At Food Blogs UK, we realise that it’s never easy being a student, having to balance your finances between booze and food. It can be especially difficult to eat healthily on a strict budget. As you know, your student loans don’t stretch very far and it’s sometimes easier to opt for buying cheaper and more convenient food, which is often processed and not at all beneficial to your health. Guest poster and friend of Food Blogs UK, Rik Hellewell, is here to show us all that there is another way and all hope is not yet lost.
A Students Guide To Healthy Cooking
Abandon the Pot Noodles, pizza and beans on toast. With this guide, there’s no longer any reason for you to not cook healthily.
Eating healthy foods doesn’t have to be expensive. With just a few simple tips and a collection of handy recipes, you can shop for food frugally and eat enough to stay fit.
Chilli Jacket Potatoes
Bursting with flavour, this easy to make dish will fill you up for hours after eating.
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 250g turkey mince
- 330ml passata
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
Begin by pre-heating your oven to 200oC (180oC fan ovens or gas mark 6).
Prick the potatoes and drizzle with a little bit of oil; then place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Whilst they’re cooking, begin to make the chilli. Heat the leftover oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat and add the pepper, garlic and a sprinkle of seasoning; cooking for a few minutes until soft.
Add the turkey mince and turn up the heat. Break up the meat to ensure that it’s cooked through before adding the passata and spices.
Mix thoroughly and then let it simmer for 10 minutes whilst the liquid reduces.
Once the potatoes are ready, leave them to stand for a minute before cutting a cross in their tops and adding in the chilli.
Serve with grated cheese over the top and enjoy.
Don’t forget to refrigerate or freeze any mince you have left over and save it for another day.
Homemade Crispy Chicken
Save yourself an expensive trip to the local KFC that you know you’ll regret in the morning, by making your own succulent crispy chicken at home.
- 1 large chicken breast
- 5 crackers
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ cup of water
Cut the chicken breast into thin ½cm strips.
Crush the crackers into fine crumbs by putting them in a food bag and using a rolling pin.
Mix the cracker pieces in a bowl with the paprika, herbs, cumin and half the oil.
Get two new bowls; fill one with water and one with flour, then dip each piece of chicken into the bowls. Start with flour, then water, and then the crumbs. Keep doing this until each piece is fully coated.
Fry over a moderate heat for eight minutes until the crumbs are crisp.
Serve on a bed of crisp lettuce diced peppers and some sour cream dip for the perfect healthy snack food.
This deliciously healthy, low-budget meal is great for pleasing everyone, as you can always add extra topping and make it meat-eater friendly if needs be.
- 4 flatbreads
- 4 medium size eggs
- 330ml passata
- 750g spinach
- 2 x 250g mozzarella balls, torn
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Small bunch of basil leaves
Pre-heat your oven to 200oC (180oC fan ovens or gas mark 6).
Spread the passata over each flatbread. Top each pizza with the spinach, garlic and mozzarella, leaving a gap in the centre.
Place the flatbreads on a baking tray; crack an egg into the middle of each and season with nutmeg and basil.
Bake for up to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the egg is cooked.
Once cooked, leave it to stand for minute before garnishing with grated parmesan and tucking in.
Keep A Tight Lid On Your Budget – You can’t buy food if you’ve spent all your money on a night out. Be sure to put a small amount of cash aside every month (£50-£100 should cover it) for food shopping. If you’re friendly with your housemates, try pooling your money together and doing a shop for the entire house; just ensure that everything is divided up equally.
Buy In Bulk – If you purchase all the necessary ingredients at the beginning of the month, make up all your meals and then freeze for the future, you’ll find yourself saving plenty.
Nutritious And Delicious – You may not feel like you’ve got time to watch your diet, but ensuring you keep up with basic nutrition, such as your five fruit and veg a day, and consuming plenty of starchy foods, will keep you feeling healthy and energised.
Keep The Kitchen Clean – Cleanliness is next to godliness, and not only does a clean kitchen promote good hygiene, but you’re also much more likely to actually cook if your utensils and surfaces are all clean and ready to be used.
The Most Important Meal Of The Day – Never miss breakfast. We can’t stress this enough. A staple meal when you wake up will help give you the energy needed to complete the day.
That’s our advice for eating healthily on a strict budget, but be sure to share your student-friendly recipes in the comments section below.
A huge thankyou to Rik Hellewell, director of professional domestic oven cleaning specialists Ovenu for this informative and light-hearted guest post. Hope it helps spread that essential cash a little further this term.