one heaping plateful) of leafy green vegetables (such as kale, collards, chard, spinach or lettuce) which provide vitamins A, B, C and K. 3 cups of sulfur-rich vegetables (such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, mushrooms and asparagus) because they support the removal of toxins from the body. 3 cups of colourful vegetables and fruits (ideally three different colours each day), because they’re full of antioxidants. They have to be coloured all the way through, so apples and bananas don’t count as coloured, but berries, peaches, citrus, beets and carrots do.
And finally the Paleo Mom, in her bible of a book, The Paleo Approach, goes one step further by saying we should be consuming 8-14 cups of vegetables alone per day, making sure to 'eat the rainbow' and include something green with every meal. She also advocates keeping our daily fructose intake to no more than 20g.
It's important to note that for optimal nutrient absorption it is essential to eat high quality fat and protein with your veggies, so for this recipe choose the best sausages you possibly can, my Bratwurst being a perfect example. Made with quality ingredients, the fat:meat ratio is high, meaning not only is it satiating and succulent, but perfect for ensuring our bodies make the most of that tray of nutrients. Don't worry if you can't source high quality sausages where you live, simply make mini skinless sausage pieces by mixing pasture raised ground fatty pork with fine sea salt.
tray roasted butternut, romanesco and sausage with sage oil
I love romanesco for its vibrant lime colour and architectural shape. However cauliflower makes a fine replacement, as does broccoli at a pinch.
Print the recipe here
for the sage oil:
3/4 cup mild olive oil
8 sage leaves
for the tray roast:
3 tbsp coconut oil or other solid fat
1 small butternut squash, halved, seeds discarded and cut into wedges (unpeeled)
1 medium romanesco (or cauliflower), cut into small florets
6-8 shallots, peeled but left whole
8 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
6 large best quality pork sausages, casings removed and torn into 1+1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch black kale (lacinato) leaves, thick spine removed, roughly chopped
12 sage leaves
2 tbsp capers packed in salt, rinsed and dried thoroughly
Preheat oven to 400F. You will need a couple of large trays for this.
Make the sage oil:
Put the olive oil into a small pan with the sage leaves. Turn on the heat and take several minutes to gently warm through the oil - you should be able to put your little finger knuckle in just comfortably. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool down and infuse the sage leaves.
Make the tray roast:
Heat 1+1/2 tbsp of the oil in each tray and divide the squash between the two. Turn the wedges over to coat in the oil and place into the oven for 10 minutes. Next divide the florets, shallots and garlic cloves between the trays, turning quickly in the oil. Bake for 15 minutes then add the sausage pieces, give the pans a shake and turn the squash over. Bake another 15 minutes, adding more coconut oil if you feel it’s needed. Now add the kale, sage leaves and capers, making sure to coat them in the oil. Put the trays back into the oven for a final 10 minutes.
Remove the sage leaves from the small pan and pour the oil into a glass jar. Serve the tray roast and allow everyone to drizzle over the sage oil.