At the Chiswick, a balanced nutritional diet is part of the personalised care plans we produce and deliver. We ensure that the food we serve is tasty, appealing and contains the right balance of vitamins and other health-promoting ingredients.
Here, we focus on two important vitamins for good health – B and D.
Vitamin B, sometimes referred to as Vitamin B complex, is actually a group of eight vitamins that all perform a slightly different function within the body. You may have heard the names niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. These are all B vitamins.
Overall, B vitamins are the building blocks and custodians of a healthy body. They have a direct impact on energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism, helping to prevent infections. Some work to convert food into energy, others keep the skin, eyes and nervous system in good working order or assist in the production of red blood cells.
Provided that you eat a well-balanced diet, including whole grains and cereals, you should be getting all the Vitamin B that you need. However, as we get older it becomes harder to absorb Vitamin B12, which is found in meat, cod, salmon, milk, cheese, eggs and some fortified cereals, so supplements are sometimes recommended for those with an identified deficiency.
Our bodies get the majority of the Vitamin D needs from the sunlight but we can also gain it through oily fish, eggs and breakfast cereals. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
During the long, dark, winter months, and especially during lockdown when many of us have been unable to get out into the sun, diet is an important source of Vitamin D.
Here, our in-house chef, John shares his recipe for fish pie, which is rich in Vitamins B and D. Healthy but also delicious.
For the mashed potatoes
1kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, cut into 5cm/2in chunks.
50g/2oz salted butter
6 tbsp double cream
Pinch salt and white pepper
For the filling
500ml/1 pint milk
250g/9oz fresh salmon
200g/7oz cod loin
1 bay leaf
2 leeks washed and chopped.
50g/2oz butter, plus 25g/1oz for dotting on top of the pie
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp plain flour
50g/2oz frozen peas
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.
Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and mash them with the salted butter, double cream and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
Heat the milk in a large pan, then add the fresh salmon and cod. Cut onion in half and make an incision in the onion and insert the bay leaf. Bring the milk to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 6–7 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining onion half and the leeks. Heat the butter with the olive oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the onion and leeks for 4–5 minutes, until softened but not browned.
Remove the fish from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Keep the milk in the pan.
Add the flour to the leeks and stir well. Fry for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Gradually spoon in the milk from poaching the fish and stir it in well each time. Add all the milk in this way, and heat gently until the sauce has thickened. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Break the fish into chunks, feel for any bones and remove any skin, then fold the fish pieces into the sauce. Add prawns, chopped dill and frozen peas to the mixture.
Place an ovenproof pie dish onto a baking tray, pour the fish mixture into the bottom of the dish.
Carefully top with the cooled mashed potato. Use a fork to spread the mash over the pie and create a rough texture on top. Dot the pie with the remaining half of the butter and place in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbling.