Learning to Cook in time for Uni (Part 1)
Food, glorious food. That might be a bit of a cliche introduction but I think the song sums up this blog post quite nicely. The stereotypical student diet is pot noodles, beans on toast and pasta – enough to live on but knowing how to cook a variety of meals makes life a whole lot nicer (at least in my opinion anyway).
In this 2-part blog, I’m going to suggest a selection of meals that I’ve cooked a lot at Uni. I’ve organised them by ease of cooking so, if you’ve never cooked before, you can start at the beginning and build up from there. You’ll be a master in the kitchen in no time! (Seriously, you can cook anything if you start small – complicated dishes are just lots of different techniques used one after the other).
These meals are very easy, you just have to keep an eye on the time (and keep stirring anything in a saucepan so it doesn’t stick to the bottom).
Beans on toast may be a stereotypical place to start but it’s easy, filling and one of your 5-a-day. Just put your beans in a saucepan on the hob on a low heat (and make sure to keep stirring it every now and again) toast your bread and, voila, you have a meal.
Pasta with tomato sauce (or tortellini if you want to be a bit posher) is a great staple. Put your garlic bread in the oven, boil some water to cook the pasta/tortellini in and heat up the sauce in the same way you would cook beans. The great thing about this meal is each component (garlic bread, pasta/tortellini, sauce) will have instructions on the packet that you just need to follow.
Oven food (basically anything that you can throw in the oven to cook – think chicken nuggets and potato waffles) is also very easy. Just follow the instructions on the pack!
Grow your confidence…
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can branch out a little and try some of these easy meals.
Scrambled eggs on toast is very simple and you can cook it in the microwave! You can find a recipe here (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/272293/fluffy-microwave-scrambled-eggs/) – just note that the exact timings depend on your microwave so you’ll need a bit of trial and error.
Getting a bit posher, my favourite lunch is probably garlic mushrooms on toast. For this, heat some oil or butter in a frying pan and then add a clove of garlic (or generous sprinkle of garlic powder) and your chopped mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms every now and then until they’re almost cooked. Put your bread in the toaster and then add some cream to the mushrooms (the more you use, the thinner the sauce will be so the amount is personal preference). Turn the hob down low and keep stirring as your cream reduces (this basically means that the sauce thickens up). By the time the toasts pops, your mushrooms should be ready to serve on top!
Stir fry is also really quite simple to do – just fry your vegetables (can get stir fry packs or chop up your fave veggies), cook your noodles and then add the noodles and sauce to the vegetables and cook through for another minute.
Those are some of the simpler meals I have on a regular basis. Part 2 of this blog covers (slightly) more complicated dishes such as bolognaise and curry.