I love to cook. I grew up in a family who love to cook; so it has just seemed natural to me. Yet, a lot of people either don’t like to cook or are just completely phased by it. I will admit that when I first arrived at University and had to dream up 7 dinners a week, I was slightly phased. Let’s just say that I have never eaten so much pesto pasta in my life!
The idea of ‘student food’ often conjures up images of tasteless, bland, cheap food; but it really doesn’t have to be like that! With a little bit of time and effort you can have gourmet meals every night. Students, especially, look at healthy food and think that it’s out of reach on their budget or too difficult to prepare. But, they’re wrong. Healthy food is often cheaper than buying ready meals or fatty meals like chips and chicken nuggets.
Student cooking is all about creating and experimenting in the kitchen, overcoming the limited equipment and kitchen to create food masterpieces. And trust me it can be done. If you don’t have an ingredient, substitute it for something similar that you do have. Student life forces you to cook, to budget, to plan – all valuable skills for the future!
Autumn is on it’s way and that calls for hearty food – think soups, stews and generally large hot bowls of yumminess! You may not be surprised to hear that Autumn is my favourite season, with the seasonal food being so colourful. Autumnal vegetables such as squash, parsnips and carrots are cheap as chips and extremely tasty!
This is one of my favourite recipes as it’s so easy and adaptable. Squash can be substituted for sweet potato or carrots or potatoes depending on what you have. Also, the spice mix is delicious and can be used for a range of other dishes like a lentil curry. The spices take a bit of investment but once you have them they last for ages and can be use in a range of dishes.
Squash and Chickpea Curry
Serves 4 | Takes 30 minutes
• For the spice mix 1 teaspoon of the following dried spices – Cinnamon, Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Ginger
• 1 onion, diced
• 1tsp vegetable oil
• 1 can diced tomatoes
• 1 can chickpeas
• 1 large squash, diced into cubes
• Rice to serve
1. Heat a frying pan and add the onion and vegetable oil. Fry the onion until soft. Add spices and stir for a couple of minutes more. It is best to add spices with onions to allow for depth of flavour.
2. Add the rest of the other ingredients and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes, until the squash is cooked.
3. Taste the dish and add more spices at this point if you want a stronger tasting curry. Otherwise serve on a bed of rice. The leftovers are great for lunch the next day!
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