Easy uni meals(21 Posts)
Hi. Does anyone have any simple recipes or meal ideas for an 18 year old who has just started uni?
She's getting fed up of pasta I think!
My child went off with all sorts of recipes written into a note book. She eats chicken nuggets. Fish fingers and chips. But all carefully weighed out into proper portions. ! It's only been a week or so...
What are her cooking skills like and is there access to much kitchen equipment ?
Some ideas here
My Dd has just gone to uni and often a few of them will cook together e.g. Spag bol, fajitas, chilli etc
If she is cooking for herself she will make things such as jacket potato, chicken tikka masala using pataks paste, buys bags of frozen mixed veg and has that with some fish cakes ( shop bought), omelette, stir fry etc
Some more ideas here
DS has been cooking for himself for a while now as we have left him home alone on a few occasions for a week or so at a time.
He tends to like a lentil dhal (one painful lasts a few meals), veggie curries andbeans and cheese on toast.
He has been given this book as a gift go take away. The recipes look pretty simple and cheap.
Stir fry. Just buy a bag of ready prepared stir fry veg and it'll cook in the time it takes to cook some noodles to go with it. Easy and cheap meal in less than 10 minutes.
As a student I bought quiches and would have a slice with salad for a meal.
Also jacket potatoes started in the microwave and just 10 mins in a hot oven to crisp up.
Make a tray of roasted veg. Freeze in portions and add to couscous.
I eat like this a lot now just because I often get home from work at 9pm hungry and want something quick.
Have a look at Sam Stern's books, great books for youngsters to learn from, very easy to follow recipes
DD1 ate a lot of pasta pesto, omelettes, stir fries and baked sweet potatoes. A baked potato or sweet potato with Greek salad is v easy but feels like a 'proper' meal. She also used to make a pan of lentil soup and eat it over a few days.
Easy veggie chilli - onion, red or green pepper, couple of tins of beans of choice, passata, paprika, chilli. Can eat with rice or a baked potato, or make it into burritos.
My emergency meal (which I still eat when I cba to cook now): put half a mug red lentils, half a mug long grain rice and three mugs water in a saucepan with a crushed veggie stock cube (or a teaspoon of marigold bouillon powder if you have it). Bring to the boil and simmer until the water is all absorbed. When it's nearly there add a bag of washed and roughly chopped spinach. Turn the heat off and leave to stand for 10 mins then eat with pataks lime or garlic pickle. (Makes 2 helpings so you can eat the leftovers for breakfast.)
Sam Stern is good, but his ingredients aren't cheap. If you want ultra low budget cooking this is old but still good.
Sam Stern = middle class mother who shops at Waitrose, pretending that her son has devised the recipes, bought the ingredients and eats them all with his trendy mates in her lovely kitchen.
Lentils are so good and so cheap but I don't think I could eat them for breakfast!
Spanish omelette good - make a big one and half for tea and the other half for lunch the next day.
Lentils and onions in spicy tomato sauce. Serve with bread, rice or pasta. Can make and eat a few days or freeze.
Burgers. Make fresh burgers. Freeze individually. Freeze burger buns individually. Take bun and burger out when they want to eat ( can thaw burger in microwave quick and then cook in pan). Roll will thaw in time they sort burger or can micro thaw quick also
Porridge. I ate lots for dinner also. Just regular oats at about 50p a 1kg and milk
Jacket potato with beans and salad
Omelette and veg
Get a sandwich toaster. DD is alternating between various types of toasted sandwich, pasta and instant noodles.
The new Heinz Creations range is fab, just different pulses with spices etc so v easy Mexican, chilli, tagine or curry in a tin. Just serve with cous cous (don't get much quicker), rice (the individual frozen packets are fab for super quick and easy) sandwich between wraps with cheese for quaesadila.
I used to buy bags of frozen fish fillets that could be baked in the oven with lemon juice and herbs or whatever.
Personally, I stay away from home and I don't know how to cook, at all . So, I did some research on how to cook without a stove and compiled it here: Easy Grab and Go Breakfasts
I've tried all of them but still think that the overnight oatmeals and the potato soup are the best and easiest to prepare. Salads are good too, but not filling.
