Whether you’re living at home or living in halls it is important to eat well. It’s not only good for the body but for the brain too. I know it can be difficult after a long day to go home and cook, and I also know it’s far more pleasing at the time to have an extra hour in bed than get up and prepare a breakfast and lunch. I even know how hard it can be to live on a student budget, so here are some helpful recipes (hopefully). You can’t live off coffee and alcohol, but we have thrown in some handy cocktail recipes for the weekend, just in case you need them!
Lynne’s Easy Tuna Pasta: Great for lunch.
Ingredients: 2 – 3 tsp Green Pesto, 1 – 2 tbsp mayonnaise, tin of tuna (drained), diced cucumber (approximately a quarter of the cucumber), pepper and tomato (as much as you fancy), a bit of grated cheese, chopped jalapeños (Home Bargains sell these in jars), Olives (if you like them), Pasta, pepper.
Method: Basically all you need to do is cook your pasta, I normally use a small cereal bowl and measure out two lots of dried pasta. Mix the rest of the ingredients together well in a bowl and then add in the pasta (mix this in too). Add pepper to taste. It should be enough for two meals and is best eaten cold (keep it in the fridge). It’s a really easy, quick, tasty lunch.
Lynne’s Veggie Wraps: Quick and easy snack.
Ingredients: Two thinly sliced peppers (any colour), thinly sliced courgette, sliced mushrooms, olive oil, wraps, hummus, salt and pepper.
Method: Simply put a little oil in a frying pan and cook your veggies for a few minutes with salt and pepper, you can also roast them in the oven, which ever you prefer. Put them in a wrap and add as much hummus as you like.
Katie’s Something Noodley and Soupy:
When I want something delicious immediately but can’t be bothered to cook, I cook noodle things. Cooking delicious noodle things is so easy, it doesn’t even count as cooking.
I have these basic things in the cupboard for anytime I want noodley-type-things:
A saucepan, a sharp knife, can opener, wooden spoon, canned coconut milk, pack of dry noodles (fine egg noodles usually, sometimes rice noodles), some sort of cooking oil, stock cubes (fish, veggie, beef-you never know what flavour you’ll want your salt to be).
I have these basic things in the fridge:
Root ginger, garlic, spring onions, chilli peppers, (you can also get soft noodles for keeping in the fridge that just need heating, but these go off quicker-dry noodles last and you can get big packs).
These are extra things I put in noodles sometimes, but not every time, and not all at once, but I suppose you could:
Red/green/yellow peppers, broccoli, bean sprouts, mushrooms, prawns, chicken.
Get the basic things out of the cupboard/fridge.
Chop the basic veggies into small bits (peel garlic and ginger first.) It depends on your taste how much of what you put in. I put about half a thumb (technical term) of ginger and keep it in big chunks (another technical term) cos I like it, two or three cloves of garlic, three bits (sprigs?) of spring onion, two or three small green chillies. Remove seeds from chillies if you want less heat. Remove chillies from recipe for no heat at all.
Chop any other veggies you want to put in. If you add something fishy or meaty, cook them according to the packet and set aside. I usually get cooked prawns or cooked chicken bits to just chuck in at the end to heat through.
Heat a bit of oil in the pan on high heat for a minute then turn down to medium. Put in the basic chopped stuff and stir for a few minutes, ‘til stuff goes a bit soft but not too soft. I once heard on a cooking programme that you are meant to cook onions for a few minutes first, then add garlic, because garlic goes bitter if cooked too long, but I mostly ignore this and it’s fine.
Put in the other chopped veggies and stir them. Crumble a stock cube of your choice over the stuff and mix in. You can add other spices if you want, sometimes I add dried coriander, or fresh coriander if I feel flush. Chilli powder, ginger powder, and dried chillies all work too if you don’t have the fresh stuff.
When all the veggies are coated in the stuff you’ve crumbled in, add the coconut milk and top up with water depending on how ‘soupy’ you want it to be. Give it a stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, turn the heat down a bit and let it simmer for about 10-20 mins-depends how soft you want your veggies to be.
