Student Essentials - Cheap and Easy Student Meals

Moving away from home can be exciting, but realising that you suddenly need to do cook can be less so!

Making nutritious meals is not only good for you but it can also be economical and a great way to make friends in your student accommodation.  At In a Box Group Ltd we have a few tips and recipes to make your time at uni a little easier!

Tips

  • Get the right equipment. Go to our contact us page and request our FREE What to Pack for University checklist which will tell you what you need. You can get what you need from us.  Our Kitchen packs can be delivered directly to your halls of residence.  No need to rush around buying everything, packing it, and transporting it!
  • Bulk cooking cuts down on cooking and is economic. Check if anyone in your student accommodation would be happy to share. Easier to cook for 4 and everyone chip in or takes turns!
  • Bulk out what you cook with cheaper ingredients e.g add carrots and mushrooms to mince
  • Cook recipes that are versatile and can be converted into other meals.

Recipes

Mince

Basic Tomato based mince

Makes:                        4 portions

Preparation time:       15 mins

Cooking time:              20 – 90 mins

Ingredients:                 Onion

2 Carrots

2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)

Tub of Mushrooms (200 – 300g)

500g Mince Beef

Tin Chopped Tomatoes

Tsp oil

Worcestershire Sauce

Tomato Puree

Oregano

Salt/ Pepper

Beef Stock Cube

Method:

  • Peel and grate carrots and chop mushrooms. Set aside.
  • Chop onions and fry over medium heat with oil in a non-stick large saucepan until brown.
  • Turn heat to high and add garlic, fry for 30 seconds then add beef mince. Fry beef mince until no longer red.
  • Add good slug of Worcestershire sauce, grated carrots and sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, squeeze of tomato puree, pinch of oregano, salt/pepper to taste, and beef stock cube.
  • Stir then place lid on the saucepan and turn heat down to low. Leave simmering for 20 – 90 mins stirring occasionally.  The longer it’s left the more tender the meat.

Meal Variations

Spaghetti Bolognese

Use sauce as is with pasta and grated cheese

Chilli Con carne

Add chilli powder (1/2tsp-3tsp approx)

(try adding ½ tsp cumin and a pinch of cinnamon)

When mince is cooked: Wash a tin of red kidney beans in a sieve then add to your mince. Add a tin of baked beans if you want to bulk it out even further.  Cook for a further 15 minutes.  Serve with rice or a jacket potato.

Cottage Pie

Place your cooked mince in an ovenware dish.

Boil potatoes, mash with butter, milk and salt and pepper then spread on your mince.

Add grated cheese and bake at 180 oC for 20 – 30 minutes

Serve with some green veg for extra colour and nutrients

Tomato Sauce

Basic Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:                 Onion

2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)

2 x Tins of Chopped Tomatoes

Tsp oil

Worcestershire Sauce

Tomato Puree

Oregano

Salt/Pepper

½tsp sugar

Method:

  • Chop onions and fry over medium heat with oil in a non-stick large saucepan until brown.
  • Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds
  • Add a good slug of Worcestershire sauce, two tins of tomatoes, squeeze of tomato puree, pinch of oregano, salt/pepper to taste and the ½tsp sugar.
  • Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until the sauce is thicker.

Meal Variations

Pasta

This sauce can be used in a variety of pasta dishes:

  1. Serve as is with pasta and grated cheese.
  2. Fry bacon and mushrooms and add to sauce.
  3. Fry pieces of chicken breast and mushrooms and add to sauce
  4. Fry salami or peperoni and add to sauce with some chilli powder (1/2 tsp-3tsp dependent on taste buds!)

Add any of the above to pasta and serve or put into an ovenware dish, sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake for 20–30 mins for a tasty pasta bake.

Use as a cook in Sauce

Add a Chicken breast or a piece of fish to the sauce and poach them until cooked.  Serve with vegetables of your choosing.

Also read: What to Take to Uni?