Going to college is a new and exciting experience for everyone, but the thought of suddenly having to prepare all your meals yourself can be quite daunting. Living on noodles and takeaways is not the best idea as students need to take care of themselves and their health. So, follow these food hacks list below to make cooking easy and enjoyable.
Credit for these tips goes to one of our current students, Gauri Gurudatta Malgaonkar!
“Learn how to make a great stock”
Stock can be prepared with anything and can be saved for future use. It is packed with nutrients required for students and is also extremely simple to prepare. While cooking meat and veggies, take out extra juice and the broth is ready to serve as a side dish or use as an ingredient in the main dish.
“Sharing is caring (and budgeting)”
Communicate and share staples like oil, coffee, milk, salt, pepper, sauces, flour, and spices with your roommates. Buying in bulk will help in getting good deals while shopping. Don’t forget to log when things get tight to make sure you are always well stocked.
“Leftover to rescue”
Get Tupperware containers to pack every single leftover item for later use. Leftovers are super easy to use in rice, sandwich fillers, pastas plus help to break the monotony. Just add a dash of spices and voila, a brand-new dish with strategic use of ingredients is ready.
“One pot meal magic”
A strong suggestion would be in investing in a reliable baking tin that can be used to make one pan meal in the oven within minutes. One pot meal does the same magic instantly and effortlessly (Also, minimum post cooking cleaning and washing).
Make freezers your best friends (followed by your flatmates) and we can’t stress this enough. Shop in bulk, cook in bulk, store food for emergencies or when snowed under with deadlines. A well-stocked freezer with meat, frozen fruits and veggies will always be beneficial.
“Weekly meal prep”
A no brainer that helps people to juggle with hectic study schedules and yet stay on track. Pre-portioning food will also help in sticking by budget. So cut, chop, boil, peel and store.
Have some simple ingredients ready to spice up your instant noodles like eggs, soy sauce, hot sauce, peanuts, seeds, vegetables, chillies, pesto and so on. Get creative, this will also help add value to your meal while being pocket friendly.
This one-time investment will save you for the rest of your years at the university. A blender will help to whip up fancy dishes effortlessly, think acai bowls, milkshakes, sauces, mocktails and more. Use it further to make purees for your meat and veggies.
“Double = no trouble”
Double a recipe for lunch and have for dinner the next day or double portion at dinner and save some for the next morning. After hectic class schedule, instead of skipping meals, reheat one from the previous day with some added butter or cheese and enjoy your meal.
Last but not the least, to add that much needed zing in every dish. All you need is few mixed herbs like oregano, paprika, thyme, black pepper, garlic powder or any herbs of your choice. You can also opt for fresh kitchen herb plants available at most of the supermarkets.
There are several ways to feed ourselves as students in the university and the bottom line is to eat nutrient packed meals regularly. The decision we make about our meals have a huge impact on our health, budget and lifestyle. Cooking on budget is a great experience and will help to develop many skills. Whipping an inexpensive meal at home is much better instead of relying on expensive unhealthy take-away meals.