Before moving to York to come to university I lived at home and was used to having my meals cooked for me at home by my mum. Cooking has never been a big interest of mine and everytime I had tried it had ended in disaster, so it was the one thing I was dreading about coming to university! You hear about university students living off pasta, and beans on toast and pizza… and this is 97% true!
Before moving day, mum tried to teach me a few basic recipes such as bolognese because this can be used for things such as spaghetti or shepherd’s pie, however I just really wasn’t interested as in my head, I was still at home and food would still be prepared for me for a few more weeks at least.
The thing about cooking and university is that you eventually just fall into your own little eating and cooking routine and I have ended up surprising myself with how far I have come with cooking. If I’m being 100% honest most of my dishes are pasta based (what students aren’t?!) but you can mix it up a bit with different toppings, sauces etc. I’ve even branched out into making fajitas every now and again, and my house has all clubbed together for two roast dinners (chicken in a bag is a marvellous invention)
There are a rare, few students who love cooking and will make you envious with the dishes they make, but don’t kick yourself over this, there are plenty of cheap and cheerful ways to make yourself nice dishes.
Some of my favourite and easy dishes to make are:
- Rice with chicken breast in a curry sauce (buy chicken in bulk and freeze it too save pounds)
- Jacket potato with beans, cheese and salad (you can also have tuna/sweetcorn topping or mince bolognese)
- Pasta and pesto/pasta and tomato sauce with vegetables
- Pizza, garlic bread and salad
- Potato waffles, with fried egg and salad
- Chicken kievs or a vegetarian option with mash potato (Smash is a life saver) and vegetables
Food shopping is a whole other story; the first time you do a food shop for yourself you will most likely go wild and spend way more than you need too and buy things that will go off quickly. But you’ll soon get the hang of budgeting for food and buying your staple favourite foods. First years usually go to Aldi or do a group shop online to be delivered to halls, whilst in 2nd and 3rd year students usually have cars and so drive to Asda etc.
As long as you eat a good balance of food at uni and make sure you don’t carb overload everyday you will be fine and may even find yourself enjoying the food shop/cooking experience!