Unless you live in a catered University residence, it is very probable that you will be spending quite a lot time in the kitchen cooking your meals. Before coming to Manchester, I worried about this topic because I am not, like most students, a skilled chef but I didn’t want to eat tuna cans and pasta for a whole year.
Fortunately, I have learned a lot during the three months that I have lived here. I have bought two “student cookbooks” that include plenty of recipes designed especially for people in our situation. They are very varied, easy to make and with small amount of servings, so you will not make a lot of the same thing.
Since exams are around the corner and we must make the most of our time, I am writing this blog to share with you some of my favourite, healthiest and quickest recipes I have discovered since I got here. I hope you enjoy it!
I would like to start talking about the benefits of cooking during the exam period. Studying can get really intense in January. Taking some time off to cook can be a fun way of relieving stress. However, you don´t want to waste a lot of time feeding yourself. That is where “cooking strategy” plays an important role: if you are stuck with your studying sessions, take a 2- or 3-hour break to cook several meals in advance and then freeze them for the coming days. By doing so, you will have enough food for the week and you will have no further distractions from your exam preparation.
It is also very important that you keep your kitchen stocked with the basics. These are some of the elements that you always must have in order to be more efficient when cooking and keeping costs low by using the same ingredients in multiple recipes: baked beans, tuna, canned chopped tomatoes, oregano, thyme, dried pasta, flour, oil, rice, quinoa, salt & pepper, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, soy sauce, stock cubes, tomato puree and vinegar. Most of these have long shelf life and won´t spoil if unused.
Now, to the recipes! I have chosen three of my favourites and I tried to be very diverse in terms of the ingredients and proteins used. If you don´t particularly like these, there are hundreds of excellent and student-friendly resources such as the Hungry Student´s Cookbook and the “Good and Cheap: eating well on $4 a day”.
I hope that you have enjoyed these recipes. Remember that cooking is a healthy and budget friendly option that can be fun too! If cooking is not your favourite thing to do, try inviting some friends over and cook together to make the task more enjoyable!