Five must-have meals from one newbie student chef to another

Posted in: Money, Wellbeing

Psychology student Kaylee shares her top 5 student recipes:

As a newbie cook during my time at university, I understand the mixed experiences cooking brings. It can be both liberating and challenging, but fear not! Over four years, I've discovered quick and easy recipes that are perfect for students. These meals can be prepared in under 30 minutes and stored as meal plans. Get ready to embark on a flavourful journey with me as I share my top picks for student-friendly meals.  

1. The One with the One-Pot Pasta 

Pasta is a staple meal for university students as it’s simple and delicious. An easy way to start is to grab your favourite pasta sauce from the supermarket and pair it with a pasta of your choice. If you’re feeling more confident, my go-to pasta dish is this one-pot vegan mushroom pasta recipe. The combination of garlic and thyme makes this recipe pop and you could also add chicken depending on your dietary preferences. It’s perfect for busy evenings and leaves you with plenty of leftovers for your next meal.  

2. The One with the Curry 

From tikka masala to Thai green curry, the flavourful hot seasonings in curry are what make it a delicious dish. It is no wonder curries are well-celebrated around the world in different variations. As a newbie, I often find curry to be an intimidating dish to make from scratch. Besides, my spice tolerance is lower than average. If you’re also the same, I highly recommend purchasing this golden curry stock cube for a classic Japanese Katsu recipe. The flavour is on-point and goes very well with onion, potatoes, and carrots.  

3. The One with the Stir-Fry 

Stir fries are the ideal end-of-the-week meal as it’s about gathering the ingredients you have left in the fridge. One stir-fry dish that I routinely make is this Thai basil stir fry. It’s very filling and as a flexitarian, I often substitute the pork mince with vegetarian mince. If you have also developed a fondness for this dish after trying it for the first time, I highly recommend investing in a basil plant for a long-term supply of basil leaves. Plus you gain a plant friend! 😉 

4. The One When You’re Under the Weather 

I'm sure many of us can relate to this, but when we're unwell, the last thing we want to do is cook. However, when you're in university, taking care of yourself while being sick is an inevitable part of the experience. After going through numerous bouts of runny nose and bed rest, I've discovered that this chicken congee recipe is an absolute lifesaver. It provides the necessary strength and nourishment for recovery. For those following a vegetarian diet, you can easily substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock and fill it with nutritious vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and it will yield the same beneficial results. (P.S. It’s also perfect for a cold winter day!) 

5. The One that Takes You Back To Your Childhood 

Nostalgia holds great power. If you're lucky enough to obtain the recipe for that one dish that evokes memories of home, learn it quickly! There are moments during university when loneliness creeps in and homesickness takes over, and having that recipe can truly save the day. If you don't have such a recipe, allow me to share with you a butter chicken recipe that brings back memories of my hometown, Malaysia. This dish is rich, creamy, and simply divine. It is adored by Malaysians, and I'm sure that you will love it too. 

Posted in: Money, Wellbeing


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