Lockdown Eats With The Starving Student
NCS Grad Lauren, aka @the.starving.student is a pro when it comes to cooking and eating on a budget. But what happens when you throw a national lockdown into the mix too? Well, lucky for us, Lauren has come up with three easy meals to keep us going with classic store cupboard ingredients. Over to you Lauren!
It’s an unusual time for us all at the moment and there has been a huge focus on food – our shopping habits, how we cook and how we store our food. As a student myself, I have changed my habits over the years to both save money and avoid food waste, which we should all be doing!
With all my recipes, I try to make them easy and super affordable to make. And that’s especially important when times get tougher than usual. I also cater for everyone, and although the cheapest recipes are usually vegetarian or vegan, my meat and fish based recipes also show you how student food can be delicious on a budget…
So if you’re looking for some lockdown inspiration, and have a bunch of store cupboard ingredients just asking to be used, check out a few of my recipes below!
Simple Tomato Pasta (Vegan)
When my fridge and cupboards are running low on ingredients and I don’t want to fork out more money on ingredients, this is my go to recipe. This pasta uses ALL store cupboard ingredients most of us have lying around. A great recipe to have a go at!
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 red onions
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 carton of tomato passata (500g)
- Large mug of boiling water
- 2 Tsp each of salt, pepper and sugar
- 300g dried spaghetti or any pasta
- Large handful of coriander/basil (optional)
1. Peel and crush the garlic. Peel and dice the onions. Fry all on a low heat in oil until soft.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, passata, salt, sugar, pepper and boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.
3. While it boils, roughly chop the coriander.
4. After 10 minutes, add the coriander to the sauce and keep simmering.
5. Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions
6. When cooked, drain the spaghetti and add to the sauce. Mix through thoroughly and enjoy.
Chickpea, Tuna & Pea Salad
This salad is a great way to use up some tinned ingredients and frozen peas you may have, and is a recipe that proves salads don’t have to be boring! This is a firm favourite of mine, requires no previous cooking experience and is so cheap to make.
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1 tin of tuna
- Quarter of a red onion (or 2 spring onions)
- Small mug of frozen peas
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp natural yoghurt OR Greek yoghurt
- Half a Tsp each of salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch of paprika
- Handful of coriander (optional)
1. Put the frozen peas in a microwavable container with a mug of boiling water. Microwave for around 2 minutes.
2. Drain the tuna. Drain the chickpeas. Drain the peas. Finely slice the red onion. Roughly chop the coriander.
3. Add everything along with the mayonnaise, yoghurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika into a bowl.
4. Mix thoroughly and serve.
Chilli con Carne
Not only is this meat feast a hearty Mexican-inspired dish, but it has some delicious flavours and is so versatile. You can serve it with nachos and sour cream, on a jacket potato, or with some freshly cooked rice – all super cheap options. And I know you might think adding dark chocolate into the recipe sounds strange, but you need to trust me on this one so have a go!
- 500g minced beef
- 1 tin of kidney beans (400g)
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 green pepper
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 1 Tsp hot chilli powder (less or more if you want)
- 2 Tsp each of salt and pepper
- 2 small chunks of dark chocolate
- 600ml boiling water
- 2 Tbsp Worcester sauce
- Large handful of coriander
1. Peel and crush the garlic. Peel and dice the onion. Dice the green pepper.
2. On a low heat, fry the garlic, onion and pepper for 6-8 minutes until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Fry the minced beef for 6-8 minutes until it is all browned. Drain the fat from the beef using a colander/sieve.
4. Add the beef and vegetables back into the pan. Add the boiling water, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, stock cubes, Worcester sauce and the kidney beans and half of its brine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add the dark chocolate and chopped coriander (save some for the topping). Simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Garnish with yoghurt and coriander and serve.
For more of my super delicious and cheap recipes, and a weekly meal plan, check out my Instagram. Now it’s your turn to get cooking!
To ensure the safety of yourself and others, be aware of boiling water, heated cooking surfaces, utensils, pots etc while cooking. You should always take care when using sharp knives or other cooking implements. Please review all ingredients prior to trying a recipe in order to be fully aware of the presence of substances which might cause an adverse/allergic reaction in any consumers. You should always use your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken, or seafood and seek expert advice before beginning if you are unsure.