4 Recipes Using The Same 12 Ingredients

Healthy lifestyles and university lifestyles do not typically go hand in hand. Late nights, excessive alcohol consumption and takeaways on the walk home are not exactly ‘fitspo’. Despite this, it doesn’t need to be impossible for students to eat well on a budget. Add in the challenge of cooking effectively for one, preparing healthy, cheap and satisfying meals as a student is more complicated than it seems. I firmly believe in the idea of cooking once and eating twice. These recipes allow you to do that with a recipe for dinner and a tip of how to adapt it for lunch the next day. They are healthy, satisfying and super cheap to produce. They are also pescatarian and dairy-free (although you can add yoghurt/cheese/butter/meat in where you fancy!); and are easily adaptable for veggies and vegans. Enjoy!

The Shopping List: 
  • Chopped tomatoes – three tins
  • Chickpeas – one tin
  • Tinned beans – one tin, your choice, e.g. butter beans, borlotti beans…any will do
  • Rice – you will need two of your size portions
  • Frozen fish fillets – salmon, white fish, whatever you prefer. Veggies can substitute for Quorn pieces or fillets 
  • Potatoes – two large white potatoes and one extra-large sweet potato or two regular sized ones 
  • Another green – your choice of either courgettes (three) or a large broccoli 
  • Peppers – three of any colour
  • Spinach 
  • Pasta (need I mention this?)
  • Onions (three) and garlic (four cloves)
  • Pitta bread
  • Staple spices used in these recipes: paprika, chilli powder, cumin, Italian herb mix. 

Total price= Less than £15 (prices based on Aldi/Asda) 

Butterbean, Tomato, Pepper and Courgette Stew 
  • Microwave a jacket sized potato for 4 minutes on each side, then pop it into the oven at 200 while you make your stew
  • Simply fry off an onion with a chopped pepper in oil
  • Add in your chopped choice of green (one courgette/ 1/3 of broccoli) and a crushed garlic glove
  • Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of paprika 
  • Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and your choice of tinned bean beans
  • Simmer until veg is soft
  • Serve in the jacket potato 
  • Put the leftovers stew in Tupperware and eat the next day for lunch with pitta bread to dip in!
One Tray Roasted Veg with Fish
  • Drizzle olive oil over a chopped potato (think wedges size) and bake in the oven for 15 mins at 200 degrees
  • Add chopped pepper, and your choice of green (a courgette or a third of the broccoli). Sprinkle over some dried herbs (mixed Italian herbs are best, but you could also use oregano) and paprika or chilli powder if you like your spice!
  • Add tin foil wrapped frozen fish to the oven or your chosen veggie alternative (allow 20 minutes to cook)
  • Bake the potato and veg mixture for another 15 minutes until all veg is soft
  • Serve baked fish (seasoned) over the roasted veg
  • Leftover veg can be mixed with spinach or any other salad leaf and eaten for lunch
Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chickpea Simple Curry
  • Fry an onion with oil and add two garlic cloves a few minutes later
  • Add half a teaspoon of chilli powder (to taste, less if you don’t like spice or more if you do), a teaspoon of garam masala and half a teaspoon of cumin
  • Add a tin of chickpeas and a tin of tomatoes
  • Add small chopped cubes of sweet potato
  • Cook until potato is cooked through 
  • Add a large handful of spinach if you have it (you could also add peas here if you have them sitting in the freezer)
  • Eat over the microwavable rice and use leftovers for lunch with a toasted pitta bread
Spinach, Tomato and Pea Pasta with Fish (or your veggie alternative!)
  • Fry an onion and a pepper in a pan with some oil and after a few minutes add a garlic clove. Cook until onions have started to brown
  • Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs (extra basil if you have it)
  • Add a frozen piece of fish or Quorn pieces and cook for 10 minutes
  • Add some spinach and your remaining third of the broccoli/ a courgette and cook for 10 minutes until everything is hot and cooked through
  • Serve over pasta (any kind!)
  • Leftovers can be eaten cold the next day with pasta

Top Tip: make larger portions for the freezer! 


Jasmine Davis