How to cook: student edition

Hey all, hope you’re enjoying the lovely weather this week (if it’s lovely by you, if not, I’ll happily swap for cooler weather haha!).

I’ve mentioned it in a past blog post, but when I moved into my accommodation on campus I had next to no cooking experience. I had done scout cooking competitions (with the aid of responsibility adults…) and knew how to make things like pancakes, egg bread and the good old student diet staple: pasta. But other than that, my parents are both great cooks and I never really cooked anything substantial.

Now, I know this isn’t the case for everyone, I have a friend who’s done cooking courses and people who would cook things from as scratch as you can get, but I’m sure a few of you reading will be in a similar boat. And in which case, I wanted to make this post to give you some tips and tricks I learnt to help me feed myself.

The first thing I would say is that yes, although you shouldn’t be living off ready meals, to begin with it helps to have days where you eat premade things and days where you try something, cause if you force yourself to cook 7 days a week to begin with the likelihood is that you’ll get fed up and just go back to not cooking at all. Also, start with small things. Google recipes for things such as spaghetti bolognese, try making an omelette or something with only a couple of ingredients- if you start off by choosing a 15 ingredient recipe you’ll get caught up in a lot of confusing multitasking and that’s how things get burnt and you forget to check on certain things.

Another great thing I used to make substantial healthy meals but get a little extra help is food kits. You’ll know what I mean if I mention the company Old El Paso. They’re a personal favourite of mine at least. They provide the seasoning and the minor ingredients and you get the fresh ingredients, and following the instructions on the box you can make really lovely meals! It’s the simplest thing on the food market.

One thing I will say to you is that regardless of how often you cook, and if you make your own meals or just don’t feel comfortable cooking, please remember to keep your diet balanced at least! I sound like a mother scolding a child for not eating their veg when I say this, but you need your greens and a healthy amount of carbs and protein to stay healthy, and overall, happy. Not to mention functional for your classes!

And another thing I will say is, you’ll be ok! I know a lot of people worry about having full responsibilty of cooking, but you’ll figure things out with some practise, and I’m sure your flatmates will always be happy to help! Or you could cook meals together!

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