Budgeting, Health and Wellbeing, Managing your money, New Students, Student Stories

Easy Eats: 5 Vegan Varieties

Kate, Student Intern, shares 5 budget-friendly vegan dishes for you to try this World Vegan Day…

Happy World Vegan Day to both our vegan and non-vegan students! A vegan is someone who chooses not to eat meat, fish or dairy products, although the common misconception seems to be that vegans live on little more than almond milk and air. This blog certainly blows those ideas out of the water.

Vegan meals can be cheap, healthy and easily made with my go-to guide. Staple vegan foods such as chick peas can be bought for as little as around 40p a tin in Lidl! So why not give a vegan meal a go? Cutting down on meat and dairy could be good for you, your wallet and the environment.



1) Sweet potato and white bean chilli

The sweet potato and white bean chilli is a students best friend as you can make multiple portions and freeze them for later in the week, or when you’re having one of those ‘I don’t want to cook’ sort of days.


  • 2 medium sweet potato
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 yellow pepper
  • 1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
  • 1 x 400 g tin of tomatoes

(Serves 4-6)


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
  2. Peel and chop the sweet potato and put them on an oven tray, then mix in then oil and a pinch each of the cinnamon, cumin and paprika.
  3. Roast in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. Chop up the onion. Pick the coriander leaves, and chop the stalks. Roughly chop the chilli, then deseed and chop the peppers.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan, then add the onion, coriander stalks, chilli and peppers along with the remaining spices.
  6. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
  7. Add the cannellini beans with their liquid, and the tinned tomatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  8. Stir in the sweet potatoes along with most of the coriander leaves. Season to taste and top with the rest of the coriander leaves. Serve over cooked rice with some guacamole on the side, if you like.


2) Chickpea curry with potatoes

A personal favourite of the interns at Student Support.


  • Rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped up
  • 2 small potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large carrot, cut into slices
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste (optional)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  •  Salt
  •  Black pepper
  •  Cashews (optional)

(Serves 2)


  1. Cook the rice.
  2. In a large pan, heat some oil and add the onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add the potatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the red curry paste and the curry and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, carrot, chickpeas, and peas and cook for about 20 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve with cashews and cilantro.
  5. Serve with the rice.


3) Pesto and olive pasta

A truly classic student friendly meal. Make this for your housemates and they won’t believe its all handmade!


  1. Spaghetti
  2. 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  3. ¼ cup green olives (pitted)
  4. ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  5. ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  6. olive oil
  7. ¼ cup black olives (chopped)
  8. Salt

Serves 4


  1. Cook the spaghetti. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, add the garlic, green olives, parsley, and basil to a food processor. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until fully incorporated. Or if like most students you don’t have a food processor, you can do this with a mortar and pestle.
  3. In a large pan, over medium heat, cook the olive pesto for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spaghetti, reserved pasta water, black olives, and salt and cook until the water is absorbed and the spaghetti is heated through.


4) Bean burritos

To warm you through those winter months here’s some lovely bean burritos.


  1. 1 can chick peas
  2. Fajita spice
  3. Onions (chopped)
  4. 1 can chopped Tomatoes
  5. Mushrooms (chopped)
  6. Wrap
  7. Garlic (chopped)
  8. Olive oil


  1. In a large pan heat the olive oil, then add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms for another 1 minute.
  3. Add the chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and spices and simmer.
  4. Drain off excess liquid and fill wraps.


5) One pot spicy rice

The recipe means minimal washing up, and let’s be honest, that’s every student’s dream.


  1. Sunflower oil
  2. 1 garlic clove
  3. 2 tablespoons of curry paste
  4. 250g basmati rice (rinsed)
  5. 450ml vegetable stock
  6. 400g chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  7. Handful of raisins
  8. 175g frozen spinach leaves (thawed)
  9. Cashew nuts (optional)

(Serves 4)

  1. Heat the oil in the pan and add the garlic and curry paste for 1 minute
  2. Add the rice to the pan with the stock, chickpeas and raisins. (Use fork to prevent clumping)
  3. Bring pan to boil and then reduce to simmer for 12-15 mins or until liquid is absorbed by rice.
  4. Add spinach and use fork to fluff up the ingredients.
  5. Add in the optional cashew nuts and serve.

I hope you enjoy your healthy vegan varieties!

Want more healthy eats and budgeting tips?

Keep up to date with all of our blogs, videos and posts by following us on twitter and Facebook, search ‘studentlifecu’ and if you want someone to talk to about budgeting or money issues come and see our Advice & Money team.

Student Support Services at Cardiff University are here to help you, please drop in and see us at 50 Park Place or contact us should you have any questions, Telephone: 02920 874528 Email: adviceandmoney@cardiff.ac.uk.


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Best wishes, 

Kate, Student Intern.

kate coventry

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & MoneyCareers & EmployabilityCounselling, Health & WellbeingDisability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

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