Now that the colder months have started to roll in (I say start, I’ve been freezing since September) we’ve been moving more towards warmer dishes like soups and stews to fill us up and warm us up.
You guys seemed to love my last post so I thought I’d come back with another what I eat in a week to showcase the delicious food we have had and more importantly how you can cook on a budget. I included how we shop each week and some helpful tips in my last post if you want some help in that department.
Like I said before, student cooking does not have to be continuous bowls of bland pasta or whatever you have in the freezer. Some careful planning before your week begins can revolutionise both your eating habits and your wallet. Don’t worry, if you are reading this and you aren’t a student these meals are great for family cooking or for storing in the freezer, cheap eating doesn’t mean it tastes horrible!
Soup and toasties have become a regular in our weekly food plan. It’s cheap, warm and gives you leftovers for lunches or another dinner. Plus its extremely easy to switch up (as you will see at the end of the week). Mara and I usually switch each week for making soup. Mara made this one which is a Roasted Sweet Potato and Tomato soup. It was super tasty and certainly packs a punch!
When making soup it is definitely one you can alter depending on what you have in the cupboard.
Now if you’re going to attach a meal to a student it will probably be a stir fry. However, there are many ways you can spice up a stir fry. To keep costs down we will purchase a stir fry pack from lidl and beef it out with any additional veggies we have left in the fridge. More often than not we don’t put meat in it either therefore the price is kept down.
How to spice up your stir fry: when cooking the stir fry we keep to some core ingredients no matter what type we are making; loads of garlic, ginger, honey, soy, sweet chilli sauce and some sesame oil. These are all great store cupboard ingredients which can be used for a variety of different dishes to add to your repertoire.
Spicing up a stir fry doesn’t always have to be in the cooking stage, toppings are just as important. We will often add sesame seeds, crispy onions (buy from most supermarkets), you can also add sriracha or a fried egg. Like I said before these are all ingredients we use several times during the week and are extremely versatile!
PASTA, PASTA, PASTA. But not any pasta, this is Pasta al Limone. You didn’t think a student would be having this now would you?! If you’re looking for something healthy I would probably skip this bit because the amount of dairy, more specifically butter and cream might make you cry. However I always say everything really tasty is rarely healthy ;).
I used Bon Apétit’s recipe which was fairly easy to follow and it really doesn’t take long to make but the flavour is great! We usually have butter in the fridge for baking and the parmesan (pre-grated parmesan found in lidl) was used the following week as well. So now you know the perfect way to spice up your pasta, enjoyyyy!
Personally, whenever I think of the perfect winter warmer meal it usually comes in the form of a stew. It never used to be my favourite meal (in fact quite often I would dread eating it) however my sister has found a great recipe where there is a nice balance between the richness of the meat and a tomato flavour.
I know a beef stew is hard to keep in budget however like I mentioned in my last post it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the reduced section, especially in lidl. That way you can freeze the meat and cook it when you want.
Kirsty uses this BBC Good Food recipe for her stew as it doesn’t include red wine, another great way to cook stew on a budget. She also misses out the bay leaf and adds extra Italian seasoning such as basil and/or Oregano. She recommends tasting it while you go so you can add a dash more of certain things incase you prefer it a certain way, plus seasoning is important!
Another meal you can’t beat to warm you up and make you cozy is good ol’ sausage and mash. I must admit Lidl’s caramelised onion sausages are another level of tasty! However, I can’t say this and not mention the importance of supporting your local butchers, especially after this year. So, if you can, go show them some love!
Mara simply fries off the sausages and pairs it with really creamy mash potato and caramelised onions. The perfect combination, trust me!
If you couldn’t tell from the photo I had problems uploading my own however I promise I did have it that week!
Anyway, its another veggie meal and one of my new favourites. It’s Egg Fried Rice with broccoli and spring onions. The amount of flavour the sushi rice soaks up alongside the crispiness you get with frying it makes this absolutely delicious.
It is another recipe from Bon Apétit and once you get the hang of it, it is really easy. Although the recipe says you need to use a Skillet its not necessary. Just a warning that the rice will stick to the pan. It’s perfect for both lunches and dinners so great for meal prep if that’s what you prefer!
It’s time for more soup! This time it is one of my favourites, the reliable lentil soup. I make this quite often and usually wing it. However I still haven’t mastered getting it thick enough. Either way it tastes great. I went off of these recipes for a general idea if you want something to go off of.
I hope you enjoyed another look into what we eat in a week. Did you get any inspiration? Let me know below and if you have any recommendations of your own favourite winter warmer recipes I’d love to hear them!
On a side not, yes the Christmas tree is up, I think we all deserve some Christmas cheer a bit earlier than usual.
Make sure to tag me in any of your photos using the links below! We love to see some fellow student foodies!