What the heck?

If you follow me on instagram @beas_bites then you'll see the ridiculous amount of sausage inspired posts I've been putting up. Since trying and loving heck sausages thanks to a recommendation from my bestie they now form an essential part of my weekly prep, let's be honest... why wouldn't they?  

I bought into the idea of meal prep primarily to save time and reduce the level of stress that comes with trying to sort out your lunch that morning. We've all been there right? Since doing my prep on a Sunday I know save myself a hell of a lot of time and am now stress free on route to work which is a bonus. Without fail I know include sausages in every round of prep I do.

But who are heck? Heck is an independent British company that for 2 generations now produce high quality healthier sausages using fresh herbs and then batch rather than mass produce their products to ensure a higher quality*... win win right?

With my new years resolution to become a healthier me (still going strong on that FYI) I also had to start re-thinking some of my food choices and the discovery of heck allowed me to still enjoy sausages whilst knowing I wasn't exceeding my allocated macros** I tend to opt for their chicken sausages. Today I'm going to talk you through some of my favourite recipes, of course you can do these with any type of sausages.

First up is one of my favourite breakfasts of the moment, stuffed mushrooms. Now this one is ridiculously simple and only has 6 ingredients. For the base I use my multi purpose tomato sauce, as I mentioned previously I like to have a jar of this stashed in the fridge or freezer for emergencies.

Prep your portobello mushroom by removing the stalk (do you know what mushrooms are grown in? Google it) then pealing the outer layer. I don't like to wash mushrooms as they go slimy. 

Squeeze one of your sausages onto the underside of the mushroom and push down. Top with a cherry tomato quartered and bake for 20mins. So simple right? I finish it off with a drizzle of truffle oil as the nutty flavour works so well with the mushroom and then you're good to go.

Now this one is a family favourite for most people, I don't think I've met many people that don't like spaghetti and meatballs. You may think it's sacrilege to change something so iconic but I did it anyways... My version has a higher fibre content, is lower in fat and has a greater protein content as well as being pretty damn tasty if I don't say so myself.

I switched out to wholewheat carbs a few years back and haven't looked back since. It's an easy swap that increases my fibre intake so why not hey? That being said, I obviously use wholewheat spaghetti for this as well as using the zesty chicken sausages rather than pork. 

I have found that the recipe although not traditional is a lot lighter but still as filling as the traditional take on spaghetti and meatballs.The recipe works just as well with the chicken italia sausages too, be sure to let me know if you give it a try.

Last but not least, stuffed peppers. This one was so simple even I was laughing. It really is just a case of stuffing and baking.

Since my last trip to Italy I have also rediscovered my love of tomatoes so I serve this with a heritage tomato salad. Commercial heritage tomatoes (or heirloom) are open pollinated and have been introduced over 75 years ago. Their growing popularity on the foodie scene means they are now super available (I saw some in costco last week).

I tend to get my tomatoes from a local garden centre so I can hand pick the varieties I want for flavour and colour. I roughly chop them, splash with a glug of good olive oil then season with salt and pepper before leaving for AT LEAST 20mins! You may think that's ridiculous but seriously... try it. The longer you leave them the better the flavour. It was the way I turned JB into a tomato lover! Simply done but the flavour is unreal.

I go through phases of foods, sometimes there is just one thing I want and I want all the variations possible for it, last month it was profiteroles (clearly had to juggle the macros to allow for those) the month before it was omelettes and now it's chicken sausages, hence the dishes. If you're trying to cut down on saturated fats then this is definitely one way forward... trust me : )

**macros = macronutrients, types of foods required in larger amounts in your diet, carbohydrates, protein and fat