So, you’ve learnt what to stock your cupboards with in this post here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/fresher-food-stocks.html . But what should you actually cook? And how the hell are you meant to make something decent with as few a ingredients as possible? Well, here are some ideas to get you started. I’m also going to tell you how to combine herbs and spices to flavour your meals, how to make some easy sauces and dips, and make your creations taste better than your mum’s cooking. Maybe. With a bit of practice.
5 Spice + Ginger + Crushed Garlic + 1tbsp Soy Sauce = Stir Fry Sauce
1Tbsp Nut Butter of Choice (almond, peanut, pumpkin, or cashew work well) + 1tsp Soy Sauce + Ginger = Satay Style Sauce
Greek Yoghurt + Mustard To Taste + Honey to Taste = Honey & Mustard Salad Dressing/ Rub for Meat/ Marinade
Italian Herbs + Crushed Garlic + Black Pepper + White Pepper = Meat or Fish Rub, and also Roasted Vegetable or Potato Seasoning
Cinnamon + Ginger + Honey = Apple Pie Porridge Mix. Add to porridge along with apple and sultanas.
Curry Powder + Ginger + Cinnamon + Garlic + Cumin + Chilli Flakes = Indian Inspired Curry. Add to curries, rub meat or fish with it, or roasted vegetables in it.
Cumin + Ginger + Cinnamon + Honey + Garlic = Middle Eastern Inspired Spice Mix.
- Porridge, topped with whatever you like…..basic mix: 30-40g porridge oats + 130 ml water, milk, or a mixture. Add cinnamon and ginger if desired. Cook for 1-2 minutes in the microwave, top with fruit, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, nut butter, honey etc.
- Shredded Wheat…Top with what you like, along with either cold or warm milk.
- Overnight Oats…1/4 cup oats + 1/4 cup yoghurt + 1/4 cup milk + spices, fruit, and other add ins. There are plenty of ideas here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/the-overnight-oats-collective.html
- Tofu Scramble…100g firm tofu + chosen veggies + chosen spices. Lightly cook the veggies in a pan, crumble in the tofu and spices, and heat through.
- Veggie-Eggy Scramble…Same as above, but using 2 eggs
- Baked Oatmeal…40g oats + 1/3 cup milk of choice + spices of choice + fruit of choice + 2tbsp Greek yoghurt OR 1 egg OR 1/2 mashed banana OR 1/4 mashed avocado + 1/4 tsp baking powder. Combine all ingredients, place into an oven preheated to 190*c for 18-20 minutes. You will find LOADS of baked oatmeal recipes on this blog, here’s one to get you started: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/yoghurt-baked-oatmeal-peach-blueberry.html
- Nut Butter & Banana on Toast… self explanatory.
- Basic Get Up & Go Smoothie…1 banana, sliced up and frozen + 150ml milk of choice + 1 handful frozen or fresh berries/ 1 handful frozen fruit of your choice such as mango + 2tbsp Greek yoghurt (optional) + 1tbsp porridge oats + cinnamon and ginger to taste. There are PLENTY of smoothie recipes under the “Drinks” section of this blog, check it out: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Drinks. My favourites include the pear and blackberry, pumpkin pie, and the coconut-cashew.
- Houmous & Veggie Wrap… 2tbsp houmous + 1 wholemeal wrap + 1/4 bell pepper + 1/2 carrot + 1 chunk of cucumber. Spread a wrap with 2tbsp houmous, and sliced bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber. Wrap and go.
- Salad…Salad leaves + Any veg you have + 1 protein (canned fish/ 2 boiled eggs for example) + Carb (pitta/cous cous/1 serving pasta/wholemeal wrap…)
- Soup + Bread…Buy a healthy brand and divide into portions, stick one into a flask and freeze the other. Alternatively, have a go at making this soup…http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/hearty-winter-soup-serves-5.html
- Chickpea & Bean Salad…recipe right here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/vegan-chickpea-bean-salad.html
- Vegan Cous Cous Salad…1 serving cous cous + 1/2 can pineapple + chilli flakes + 10g chopped walnuts + 3 chopped prunes + Any vegetables such as tomatoes, pepper, celery, cucumber, or carrot, that you have in.
- Leftover Vegetable Box…1 serving of your leftover veg + 1 serving of cous cous, quinoa, bread, or any alternative + 2 eggs, or canned fish, or some chicken, or houmous
- Scrambled Eggs on Toast…2 Slices of wholemeal toast, or toasted pitta + 2 eggs scrambled in the microwave with Italian herbs, black and white pepper, and chilli flakes.
- Baked Bean & Veg Pot…Leftover veg + 1 serving Baked Beans. Heat the veg and Baked Beans, stir together.
- Egg “Mayo” Sandwich…2 chopped up boiled eggs + 1-2tsbp natural yoghurt + white pepper + curry powder + 2 slices lightly toasted bread. Mix the eggs with the yoghurt and spices, top the bread with this (and some lettuce if you have any), sandwich together.