Well, sometimes I get "adventurous" and will prepare fried rice, though. No fancy ingredients, just fry the rice with butter, onion, carrot, egg, with some pepper and salt. But it never tastes as good as my mom's fried rice.
You can also try other easy recipes here: Dorm Cooking for Beginners(links attached in the title)
Curries, stew, chili, soups make big batches and freeze.
DD has no access to a freezer so batch cooking is not possible.
if you want a really simple sauce for pasta - it's ds1's favourite and he's been making it for himself since he was about 8.
Cook the pasta according to the packet (and cooking a double portion and saving one in the fridge for the next day is a good idea - easy to heat up in the microwave or a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes)
In the bowl you're going to have your pasta from, pour a good slurp of double cream (enough to cover all your pasta easily), a few splashes of lemon juice (I keep a bottle of Jif lemon in the fridge and just use a few splashes from it), a squirt of garlic puree from a tube or a clove or two of crushed fresh garlic and a couple of spoonfuls of pesto to taste.
Mix the whole lot together and zap in the microwave for a minute. See if it needs a little longer (usually takes somewhere between a minute and two minutes depending on how much I'm making).
Stir in pasta and you're ready to go.
It's tasty and simple and has a bit more protein in that normal pasta pesto. It's also very easy to adapt - there are lots of different pestos out there or use something like hummus or peanut butter or gentleman's relish or other chopped herbs or a spoon of curry paste etc. Change the lemon juice for sweet chilli sauce or sherry or orange or vodka and so on. Use coconut water or coconut cream or ricotta or marscapone instead of cream. Garlic can be left out or you can use things like ketchup, tomato paste, sun dried tomato paste, grated cheese, crumbled cheese (for things like blue cheese or feta), anything tasty that you like really.
Then you can add stuff in - for ease add more protein by buying a thick slice of ham/chicken/beef/smoked salmon/whatever you like from the deli counter and chopping into mouth size bits, adding to the sauce before or after cooking.
Little cherry tomatoes cut in half and added in work well. Anything you can eat raw you can chop up and throw into the sauce before or after cooking and not need to worry about it being properly cooked. Nuts and raisins can be good with lots of flavour combinations.
Things like peas or other veg that need to be cooked in boiling water for more than a minute can be added to the pasta at the appropriate time so they cook to be ready when it's time to drain the pasta.
Then just mix the whole lot together... usually works out well.
If she gets bored with pasta, the sauces work well with rice too for a cheat's risotto - cook rice (use a packet if want it really easily or quickly) and then stir the sauce through. Yes it would make an italian mama throw her hands up in horror if she thought that you were trying to pass it off as proper risotto... but as something quick and easy and tasty and on the table in a few minutes flat, it's great!
Lots of vegetarian options mentioned - is that because of cost?
When DS1 went to uni I spent a few weeks teaching him how to cook a repertoire of basic meals and I wrote out my recipes in idiot proof detail for him. He was lucky in that his flat had a real international mix and they shared cooking. It was a bit of a baptism of fire cooking for six instead of one but the benefits of having someone else cook for him on other days far outweighed that. Two years later he is quite an adventurous cook.
The only difficulty with communal cooking was portion size. My DC are both 6'3" and very skinny. A meal for them is about double the size of an average adult, DS1 always found that much as he liked other people cooking he didn't always get enough depending who did the cooking.
DS2 has just started uni. His flat mates seem to live on pot noodles and in spite of having all my recipes he hasn't progressed beyond pasta and noodles. It's early days yet but I sense he is ready for a proper meal.
Batch cooking is ideal if they are cooking for one. Casseroles, chilli - can be served with rice one day and made into burritos the next, ragu, curry.
Both DC's halls had large fridge freezers.
Stir frys are very easy, chop and fry lots of veg and onions, add some spices, throw in a few prawns or strips of beef and add some noodles.
This looks good, easy to adapt and try different ingredients?
Thanks everyone, some brilliant ideas there and I'm also going to try some of them.
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