Good Food for Students
Me, as a fellow teenager and having just seen all of the people from my school disappear off to university, I’ve now noticed that after four weeks of living off pizza, burgers, chips and, you guessed it, kebabs, many of them have now realised that actually they need a little tiny weeny bit of wholesome food.No fear, as MAZWO is here to provide a little advice about good places to shop and also easy things to cook for the most amateur of chefs. I have been very lucky (ish!) as I have had the opportunity to go out and buy my own food, cook my own dinners and all on a miniscule budget, so I write this with empathy..believe me!
I’ll also provide a bit of help for those who live on a restricted diet, such as being a vegan or a coeliac.
- Try to avoid buying cheap meat. It won’t taste as nice as your mum and dad can cook it, and it will mostly be filled with water. Aldi and Lidl meat isn’t really the best, but I trust places like Tesco, for example. I live off Tesco food, and I have to say that their bacon and chicken breasts are brilliant. Grill the bacon to get all the ‘white stuff’ (water) out of the meat, and when cooking chicken it will produce water too, so try rolling it in flour before frying.
- Cheese is a good food for students to have, just in case. Cheese and crumpets are great things for the fridge. Crumpets usually keep longer than bread, and keep them in the fridge to stop them from moulding. Cheese on crumpet is a really easy, filling meal.
- Jacket potatoes and beans. Coeliacs and vegans, listen out! Jacket potatoes make a filling tea and are a good food for students. For your potato, wash it, prick it with a fork, bung it into a hot oven (highest setting: Gas 8 etc) and leave for 45-60 mins. You can also do them in a dual microwave for 10-12 mins. As for baked beans, the best form of protein (better than steak), cheap and also tasty, a good food for students. Buy the reduced salt and sugar ones to make it a little bit more wholesome too.
- Pasta, gluten free or otherwise. For coeliacs who are new to buying free from food, Sainsbury’s is the best place, in my opinion, to buy free from food. Their foods are roughly the same price as non-gluten free foods, (i.e. their GF pasta is £1). You can knock up a simple tomato sauce (recipe on the website) or just buy one in for a vegan GF meal.
- Eat!! I know it may seem obvious, but I have seen too many people go to university and forget to eat. Don’t do this. You’ll become ill. If you can’t afford food, there are lots of places at universities that you can go to get financial help.
- Supermarkets reduce food at the end of the day! If you have a late lecture, go to the supermarket afterwards and leg it to the reduced aisle. It gets pretty feisty down there, but it can be worth it. People have been able to buy fillet steak for less than £1 before!
- Don’t buy lunch meal deals. Lunch meal deals are possibly the biggest rip off in the UK. £3 for a sandwich, a packet of crisps and a drink?! You must be joking. It’s much cheaper to make your own lunches or eat in the union where you can receive special deals.
- Bananas are good food for students. Bananas make a great snack/breakfast. They are full of vitamins, are cheap (make sure you buy fair trade). and even come with their own covering so don’t need washing.
- Frozen veg and tinned fruit count as your five a day! Frozen veg is great as it doesn’t go off. Peas and broccoli are good ones to buy and just need boiling for a couple of minutes. Tinned fruit is also good as long as it is in juice, and not syrup!
- Make a rota so each of you cooks. If you’re savvy, and particularly in the second and third years, make a rota so each person cooks a meal once a week. Good things to make are things with mince (it’s cheap) such as spag bol, chilli con carne, cottage pie. You can also make curries, rice dishes, pasta dishes.
- YouTube videos are a great source for recipes. My absolute favourite is Jamie’s Food Tube, as his food is simple. wholesome and special recipes using cheaper ingredients. Sam Stern also has a book full of really good food for students who are new to cooking (also includes vegan and GF recipes!)
- Have fun cooking! The most important thing is that once you know the basics of how to cook, it’s actually quite good fun cooking simple foods that you can enjoy. And don’t worry, mum and dad are only a phonecall away.
If anyone would like any more information about good, healthy, free-from and student meals, don’t be afraid to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org . I’m speaking from experience here!