Whether you’re a total newbie in the kitchen or a master chef, learning new things won’t be limited to the lecture theatre whilst you’re at uni. And when it comes to cooking, the more techniques you have under your belt, the better you’re equipped to make some awesome stuff to scoff.
As part of our guide to bossing student life, we’ve rustled up this collection of top tips and recipe ideas – helping you to master the essentials and make delicious meals during your studies.
Getting the basics right
Chopping an onion
Love them or hate them, chopping an onion usually ends in tears. With all the skin to peel off and layers to contend with, it can be a bit of a hassle at the best of times, and that’s before the crying starts.
There are lots of different ways to chop an onion, but Charlotte shares her fool-proof method here. Gareth even manages to do it straight away with only “minor consequences”. Check the video out here:
Garlic is essential for any kind of pasta sauce, chilli or curry recipe, but it’s about the fiddliest thing to properly peel. Whatever method you opt for, it tends to end up with the outer shell of the bulb everywhere and the scent of garlic on your hands, which can stick around for a few days.
Luckily, there’s a super handy method to peeling garlic that needs no knife skills or concentration, just a bowl and some firm hand action. Give this video a watch for more:
Cracking an egg with one hand
If you’re confident about your cooking skills and fancy adding a bit of pizazz to your meal preparation, then give this little trick a go. Be careful so as not to get any shell in the bowl, but if you can nail it, then you’ll be on the way to looking like a kitchen pro in no time.
Be sure to watch the video here:
Measuring pasta and rice
No matter how much you plan on making, there always seems to be a surplus of pasta and rice left over in the pan that’s destined to be thrown out. Not only is this a waste of food, it could be costing you unnecessary cash.
To prevent waste and help your student shop go further, be sure to check out this video for some excellent measuring tips:
Some simple recipes to get you started
It might be tempting to resort to a takeaway most nights of the week, but there is another way. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, get yourself in the kitchen and rustle up some of these delicious meals instead.
No culinary arsenal is complete without a good Spaghetti Bolognese recipe, and this one is a great go-to if you’re looking to cook for your friends or just make a big batch of food to keep you going in the week.
Check out this helpful video for the recipe, as well as how to properly cook pasta al dente, and serve things up the Italian way.
Tomato and Basil Soup
When the cold weather starts to nip at you, a good soup is a great way to stay warm and toasty once you’re indoors. Fresh tomato and basil soup is full of the good stuff, with plenty of hearty flavours to help keep the chill at bay.
Plus, you’ll learn about some new cooking techniques too, such as making croutons, chiffonading and making quenelles. Intrigued? Check out the video for more.
A few weeks into term you’ll soon realise that pesto is something of a student essential, at which point you’ll get bored of mixing it up with pasta for the 10th time that month. Enter Pesto Risotto – a top way of changing things up a bit, with a delicious creamy taste and plenty of rustic Italian goodness to power you through your lectures.
French Onion Soup
A classic dish that’s surprisingly affordable, impress your flatmates and fill your belly with this delicious bowl of creamy, cheesy goodness. Another great winter warmer, give this a go when the temperature dips.
If you’ve got a dinner party planned to celebrate the New Year or just need something to cure those post-Christmas blues, then spice things up with smoky, spicy or creamy chicken fajitas.
After more inspo? Check out the rest of The Stu Festival’s videos for more great meals! There’s plenty on the menu, from chicken stir fry and lamb korma to sweet treats like red velvet cake and banana bread. Explore what’s there and add some more student food essentials to your repertoire.
Accompaniments and extras
Looking for a few more servings of student foodie goodness? Check out some of the other recipe guides on the Nido blog for more meal ideas, cooking for different occasions throughout the year, and tips on healthier eating.