An original Student Budget Recipe

Just because you’re a student, doesn’t mean you can’t be the next Jamie Oliver – well, you can dream.

Yes, McDonalds, Nandos or the local takeaway, conveniently 10 steps away from your student pad, may seem like the best or only option for your Tuesday night tea after a hard day at Uni. (Or a hard day watching a whole series on Netflix whilst pretending you had a hard day at Uni.) However, wouldn’t it be great to make a tasty meal at home without spending too many pennies?

As I know from personal experience, budgeting as a student isn’t fun and having to spend money on food seems sacrilege enough, never mind having to cook something in a kitchen that may not be as welcoming as homes. However, there are many recipes out there ideal for students, which are cheap and quick to make. So close your Just Eat tab and put away those takeaway menus, get out your chopping board and enjoy the wonders of home cooking.

As much as we students love a good pasta dish, a change of taste wouldn’t be overruled. One recipe that is so easy to make is a Tuna and Tomato Crisp Bake. This is a meal that you can share with your friends or keep in the fridge for the next day. By filling a casserole dish, it feeds 4 people or 1 very hungry student. All you need is:

- 3 tins of tuna

- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

- Half a bag of potatoes to mash

- 1 packet of cheese and onion crisps (yes, crisps)

So rummage through your cupboards and get cracking.

Man preparing food

Step One: Peel your potatoes and boil them for 20 minutes until soft

Step Two: To create your mash add a drop of milk and a slice of butter and mash until it looks creamy and soft (cheesy mash is also welcome!).

Step Three: After you have made your perfect mash, throw your tuna and tomatoes into a frying pan, with a drizzle of oil and mix well together under the heat. This will take 5 minutes max and don’t forget to add your salt and pepper.

TOP TIP ALERT! If you have any other ingredients that need to be used in your fridge such as onions, peppers, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms – these can all be added too, be adventurous!

Step Four: Once the tuna and tomatoes have been heated, pour these ingredients into a casserole dish. Then, spread your mash over your concoction and add any extra grated cheese on top.

Step Five: Finally, crush a packet of cheese and onion crisps and sprinkle the crisp dust on top of your masterpiece – sounds odd but it tastes great. Then bang it in the oven on around 180 degrees fan oven for 15-20 minutes.

Ta-da, you’ve got yourself a cheap and yummy meal all in the space of half an hour and if you’re feeling generous, even you’re very lucky housemates can try your delish dish. How simple is that?

Overall, that tasty meal would cost around £4-5 for the ingredients and hardly any sweat work for the cooking. The great thing about this recipe, other than knowing what is actually in it, is you can change it to fit your taste and preferences, by adding whatever you want to your tuna. You can even try it with rice or your very loyal pasta. It certainly doesn’t break the bank and it’s a lot healthier than your ready meals or greasy takeaways. So why not give it a go, you can even put your favourite crisp flavour on top if you want to be original. Let’s stop seeing those same old takeaway night selfie’s, the shameless McDonalds snapchat and the check-ins on Facebook at Nandos. This crisp delight is Instagram worthy and so why not give it a go!

Sophie Iveson (20) Undergraduate at the University of Manchester

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