Cooking is one of the challenges students dread the most when coming to University. Images of baked beans and toasties trouble any parents concerned for their children’s health. There are so many great meals, however, that are a lot easier and quicker to cook than students presume. Here are some of the classics.
Ratatouille is a real winter warmer and an easy one pot meal. It is great served with rice or on the side of meat and fish.
Basic ingredients: Onion, aubergine, tinned tomatoes, herbs, and any Mediterranean vegetables
This classic Italian pasta dish only requires a few basic ingredients. A vegetarian version can also easily be made by swapping the pancetta for spinach or mushrooms.
Basic ingredients: Spaghetti, eggs, pancetta or bacon, cream, parmesan
Risotto is really simply as there is little preparation and you can just leave it to simmer on the hob. It is also quite a versatile meal as you can cook the rice with virtually any ingredient of your choice. Make sure to invest in some parmesan to make this dish extra tasty.
Basic ingredients: Risotto rice, stock, onion and whatever else you want for flavour (mushrooms, chicken etc.)
The Indian Biryani transforms basic ingredients into something delicious. Again, it can easily be cooked in one pot and it's simple to make it in large quantities so it can be saved for a few meals. Supplementing Quorn for chicken is also an option.
Basic ingredients: Rice, onion, stock, spices and chicken/vegetables
Bakes are great because you can make large quantities and keep them for days. Although fish seems expensive to students, many supermarkets sell pre-packed fish selections perfect for fish pies. You can also add vegetables and fresh chilli and lemon to make it a bit more exciting.
Basic ingredients: Potatoes, milk, butter, onion and any type of fish
The falafel craze has truly taken off, and for a good reason. You don’t need to venture off to restaurants, however, to have tasty falafels. Making falafels is a lot cheaper (and satisfying) than buying packets of them and you can add different spices to change the flavour of each batch.
Basic ingredients: Oil, onion, canned chickpeas, egg, cumin and other spices
Realistically, students are unlikely to have the ingredients to make their own Thai curry paste. Fear not, the supermarkets have got your backs as the pre-made pastes transform Thai curry into a quick and simple meal.
Basic ingredients: Coconut milk, Thai curry paste, onion, vegetables and chicken
Despite the complex sounding name, Quesadillas are essentially fancy tortillas. Cook them under the grill with cheese and sour cream on top and this dish will not disappoint.
Basic ingredients: Tortillas, onion, vegetables, cheese, spices
Sweet potato and lentil soup
Homemade soup is a great meal to take in a flask to University or as a quick dinner when you get home. It is also super cheap to make and packed with protein.
Basic ingredients: Red lentils, sweet potatoes, stock, onion, garlic, ginger and spices