Check noodle packet for cooking instructions, dry and wet usually take 2-3 mins to cook. Chuck ‘em in at the end, with any cooked fish or meats you have and let it all cook/heat through. Stir it, mix it, sing to it if you want. Then eat some when it’s at a temperature at which it shall not burn off your face.
I am a fan of things that you just chuck in one pan. That’s one pan to wash whenever you can be bothered. (On a side note, I once knew a group of students who vowed to NEVER leave dirty dishes in the sink/on the side. Instead they had a ‘dirty dishes cupboard’. A CUPBOARD FULL OF FESTERING DISHES. This is a bad idea, wash up quite soon after cooking).
To make bean chilli chop these things: onion, garlic, chillies, ginger, peppers, carrots, celery.
Fry them in a bit of oil until the onions go clear-ish and everything is softer than before.
Add some chilli powder, maybe a beef or vegetable stock cube if you fancy. Stir it so it sticks to the stuff.
Add a can or two of chopped tomatoes, maybe top up with a bit of water, depends on how much you want to make.
Stir with a spoon, or other appropriate utensil, like the handle of a large knife or one of those large novelty pens your grandma gets you from Spain.
Tip in some cans of beans, as many different sorts as you want/can fit in the pan, or just some from each can: kidney beans, broad beans, haricot beans, pinto beans, green beans. Some people-I call them MONSTERS-like sweetcorn, so you could some add as long as you aren’t cooking for me.
Stir it and let it simmer for a bit, not on too high a heat or it will all burn, but not too low or it won’t cook: it’s an art (luck). Stir it occasionally for maybe 20 mins? If it is hot and looks cooked, it probably is.
HANDY TIP: You can get food poisoning from slow cooking kidney beans, don’t slow cook kidneys beans.
HYGIENE TIP: Wash up within 48 hours of eating, sooner if you’re really posh.
Domoda is a West-African peanut stew that is easy to make vegan/vegetarian or loaded with the flesh and bones of an animal bred for our satisfaction. I prefer the latter so I shall include meat in my recipe but feel free to leave it out, or try a different meat like goat (delicious) or rat (authentic). It is the national dish of The Gambia so I can’t stay completely true to the recipe but the adaptions are only minor.
You’ll need: 6 chicken thighs (or the aforementioned meats)
1 large onion (chopped into long thin strips)
3 cloves of garlic (cut fine, with a razor blade, like that scene in the prison in Goodfellas)
2 fresh scotch bonnet peppers (optional heat, reduce or add for fire)
2 Sweet Potato (Cut in half then into discs, however is fine though)
2 Handfuls of chernay carrots (They don’t have these in The Gambia but they are great)
1 Jar of peanut butter (Crunchy, always crunchy)
1 Pack of fresh tomatoes (Those little baby ones cut in half are best, but any type cut however is good, this recipe is loose)
2 Tins of chopped tomatoes (Opened, preferably)
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika (Generous pinches of all)
^ side note on spices, invest in spices, you can use them for everything ennit.
1 Litre if chicken stock (Maggi is best, OXO will do, boiled out chicken bones is audacious but easily done)
I used my flatmates slow-cooker to cook for the year, but if you’re not lucky enough to have such a luxury, or not selfish enough to commandeer somebody else’s for yourself, I suggest getting the biggest saucepan possible. You can always split it into two medium size ones or adapt the recipe. Essentially everything goes in at once for a very long time, I’d add the chicken stock last so that you can more easily adapt the amount of liquid you’ll need, otherwise the potential for a peanut explosion gets higher and higher. Stir regularly and cook for between 4-8 hours, when cooking any stew with meat you have the option of browning off the chicken to seal in flavour, but the flavour you really want is rich peanutty goodness so I reckon just throw it in and make sure it’s cooked. Slow cooker on low can take up to 8 hours but as long as the chicken is cooked and the veg is soft you’re good to go.
Wash it down with a beer of some sort and pretend you’re in the sun.