One of the most important skills students must tackle is how to cook. Some of us are lucky and know how to before they move to university, whilst some must learn on their own. Its hard when you don’t know and have to rely on things like takeaways and ready meals. Takeaways and ready meals contain hidden sugars and ingredients that make then very unhealthy. By cooking from scratch, you can control what you put in. But if you want to be healthy, having a balanced diet is essential, including having all your fruit and vegetables.
When I was at university, I always used recipe books by Charlotte Pike. Her books are specifically made for students and even now I use it to make some amazing meals and treats. Here are 10 healthy recipes that got me through university and are still helping me get through the week whilst being healthy.
1. Vegetable pasta bake
Pasta bake is a huge always a favourite of mine. All you need is some pasta, tomato sauce and cheese, but to make it healthy, add in any veg you like. You can make so many variations of this. You can also make pasta bakes with other things from tuna to bacon.
2. Chicken fried rice
This is a great way to use up leftovers. All there is to this meal is to cook everything then put it together.
3. Stir fry
Again, another way to use up vegetables. This contains the same ingredients as fried rice but without the eggs and rice, instead, you’re using noodles instead. It’s the same process as fried rice and its safer to reheat if you’ve made a large portion. You don’t usually need this, but having beansprouts can make the meal a lot nicer.
4. Spanish omelette
Although you can do this with meat, it tastes so much nicer without it. With the eggs and potatoes, try adding spinach, onion and peppers to it as it tastes lovely.
5. Cheese and spinach muffins
These were always a favourite in my house during my undergraduate degree. This works best with fresh spinach as these keep for longer, but you can have them either for breakfast or as a healthy snack.
5. Roasted veg and potatoes
This idea is perfect for roasts. Just chop up some veg and let it cook in the oven.
6. Lemon Risotto
I always loved having the ready-made ones but it’s a lot cheaper and healthier for you if you make it from scratch.
7. Poor man’s stew
This is another great way to use up any vegetables you may have. There is a basic way to vary this but you can add as many vegetables as you want. Its really a stew where you can put in anything you want and it’ll still taste great.
8. Homemade soup
Although having this from a can is a great way to warm you up when you have a cold, but a lot of them contain a lot of sugars. Minestrone soup is one of the healthiest soups as it contains a lot of vegetables, but most homemade soups can be healthy as long as you don’t add any extra sugar.
9. Jacket potatoes
These are easy to make. You can cook them in the microwave if you are in a hurry or in the oven. Sweet jacket potatoes are so much better for you than usual potatoes and you won’t need to add butter to them as they are already sweet.
10. Banana cookies
This healthy alternative to cookies only consists of two ingredients; bananas and porridge oats. You can also add a bit of cocoa powder or cinnamon if you’re not a fan of the taste of banana.