If you’re used to Mummy cooking all your meals, you’re not alone. But you’re a big kid now, and it’s time to grow up. Dust off the saucepans and break out the cutting board. You’re about to start cooking, and it’s going to be just fine…
1) Pasta is your friend
A bag of pasta goes a long way. Buy toppings such as olives, pesto, cheese and tuna to make something that’s both tasty and healthy. You can always fry up various vegetables and add a cheesy topping. meat-lovers can add meatballs or pieces of stir-fried chicken mixed with veg for a quick meal. Don’t forget the myriad jars of pre-prepared sauces that just need a few fresh items added.
2) Strike up a freezer friendship
When it’s late at night and you need something nourishing, avoid the temptation to pay double the price to have McDonald’s delivered, or to eat that chocolate bar hiding from your housemates in a corner of the cupboard. Quick and tasty meals can be made when the fridge is bare – by reaching for the freezer instead. Next payday, stock up on frozen items such as waffles, vegetarian sausages, peas, Quorn chicken nuggets and cheap ready-meals. Pop them on a baking tray and you’ve got a tasty, nutritious lunch or dinner in about 20 minutes – and one that’s cheap as chips (literally).
3) Don’t forget to buy fresh fruit and veg
Students eating on their own for the first time often splash out on stodgy food and alcohol. But not having enough nutrients in your diet, or drinking your meals, is not a recipe for health and happiness. Add fresh fruit and veg to your shopping list – and findtime to eat it. Top tip: Frozen mixed berries, ice cream, a bit of milk and a banana make a fantastic smoothie, and give you your five a day. Add some kale or a raw egg for added flavour and protein. Investing in a cheap blender is a good idea.
4) Splash out on a sandwich
The days of ham and cheese on white bread are over. Buy a healthy, wholemeal loaf and go crazy. Toppings can include different cheese, different meats, and a variety of veg, from peppers to lettuce to cucumber slices. You can even make a toastie in a frying pan for a warming meal – just butter both sides of the bread well before frying. make sure the cheese melts full and add a few gherkins on the side. Great for both meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.
5) Buy a student cookbook
Nobody is a born cook – people have to learn how to do it. You can buy a cheap student cookbook on ebay for a few pounds and get some new and exciting ideas. Remember, everyone loves a (good) cook… Invite your roommate or that cute gal/guy in your chemistry class and impress them with a three-course meal. Start with a salad, then move on to an entree followed by a delicious dessert. Fruit cocktail with a side of ice cream is always a favourite – and some say certain fruits even have aphrodisiac qualities…