- PB, Apple, and Prune Wrap…1 Wholemeal wrap + 2 Chopped prunes + 1tbsp Peanut butter + 1 Chopped apple. Spread the wrap with PB, lay the apple slices and prunes on there- wrap and go.
- Banana, Almond Butter, and Raspberry Sandwich….2 Slices wholemeal bread + 1tbsp Almond butter + Small handful raspberries + 1 Ripe banana + Dash of cinnamon. Spread one slice of bread with the almond butter, chop the banana and lay it onto here, add cinnamon if desired. Crush the raspberries onto the other slice using a fork. Sandwich together.
- Vegetable Chilli… Recipe right here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/bean-vegetable-chilli.html
- Vegetable Curry + Brown Rice…1 onion + 1 Handful mushrooms + 1 Bell pepper + 1 Can tomatoes + Curry spice mix (see above) + 1/2 cup Frozen peas + Frozen or fresh broccoli (equivalent to 1/2 head of broccoli) FREEZE THE LEFTOVER PORTIONS. Serve with brown rice.
- Moroccan Mince…You can replace the mince in this BBC Good Food recipe with Quorn or turkey mince, and serve it with cous cous. Freezes brilliantly, and was a staple meal in my first term! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1725/moroccan-spiced-mince-with-couscous
- Pesto, Tomato, Olive & Cheese Toastie…2 Slices wholemeal bread + 1 Sliced tomato, or 2-3 jarred sundried tomatoes + 1-2tsp Pesto + 5 Jarred olives + 30g Cheese of choice. Toast the bread, spread with pesto, top with olives, tomatoes, and cheese. Grill until the cheese is melted. Sandwich together.
- Veggie Stir Fry + Wholemeal Noodles…1/2 head of broccoli, or equivalent in frozen broccoli + 1 Bell pepper + 1 Carrot + Handful of mushrooms + 1 Onion + Stir Fry Sauce, or Satay Style Sauce (see above) + 1 serving wholemeal noodles. Keep the leftover veg in tubs in the fridge for lunches.
- Quorn/Regular Sausage & Veg Kebab with Microwave Sweet Potato Wedges…2 sausages + 1/2 Bell pepper + 1/2 Onion + Small handful baby tomatoes + 1 Medium sweet potato. Cook the sausages and thread onto a skewer along with the chopped veg, grill on medium heat for 5 minutes, turning half way through. Chop the potato into wedges and microwave with a dash of smoked paprika until tender. Serve with salsa if desired.
- Fish & Mushy Pea Sandwich…2 Slices wholemeal bread + 1 frozen white fish fillet + 1/3 can peas. Cook the fish according to packet intructions, toast the bread, mash the peas. Spread the peas onto the bread (add ketchup if you like), place the fish on top. Sandwich together.
- Pesto Pasta…1 Noodle nest / serving of pasta + 2-3tsp pesto + Any veg you have in, lightly cooked in a pan with a little oil and Italian herbs (tomatoes, mushrooms, and courgette works well together). Cook the noodles/pasta, stir in the pesto and cooked veg, heat through for one minute.
- Comfort Food Bangers & Mash…3-4 New potatoes, boiled until tender + 2 Sausages + 2tsp Gravy granules + 1 Serving frozen broccoli + 1 Serving frozen peas. Cook the sausages and veg according to packet instructions whilst the potatoes are boiling. Mash the potatoes, add hot water enough to the granules to give the desired gravy consistency, and serve up.
- Jacket Potato (Regular or Sweet Potato) + Topping...1 Jacket potato + Baked beans OR Tuna mayo (1/2 can tuna, 1-2tbsp yoghurt, seasonings of choice, canned sweetcorn) OR Coronation chicken (cooked chicken breast chopped up + 1 tbsp. yoghurt + 1 tbsp. sultanas + Dash of curry powder) OR Canned fish such as mackerel in tomato sauce OR Egg “mayo” (see the lunch ideas). Serve with salad or steamed broccoli if you can.
- Pitta Pizza…1 Wholemeal pitta bread + 1/2 tbsp. tomato puree +1 tsp Italian herbs + 30g Cheese of choice + Toppings of choice (use your jarred garlic, olives, and pesto, your canned fish, or pineapple, and any fresh ingredients you have hanging about). Toast the pitta bread slightly, and then spread with the tomato puree, sprinkle with herbs, top with toppings and cheese. Place under the grill on medium until the cheese has melted. This also works with two slices of toast, or an English muffin…
And so there you have it. LOADS of healthy, student appropriate recipes, which should help you to keep off the Freshman 15. Although sometimes simple is great too: a serving of quinoa or rice or a jacket potato, a piece of fish or chicken, and two good servings of vegetables or salad was one meal I ate regularly. The potatoes kept forever in a cupboard, the veg was cheap or already in my freezer, and I had a bag of fish fillets in my freezer too.
This blog is packed with healthy and delicious recipes to try, and I used all of them during my first year, so take a look around. Once you find your feet in the kitchen you’ll start inventing your own dishes, and that’s when cooking can become fun.