5 quick, easy and affordable recipes!

You get in from a late lecture and the last thing you want to do is cook…but you’re a student and can’t afford a takeaway so have to muster up the strength to at least cook something quick. Here are 5 quick recipes that won’t break the bank and will taste so much better than supermarket brand noodles (we’ve all been there).

Chicken Fajitas

Cook it all in one pan and takes around 10 minutes.
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Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken breast
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 fajita seasoning packet (I know this is cheating, but these are quick recipes)
  • 1 pack of tortillas

Recipe

  1. Slice the chicken, onion and pepper into thin strips.
  2. Splash some oil into a hot pan and then add the chicken, stir-frying until fully cooked.
  3. Throw in the onion, pepper and seasoning mix, keep stir-frying until the chicken is browned and the seasoning is well mixed.
  4. Warm the tortillas – pierce the packaging and microwave on full power for 35-40 seconds (cooking time may vary depending on microwave and tortillas).
  5. Then simply spoon the mix into your tortilla, add any salsa or sour cream if you wish and wrap it up!

Serves 3.

Price per portion: £2.22

Stir fry

This recipe is really easy and the reason I include it is because all supermarkets seem to offer a £3 stir fry deal –  great for students!
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of stir fry vegetables
  • 1 pack of noodles (I used rice noodles)
  • 1 stir fry sauce

Recipe:

  1. Heat up a wok (or frying pan).
  2. Add the vegetables and stir fry for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the noodles and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Serve up!

Serves 3.

Price per portion: £1

Burgers

They always seem to taste a little better when they’re homemade!

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Ingredients:

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Burger buns

Recipe:

  1. Chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Place the mince in a large bowl and add the onion and garlic.
  3. Add the eggs to the mix.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Mix all the ingredients (I prefer to use my hands but a wooden spoon would also work).
  6. Form the mix into 4 burgers.
  7. Seal the burgers by frying for 1 minute on each side.
  8. Grill the burgers for around 5 minutes on each side (depending on the size of your burgers this may vary. Cook until no longer pink in middle).
  9. Add to your bun with any sauces, salad or cheese!

Serves 4.

Price per portion: £1.11

Chilli

My personal favourite, a great winter warmer.

Ingredients:

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 chilli seasoning packet
  • 300g rice

Recipe

  1. Put a pan of water on to boil – once boiling add the rice.
  2. Chop the onion and add it to a frying pan.
  3. Add the mince to frying pan.
  4. Let the mince brown and then add the seasoning.
  5. Once the seasoning is well mixed, add the tomatoes.
  6. When this is mixed, add the beans. Cook for a further few minutes.
  7. Check on your rice, it should take around 10 minutes.
  8. Drain the rice and serve up!

Serves 4.

Price per portion: £1.34

Pancakes

More of a dessert than a meal but great to cook with flatmates. See who can flip their pancakes without sticking them to the ceiling!

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Ingredients:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 280ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil or vegetable
  • Pinch of salt

Recipe:

  1. Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Add both eggs, 40ml of milk and the tablespoon of oil.
  3. Start whisking, starting in the middle and working outwards until you have a thick, smooth paste.
  4. Add a large splash of milk and whisk.
  5. Pour a steady stream of milk into the mix and keep whisking until all the milk is incorporated (it will be quite a runny mix).
  6. Heat the frying pan and add a small amount of oil. It’s best to use kitchen roll to rub the oil around the pan so it doesn’t all stay in one place.
  7. Pour some batter into the pan so that the bottom of the pan is covered in a thin layer.
  8. Leave to cook for around 30 seconds and then flip, cooking for a further 30 seconds.
  9. Your pancake is cooked and ready for toppings!

Makes 8 pancakes.

Price per pancake: £0.06

N.B. I bought all the ingredients from Tesco as this is closest supermarket to the University of Essex and worked out prices accordingly.

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