Thursday, 11 July 2013

My Favourite University Recipes - Cheap & Easy

Since I seem to be on a roll with posts about university, I thought what the heck, may as well do another one! Before going to uni, one of my main concerns was learning how to cook. I'm not the best chef in the world, but after a year of living independently I've learned how to make a decent spag bol and a banging share size plate of nachos. Have a read of some of my favourite recipes that I made during my first year at uni.

Spag Bol (Spaghetti Bolognese) (Serves 3-4)

1 finely diced onion 
1 500g carton of passata OR 1 tin of chopped tomatoes if you like it more chunky
250g of minced beef
350g spaghetti (more or less depending on your preferred portion size!)
1 tbs of cooking oil (whatever you've got in!)

2 tbs tomato puree
1 garlic clove 

salt & pepper to taste 

  • Prepare your ingredients, make sure your mince meat is defrosted and that your garlic is ready (peel the coat off and finely dice. Squish with the side of your knife to get the juices flowing ;] ) 
  • pop the oil in a saucepan and heat up using a gentle heat 
  • put the finely chopped onion and garlic in the pan and stir together until golden brown and soft 
  • on a high heat, add the defrosted minced beef and stir in until brown, make sure the onions and garlic are evenly distributed into the meat too! 
  • pour the passata or tomatoes over the mixture and stir
  • add tomato puree and stir in 
  • season with salt and pepper to your taste
  • put the heat on low again and leave to simmer for around 30 minutes 
  • cook spaghetti (I don't think anyone needs to know how to cook dried the packet!!) 
  • Serve with garlic bread and dried parmesan to make the meal go further 

Special Pesto Pasta (Serves 2-3) 

1 tbs of any cooking oil 
Small jar of green/basil pesto
Any spicy sausage/meat (My favourites were chorizo, pepperami sticks, pepperoni, salami) 
500g Whichever pasta you like! (I preferred penne for this one) 
100g Pitted olives (both green and black work fine) 
A sprinkle of parmesan 

  • Boil your pasta and drain
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil on low heat 
  • Add olives and heat through for around half a minute 
  • Add pesto and sausage/meat and heat through 
  • Chuck the ready cooked pasta in and stir evenly so that the pesto mixture is coating all the pasta 
  • Serve with cheesy bread or a side salad to make the meal go further 

Easy Layered Nachos (Serves 3-4)

400g Lightly salted tortilla chips 
300g Salsa (mild or hot depending on your taste) 
300g Sour cream & chive dip 
300g Guacamole 
250g block of cheddar cheese (strength on your taste) 
100g jalapenos (optional) 

  • Preheat your oven on a medium heat 
  • On a medium sized baking tray, spread out half of the tortilla chips on the tray 
  • Add a layer of salsa (About half) 
  • Add a layer of sour cream and chive dip (About half) 
  • Add a large sprinke of cheese
  • Pop some jalapenos on 
  • Add some more tortilla chips 
  • Repeat steps 3-6 
  • Pop tray in the oven for 10 minutes, checking occasionally
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes
  • Serve as part of a Mexican night with fajitas or tacos to make the meal go further! 

Vegetable Curry (Serves 4) 

500g Frozen mixed vegetables 
Any leftover or tinned vegetables you have in! 
1 jar of curry sauce (whichever is your favourite!) 
2 packets of microwave rice OR 300g of dried rice 
1 tbs cooking oil (any) 

  • If using dried rice, put the rice in a pan of boiling water with 1tbs of oil and a dash of salt (the oil stops the rice from sticking together..I learned the hard way)
  • Heat the cooking oil on a low heat 

  • Put frozen and fresh veg in first and stir for about 2 minutes 
  • Put in any tinned vegetables you may have (drained)
  • Pour in all of the sauce (when you've emptied most of it, put a bit of water in the jar with the lid on and shake, pour the excess in so there is no waste!) 
  • Stir whilst heating the curry up
  • When the sauce starts slightly bubbling, leave to simmer for around 15 minutes 
  • If using microwave rice, follow instructions on the packet when you think the curry is almost ready
  • Serve with naan bread and samosas to make the meal go further! 

If you decide to try any of these out, let me know how it goes! I'd also love to hear some of your favourite student recipes

Ciao! .x.