Leftover Veggie Pasta
Ingredients – (makes 4 portions)
- · 280g of pasta
- · 1 x 500g of chopped tomatoes
- · Garlic cloves (as many as you like)
- · Mixed herbs & salt & pepper & chilli flakes
- · Parmesan (or whatever cheese you like)
- Whatever leftovers of veg you have that need using up- I used peas, mushroom, pepper, and carrot. This recipe is super budget-friendly coming in at a total of £3.50 (if buying everything fresh and using pre-bought veg.) Along with it being super cheap it's also so easy to make…
1 – Weigh out your pasta and boil some water, I used enough to make 4 portions to have as meal prep. Once your pasta is weighed out and water boiling, add the pasta to the water and let it cook.
2- While your pasta is cooking, chop your leftover veg that needs using up and pop in a pan to soften along with your garlic. Once your veg has almost completely softened add in your chopped tomatoes along with your seasoning and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
3- Once the sauce tastes and is the consistency you like drain the pasta and combine it with your sauce. Portion up and sprinkle some cheese on and enjoy!
Healthy Chicken Curry
Ingredients – (makes 4 portions)
· 280g of rice
· 400g of chicken
· 1 x 500g of chopped tomatoes
· 1 x bag of spinach
· 2 x carrots
· 3 Tbsp of medium curry powder (or your spice level of choice)
· Garlic clove & salt & pepper & coriander (optional)
· 100g of 0% Greek fat free yoghurt This recipe is super easy and an ideal dish to meal prep along with ensuring a fully balanced meal .
1- Weigh out your rice and put some water on to boil, wash your rice and then once the water is boiling add the washed rice.
2- Whilst the rice is cooking, chop up your veg and (don’t worry about boiling your carrots as they will cook in the sauce) add in your chicken and garlic.
3- Once your chicken is nearly cooked through add in your tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and seasoning. Mix and let simmer for 10 mins, if you feel it needs more seasoning add to your taste.
4- When the sauce has thickened and tastes as you prefer, add in your yoghurt, and mix through. You should get a lighter orange shade of sauce coming through (add to your preference though). Take the sauce off the heat and add your rice to the bowl along with your sauce, portioning up the rest for meal prep.
Making the most of your meals at university
When I was at university, I really went on a journey with my diet and general lifestyle. Initially, I found myself relying on convenience foods like meals deals and takeaways like McDonalds: this was bad for my health and bad for my bank account!
I soon settled into a healthier routine that worked for me. I planned my meals, wrote a shopping list and did a food shop at ALDI or LIDL once a week (usually at the weekend). Where possible, I’d stick to own brand products or products that had a special offer on them. Rather than preparing and cooking my meals each day, I chose to batch cook or ‘meal prep’ instead.
I’d cook in bulk and portion off my meals into Tupperware so that all I needed to do was grab a box and microwave it when I was hungry. This approach really worked for me and even now, in my late-twenties, I still ‘meal prep’ because it is cheaper, healthier and easier overall.
Cheap and easy options:
1. Pesto pasta. This has got to be one of the cheapest and easiest meals to make and it also keeps well when batch cooked. I usually boil 500g of pasta (I prefer whole-wheat fusilli) and then add a drizzle of olive oil, a jar of reduced-fat pesto, salt and pepper. This is also an easy meal to add variety – I’d often add baby spinach and cherry tomatoes or a chicken breast and same cheese to mix it up.
2. Chicken curry. I would dice and cook a packet of three chicken breasts in a large frying pan. Then, I would add a diced onion, a diced pepper and a jar of curry sauce (I prefer a jalfrezi usually). While that’s cooking, I’d also have some brown rice cooking in a pan as well. Another easy to adapt meal – you can use different meats, vegetables and sauces to mix this one up.
3. Spaghetti bolognese. Another favourite of mine! I’d boil a full packet of spaghetti in a saucepan (this would usually get me 5-6 portions in my tupperware pots). While that’s cooking, I’d brown 500g of lean beef mince in a frying pan before adding one tin of chipped tomatoes, one jar of Bolognese sauce and a little extra seasoning (I like my spag bol really herby so I add extra salt, pepper, basil and oregano). I’d usually add a sprinkle of grated cheese on top or cook some garlic bread to go with it. This is always my go to comfort food!
4. Hunter’s chicken. I’d usually buy a packet of five chicken breasts and a packet of streaky bacon (you usually get ten rashers). I’d wrap each breast with two rashers of bacon and roast them until cooked through. Then, I’d add a sprinkle of grated cheese and a drizzle of BBQ sauce and allow to crisp up in the oven. I find Hunter’s chicken quite filling, so I’d usually just have this with some vegetables (a bag of frozen garden peas and a tin of sweetcorn split between my five portions) but you could easily cook some rice, pasta or potatoes to fill this one out.