Amongst all the new things that abruptly come into your life when starting University, cooking was probably one of the scariest for me. If cooking is not a skill one already possesses when starting University, it is something you definitely need to learn. Do not worry if all you’re eating for the first few weeks is pasta and beans on toast, it wouldn’t be the proper University experience otherwise! Over the next few years, you will inevitably learn to cook new meals and you’ll get into a routine or what you eat on a weekly basis. I thought I would share with you some of my favourite meals to eat throughout the week that are cheap and easy to cook. Unfortunately, for some of you, I am a vegetarian. So, these meals don’t have any meat products in them, but of course you can use alternative ingredients if wanted! Though my advice you is: fruit and vegetable need to be your best friends at University, especially during Freshers!
Monday – Quorn Meatballs and Spaghetti: This meal is super easy and quick to make and of course it wouldn’t be a University household if some sort of pasta meal wasn’t involved! I always cook a variety of vegetables in a pan, before adding my Quorn meatballs. Sometimes I use Quorn mince, which is equally as nice. There are so many ways to make this meal and it all depends on how you like your pasta sauce and what vegetables you like. For more ideas, there is a link below:
Tuesday – Fajitas: This is another great meal to help you get your 5-a-Day. Also, it is ridiculous easy to make. Prepare your vegetables and Quorn/meat product, fry it all in a pan and add some spices. Shove it in a wrap with some cheese and salsa and you are good to go. This is a great meal for you and your house mates to try together! I have included a chicken recipe for fajitas below:
Wednesday – Quorn Chilli: This meal is quite similar to the Quorn meatballs and pasta. Same lines as cooking vegetables, making a sauce, adding your Quorn/meat product and cooking rice/pasta! Chilli’s are quite good as there as so many different flavours you can experiment with and a variety of vegetables to throw in. Below is a recipe for chilli can carne, of course if you are a vegetarian like me, you just use Quorn mince!
Thursday – Vegetable Curry: There are so many different types of curry you can make, which is great because not every week has to be the same. I prefer my curries to be hot and spicy, whereas others prefer something more mild. This is probably the best meal for shoving all your vegetables into a dish, there’s nothing you can’t put in there. I have included a link for lots of different ideas for your curry. It is a great meal for practising your cooking skills!
Friday – Quorn product, Vegetables and Mash: If you fancy something so ridiculously easy, this meal is the one to go for. If I cannot be bothered to do some proper cooking, I just choose a Quorn product and shove in the oven. If you are not a vegetarian you can throw in some sausages, a breaded chicken, etc. Alongside this, I normally boil some farmhouse vegetables (peas, carrots, broccoli) and make some sort of potatoes. My favourite is mashed, because it’s the easiest to do. There are no recipes for this because it is so easy and very cheap too! Perfect meal for a University student.
Saturday – Vegetable Risotto: When you have more time, you can really improve your cooking skills by attempting a risotto! This one of the first things I tried to cook that wasn’t pasta or toast. It was surprisingly simpler than I thought and there are so many different types of risotto you can try too! My favourite is mushroom risotto, so I have included a link down below for you to try!
Sunday – Sunday Dinner: the biggest of all meals. You may need to get your housemates on board when attempting this meal. The first time you make a roast dinner it is so overwhelming! There are so many things cooking, all at different times. But once you have mastered the Sunday roast, you are pretty much a pro. There is no better house bonding session than a good Sunday dinner. Below is a link for a Sunday roast dinner, if you’re a vegetarian like me – spring for a nice nut roast or a Quorn alternative product.
There you have it. Lots of different meals that I may eat in a week. A lot of them are very similar, but this saves money on ingredients and I am still getting all the vegetables and all that other great stuff you need. Cooking is a skill that will soon come naturally to you, so don’t worry if it doesn’t work out at first. And of course – we all have those days where we are too lazy and swing for a cheeky takeaway. I have been there and you’re lying if you haven’t.
Good luck with cooking everyone!