We know that moving out of your home and into university accommodation is as nerve-wracking as it is exciting – because now you have to fend for yourself! No parents or relatives to clean, cook or do your laundry – it’s time to acquire these life skills on your own.
It may seem daunting, but don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of reasons cooking can be easy, cheap and mess-free, with the right preparation and attitude.
Batch cooking, or ‘meal prepping’, is a great way to reduce the amount of time spent in the kitchen chopping, boiling and frying – because you only have to do it once!
Whether it’s simply making a huge pan of pasta to freeze or keep in the fridge to take out now and then, or a more complicated recipe that takes a little more of your time, it’s a great way to ensure you’ll always have something ready to eat. You might be dashing between lectures with little time to spare, tired out from a hard gym session, or in need of something quick and filling before a night out with your friends. For a hearty vegetarian meal that’s cheap and cheerful, why not try this veg and lentil cottage pie? Or, for something meaty, you could make a big batch of spaghetti bolognese.
Batch cooking is commonly used by the fitness community as an easy way to prepare meals you might not feel like making on a busy day, when you might be more susceptible to snacking on crisps or chocolate, or making quick but processed meals like instant noodles. So it’s also a great way of staying healthy.
It does what it says on the tin (or should that be pot?): one-pot meals are an excellent and easy way to reduce the number of pots and pans when you’re making a meal, meaning less washing up!
Like batch meals, one-pot meals can be frozen and kept for another day. There are loads of recipes online for easy and healthy meals, as well as more indulgent ones if you’re in need of an extra-filling dinner!
Why not try this delicious and healthy Spanish rice and prawn one-pot meal, or something as easy as a cheese omelette? They’re guaranteed ways for you to hit the protein mark, which is always useful if you play sport, or if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends!
Meat is an easy and tasty ingredient to just about every recipe out there – but have you considered substituting it for a meat replacement like Quorn, or even making it without meat entirely?
While chicken, fish and other white meats are known to be good for you (when they aren’t processed), too much red meat has been linked to various diseases, as well as conditions like high blood pressure. It’s important to not rely on one particular food group, so why not expand your repertoire with Quorn mince instead of normal mince, a vegetarian brunch, or a meat-free pizza? You’ll probably find your bank account will thank you for it, too!
So with these tips in mind, there’s no excuse to order yourself that takeaway tonight!
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