It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a university student is surely always tired, stressed out, or HUNGRY. Can’t help needing fuel for our brains all the time, y’know?
It isn’t hard to find food at home or wander out to obtain sustenance. What happens when you’re either on exchange or staying in hall, though, with no 24 hour joint in sight? Or when you want home-cooked food, but are a wee bit lazy to cook?
In mind of the constraints of the uni student populace, Digital Senior has compiled a starter resource list of easy, no fuss meals that you can prepare in no time.
1) Microwave mug meals
I don’t know about you, but these are an absolute godsend. Just mix in a couple of ingredients, pop it into the microwave and voilà! A modest meal. Besides, every student has a mug. If you don’t, they probably won’t set you back by more than 2 bucks.
One recipe I relied a lot on during my own exchange days was the omelette in a mug. The best part was being able to use I had on hand as fillings. Too much mushrooms? In they go. Have cheddar? All the better!
You can even make desserts in mugs too if that’s more of your thing:
“But”, some of you protest, “microwaves are bad because of their radiation/they destroy nutrients!!”
Not quite, really: you’d be relieved to know that these are common misconceptions! The radiation that microwaves emit is non-ionising, meaning that they’re unable to change the chemical structure of your food. So go on, microwave away.
2) One pot/saucepan* meals
*because honestly, saucepans are everybody’s best friend.
When I was on exchange in Scotland, the saucepan was my primary cookware of choice. Reasons being that it was winter when I first arrived, and that I adore soups. It’s also pretty hard to screw up soup.
Saucepans are handy in that they usually deliver a warm meal to you in minutes. Simply chop/skin/slice your fresh ingredients, throw them in together with some stock (ready-made or homemade) and a carb of choice (usually noodles of some kind) and voila!
Food to warm your a deep dark soul.
Not to mention, the high water content in soups can help you feel fuller!
Why not recreate ban mian or mee siam in hall or on exchange with whatever local ingredients available on hand? Otherwise, if you’re not so keen on soup, use the saucepan to make…savoury oatmeal!
Less known to the majority, savoury oatmeal is a great alternative to rice or noodles. In fact, oatmeal (except the instant kind) is actually healthy if you don’t overload on sugar or salt! Oatmeal contains high amounts of fiber and minerals such as zinc and magnesium, which aid in boosting immunity and muscle health. It’s also low in calories, at approximately 150 per uncooked ½ cup.
Doesn’t this savoury oat porridge from The Flourishing Pantry look positively delicious? (Image credit: The Flourishing Pantry)
If you’re willing to go the extra mile with a blender, this carrot soup recipe might be right up your alley.
(especially if you’re on exchange or have access to a fridge)
Salads can be unbelievably filling, if you make them right! If you’re on exchange and have access to fresh and cheap groceries from budget supermarkets, don’t skip the salads. The handy part is the heavy amount of customisation they allow. The best part? You might not have to do any cooking whatsoever (unless heating cheese in the microwave counts).
Salad made with purple cabbage/lettuce/olives/carrots/melted cheddar cheese/pepper, for a good nutritious lunch!
If you must have a jazzed up salad worthy of an Instagram post, why not add some rotisserie chicken (which can be used for multiple meals) or cook your own? The folks over at Youtube channel Tabieats have one of the easiest shoyu chicken recipes ever (tested by your Royal Laziness herself). Don’t say I didn’t share the good stuff.
With that, I’ve shared all my cheats/hacks that I know. Hopefully, something catches your eye and will work out for you!
My personal advice to make things cheaper is to sit down and plan a rough plan for how your weekly meals would look like, and buy just what you need! (This is if you’re on exchange because it’s fairly easy to go crazy with all the variety out there). Otherwise, keep a few staples (e.g: carrots, mushrooms) and rotate other ingredients weekly for variety (e.g: bacon and avocado).
Do you have any genius hacks or good recipes that you’d like to share? Do leave us a comment below or send us an email! We’d be happy to share it with everyone! (Or if you have enough material to write another guide, that’d be good too.) We’re waiting!