Students are an exceptional species of human. We have voluntarily left the comfort of home-cooked meals only to find ourselves fighting for survival. We must learn to cook our own meals, and this means more than just pasta, because everyone knows by now that pasta can get really old, really quickly. Plus, you can only order Domino’s so many times in one week (i.e. 7 times).
Now, I have been saving recipes since 2013 because that’s when I changed my lifestyle to a health-centric one. I was obsessed with finding the easiest, healthiest recipes to make at uni. The only problem was that whenever I went grocery shopping, I was only shopping for the specific ingredients in the recipes and so I would run out of food by the next day, having cooked it all in one meal.
This year, I’ve decided to change my tactic. Instead of going food shopping for specific ingredients for one recipe, I shop for a bunch of staple foods so that I could always be creative with a few healthy ingredients I have on hand. This makes for less cooking time, and healthier and yummier meals!
My fridge staples are:
- Vegetables: broccoli, baby corn, carrots, pickled beetroots (I’m weird, we’re over it)
- Fruits: bananas, red grapes, avocados, satsumas
- Almond milk
- Prawns (pre-cooked and -peeled so that I can just toss them on a saucepan and cook them for two to three minutes alongside some veggies)
- Eggs (which I hard-boil, but I prefer them that way)
- Gouda cheese
- Brown tortilla wraps
- Frozen fruits
- Frozen turkey dinosaurs (because I am a child at heart)
- Frozen vegetable fingers
- Frozen paella (for when I need a quick less-than-10-minute meal)
My food cupboard staples are:
- Sesame oil
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Express/microwave rice
- Cereal bars
- Dried fruits/fruit rolls (again, I am a child at heart)
- Canned tuna
- Canned soup
- Whole wheat pasta
- Vanilla protein powder
- 10 different types of tea (I’m just obsessed with tea)
- Salt & pepper
I make a smoothie every day for breakfast, even if it’s 2pm. I just whip up bananas, frozen fruits, almond milk, honey, and a little bit of vanilla protein powder. Just a note: I put protein powder in my smoothies because I don’t have enough protein in my diet so this is just a little boost in my protein levels for the day, but also because I pump so much iron it’s ridiculous.
These are all foods that I like eating, so there’s no bread or red meat because I don’t enjoy the way they make me feel after I eat them, and I never think to eat them anyway. Really think about which foods you like and what you can put together to make a great meal. The new combinations of foods aren’t always going to be great, but that’s okay! It gets especially horrendous when you start to run out of food and you have to get really creative, but it’s still edible, so it’s totally okay.