Advice for Students, Cooking, Student Life

5 Cheap and Healthy Meals

 Cheap Meals to Cook without missing out on juicy flavours 

Being a student is tough, you have to juggle your finances and social life. Where does food fit into all of that? Dominoes or Fam Fish. Take away, or even just weekly Tesco shops can really affect your budget. Home cooking is the answer; not only is it a great skill to have, but it is also cheaper.  

Here are 6 cheap meals you can prepare that are not your average Jacket Potato or Beans on Toast, and they are all vegetarian or vegan (Meat is expensive!), but don’t let that put you off – they are all still incredibly tasty.  

BBC Goodfoods

Sweet potato, lentil and spinach curry  

Method: 

1. Put some coconut oil (or normal oil but let’s try and save the rainforests by reducing palm oil usage!) and add curry powder to the oil, Heat.  

2.Chop up 2 sweet potatoes and put to the side. Cut up any other veg you want, I use mushrooms, 1 onion and carrot. 

3.Add these to a large saucepan and cook until the onions are soft. Then add the sweet potato and 250g of red lentils with 200ml of water and 400ml of coconut milk.  

4. Stir and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for around 30-40 minutes, or until the liquid has majorly reduced.  

5. Add spinach for a few minutes, just long enough for it to wilt a little without going soggy 

6. Season with salt and serve with rice or eat by itself. 

BBC Goodfoods

Soup

Lentils, carrot and ginger, leek and potato, or plain good old tomato soup. Whatever vegetables you have, be it courgette or spinach, you can genuinely make a very tasty soup, add some good seasonings (paprika is my favourite, can be served with some Greek yogurt if your taste buds can’t handle it. Or thyme or even basil leaves)  

Method: It’s really as simple as chopping up your chosen vegetables, adding to a pan with 200ml of vegetable stock and heating. Then whizz with a blender if you want smooth soup. 

BBC Goodfood

Satay sweet potato curry  

Method: identical to the first point but add some Peanut butter and serve with chopped peanuts if desired.  

1. Put some coconut oil (or normal oil but let’s try and save the rainforests by reducing palm oil usage!) and add curry powder to the oil, Heat.  

2.Chop up 2 sweet potatoes and put to the side. Cut up any other veg you want, I use mushrooms, 1 onion and carrot. 

3.Add these to a large saucepan and cook until the onions are soft. Then add the sweet potato and 250g of red lentils with 200ml of water and 400ml of coconut milk and 2 tbsp of Peanut Butter.  

4. Stir and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for around 30-40 minutes, or until the liquid has majorly reduced.  

5. Season with salt and serve with rice or eat by itself. 

BBC Goodfoods

Vegetable Lasagne 

The trick to keeping the cost down is keeping the meat out. This vegetable lasagne is not only unimaginably tasty but also under £5 and lasts you for at least 4 days. What’s not to love? 

  1. Put oven on to heat up – 180 degrees
  2. Chop vegetables – onion, carrot, aubergine, courgette, sweet potato, mushrooms, spinach. (I usually use 1 whole onion, 4 carrots, half an aubergine, half a courgette, a small sweet potato, 10 mushrooms and two handfuls of spinach.)  
  3. Fry or roast the veg until cooked, if frying, do until the onion has softened 
  4. Soften lasagne sheets with boiling water (be careful not to let them touch or they will stick together)  
  5. Add a base layer of Lidl’s Lasagna tomato sauce and add veg, then two lasagne sheets, add a layer or Lidl’s lasagne white sauce and repeat until the tray is full, add cheese to top if desired. 
  6. Place in oven for about 15 minutes  
  7. Vegetable fritters 
  8. Spiralise courgette (or grate into ribbons), chop up mushrooms and onion, tomato, aubergine and carrots. Can add chickpeas (blended) 
  9. Soften in a frying pan on a low heat 
  10. Add to a mixing bowl and add two eggs (unless using blended chickpeas)  
  11. Shape into balls and flatten, then add to a frying pan 
  12. Fry and then flip  
  13. Serve with potato wedges/chips  
BBC Goodfoods

Chickpea burgers 

  1. Chop up 1 large onion 
  2. Add drained chickpeas, onion, half a tablespoon of ground coriander, a tsp of Harissa, a handful of parsley and basil to a blender.  
  3. Blend, then form them into patties using your hands 
  4. Add some coconut oil to a pan and heat on a medium heat 
  5. Add your patties and flip once the underside is golden 
  6. This can be served in a brioche bun with cheese and salad or eaten alone with chips and veg 

These are all really healthy, but very tasty options worth trying out. They make enough servings that you can put some in the freezer and some in the fridge and alternate what you eat for the week. That way you don’t get bored of your meals, and you’re not wasting any! 

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