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Recipes and cookery tips for students

cooking

It is not easy being a student. If you are reading this it means you survived Fresher's Week and you have come back after Christmas so congratulations! But you still have to go to pub crawls, attend student parties, live while you're young, go to uni, follow courses (sometimes with a hangover), find a job pay off your tuition fees, revise before exams…

Since the exams are atrociously close you may be looking for intelligent ways to procrastinate because you don't want to bury yourself under a pile of books. Not just yet. The gym is full of people with new year resolutions, so where can you retreat to? The kitchen!

After all, one's got to eat. We hear a lot about eating 5 fruit and vegetables a day but grocery shopping tends to seriously dent your budget. We gave you some money tips if you want to have a look at it again. Our daily intake should actually be of about 500g of fruit and vegetables, and it is better if it is not always the same thing you eat.

My advice is to try and eat at least 3 a day. Better do something achievable than give up because it is too hard to follow.

Eating well when you are a student is not always easy and that is why we have decided to give you some of our own recipes used when we were still at uni. The goal is to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen since you all have better things to do than spend hours in the kitchen if you are not a fan of cooking.

Most people like baked beans on toasts and microwaved jacket potatoes but it is good to change from time to time.

5 min tortilla wraps:

- Take flour tortillas, wholemeal, or maize ones if you need them gluten-free. 2 to 4 should be enough per person

- In each tortillas simply put whatever you have in the fridge: my favourites are tomato/bacon/cheese and mushroom/bacon.

- Put tomato slices on one half of a tortilla, add a slice of bacon and sparkle with cheese. Close the tortilla simply by putting the naked half on top of the ingredients. Microwave for one minute and eat it!

- You can eat it with some salad too on the side

You can basically put anything you want: corn, bell peppers, sausages (sliced), any kind of cheese (cream cheese, cheddar, Caerphilly, blue cheese…).

For something sweet you can slice a pear, an apple, a pineapple, apricots, marshmallows…. add some chocolate squares and or/golden syrup and microwave!

Croque-messieurs (plural of croque-monsieur)

If you like Welsh rarebit but don’t have time to make the beer/cheddar mixture or don’t have enough elbow grease to mix it, here is something close to it.

To make croque-messieurs in the oven, take some sliced bread, butter it, add a slice of ham and put Swiss cheese on top. Bake until the cheese is melted. Eat with some salad.

You can make the recipe your own by putting some bacon or (veggie) ham on a slice of buttered bread, add some fruit or vegetable (you’re still trying to get you 5 a day), some cheese if you like it and put in the oven. I advise you put something creamy on top of the whole thing for a nicer texture. You don’t have to butter the bread but buttering it helps make it softer.

Use your rice cooker

Why use a rice cooker to cook only rice? I tried it and I’ve made great soups and casseroles with it. When you have a rice cooker, find vegetables – already sliced or slice them yourselves – put them in the rice cooker, add some water and some stock and let it cook! Here are some ideas:

  • For 4 people or 4 meals so you can just re-heat it the day after, put in a rice cooker about 800g of gammon joint, add 2-4 sausages if you want (you can cut it in smaller bits to cook more quickly but it’s not necessary), add 500g of green lentils, a stock cube, salt and pepper, herbs if you want, cover with water and cook for about 45 minutes. It makes great lentil soup if you’ve put enough water. Veggies try and replace the gammon by some smoked tofu.
  • Make a “risotto” by simply adding the ingredients to the rice before cooking everything in the rice cooker. You can make mushroom risotto, leek risotto, courgette risotto, anything you like really.
  • Have you tried cola rice? Simply replace half the water you use to cook rice by cola!
  • Broccoli/blue stilton soup: put one broccoli into water, cook it and once cook add some blue cheese and mix the whole thing
  • Courgette/cream cheese soup: cook some roughly chopped courgettes and once cooked add some cream cheese to mix with the vegetables.

It is often possible to make recipes that look complicated much easier just get rid of the ingredients that are not necessary. A few ingredients, some salt and pepper and some stock are often enough to make a great meal! For the broccoli soup for instance, you could fry onions, add some garlic and potatoes. If you have time to add this, good for you but if you are in a hurry don’t bother.

Bon appétit!

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