Food For Students

Written by students for students

Cheap and cheerful – Sausage, potato and tomato bake

Looking for a cheap and filling meal that’s a little bit different, this could be the answer!

Ingredients: Sausages, potatoes (cut into small cubes), 1 onion (chopped), red pepper, garlic, tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 chilli (take seeds out unless you like it really hot), some stock (chicken, vegetable, anything you can get hold of) and some herbs.

The amount of sausages and potatoes depends on your budget – start of term more sausages, end of term more potatoes.

Method: Simply fry the sausages in a generous helping of oil (10 mins) whilst par-boiling potatoes (only 5 mins) cut into small cubes. Take out the sausages and place in casserole dish and fry chopped onions, chillies and garlic in the same oil (retains the flavour). Next, after putting the onions etc in the dish, fry the potatoes and chopped red pepper again in the same oil. Then heat up the chopped tomatoes and stir in mixed herbs and a bit of black pepper (I also added a bay leaf),  if needed add some of the stock and again stir in. Finally mix in the tomato sauce to the sausages etc and put the dish in the oven for 10-15 mins. Serve with some greens (I used mange tout but peas would work just as well).

This is a perfect student dish, cheap and easy and the leftovers will be good for lunch the next day!

This is just one of the many dishes you can cook from leftovers in the kitchen that can save the student pocket, imagination and having the guts to try new things is the key!

Surviving on bare cupboards

So it’s that time of year again, only a couple of weeks left until the end of term and your cupboards are looking bare, but can you really be bothered to spend the money or the time on a big shop? No. We are students and the last weeks of term should be about spending our time and money on partying. So how to survive on the last remnants of the terms shopping?

However, there is no need to fear, it is possible with enough imagination and determination to make a meal out of nearly anything. For instance take a typical left over selection: some stale bread, onions, potatoes and some beans (broad, kidney, cannellini, doesn’t matter). Doesn’t seem like much does it? But mix with a few essentials for every kitchen such as: garlic, butter and some herbs and within an hour you can have a really filling potato and bean stew.

For this ‘bare bones dish’ simply make the stale bread into bread crumbs, heat them up in a pan, and set aside. Then gently fry the onions and garlic, par boil the potatoes, mix all together in a big pan with the herbs, beans and butter (with half a lemon if possible). Once all mixed in, add the bread crumbs and leave to simmer with some vegetable stock for 15 minutes. So there you have it, an easy meal from your leftover ingredients.

In order to be able to make these meals out of nothing, there are however a few things that will make it a lot easier. As already mentioned, a herb and spice rack is a key tool for any chef, student or not. Other things that are always handy include: garlic, onions, tomato puree, tinned tomatoes and soy sauce. Most of these things have long sell by dates which means they wont be a waste of money. The most important thing when assessing the food situation is to be creative! A tin of tomatoes and pasta can make a simple but tasty dish with the right herbs and a few vegetables. Vegetables can be turned into a stir fry with just some noodles and soy sauce. And a curry can be made out of some double cream and spices. So next time you go shopping in your last few days of term, just think, do you really have to or would the food you already have create the perfect end of term meal with some inspiration.

The question on all students lips, what are the most essential things to take to uni?

I may have found the answer, the herb and spice rack. This may seem expensive to begin with but you have to view things in the long run. Say it costs £15 to buy at first, the amount it will save you, as well as the quality results, will more than pay this pack. I was given a spice rack when I first came to uni and did not think I would use it that much, this all changed though when I wanted to start cooking currys with real flavour rather than this manufactured stuff you buy in jars. With a spice rack all you need for a curry with real flavour is meat and a tin of tomatoes. Now if you compare a tin of tomatoes to a jar of curry, the price difference is obvious. Another reason is the licence to experiment, now you can create all your own dishes in your own way. For any ecomonically minded student who wants to make their own good food, the herb and spice rack is a must!!!

As an example, try this basic recipe but change the water for a tin of tomatoes and double the quantities of spice!

A little bit more…. If you can’t afford the whole rack, try to start off with a few basics: black pepper, mixed herbs, chilli powder and mixed spice, these are the basics that should get you going!

Published on February 28, 2011 at 8:04 am  Leave a Comment  

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