When I started university I threw myself into the self-catered lifestyle and overdosed on tortellini for four days in a row. After that I decided to brave some different ingredients and found it wasn’t actually that hard.

If you’re learning to fend for yourself for the first time or just want some more independence

Here are six basic meals and how to make them…

1. Curry

Rice, a jar of curry sauce, chicken pieces (or potatoes if you’re veggie)

Put a small amount of oil in a saucepan or wok and heat up the chicken/potatoes. Once they’re cooked – chicken should be thoroughly white – add the sauce.

In the meantime put a mug’s worth of rice in a saucepan, cover in boiling water and stick it on the hob for 10-15 minutes.

Drain the rice and add it all to your plate! As you get more comfortable making this you can add yummy vegetables and spices.


2. Pizza

Pizza base, pesto/tomato puree, toppings of your choice

Admittedly you can go down to the local co-op, buy a frozen pizza and stick it in the oven. But if you want more say in your toppings you can make your own.

You can get hold of pizza dough to make your own base or cheat a little and get a pre-prepared one. Add pesto or tomato puree as you would add butter to toast and sprinkle your toppings however you like.

Put it in the oven for around 20 minutes and there you are!


3. Stir Fry

Noodles, your choice of sauce, meat and/or vegetables

Boil the noodles, times may vary so check the packaging.

Put a bit of oil in a wok and fry the meat/vegetables. The stir fry can be as dry as you like it but add some sauce which could be anything from a sprinkling soy sauce to a drenching of sweet and sour and leave to simmer.

When both are ready combine for a delicious stir fry. You can change the ingredients to make loads of different combinations.


4. Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Broccoli, cheese of your choice, sweet potatoes

Use a knife the cut lines in the sweet potato and stick it in the microwave for ten minutes. If it’s soft after this time stick it in the oven for a further 40 minutes.

While it’s in the oven cut up the broccoli and grate the cheese, then boil the broccoli for up to ten minutes. When the potato is done you can cut it open and remove some of the potato to make room for the broccoli and cheese which you can add however you like – it’s advised to mix them together a bit.

Put it back in the oven for five minutes so everything is nice and warm when you get to eat it.


As seen on acouplecooks.com

5. Burgers

Burgers (or veggie burgers), buns and maybe some oven chips or salad

Put the burgers on a baking tray and stick them in the oven for around 25 minutes (check packaging as burgers can differ).

Meanwhile prepare the buns by buttering them, chop up any lettuce, onion or whatever you want on the burger and do your sides. If you’re doing oven chips they (surprisingly) go in the oven too.

When the oven has done it’s job it’s just a case of sticking it on your plate and getting it down you.


6. Burritos

Tortillas wraps, salsa and fillings of your choice which could include peppers, cheese, meat, rice and other vegetables

Prepare the filling of your burrito – if you’re including meat this will probably take the longest so put this on first.

In the meantime chop the vegetables and prepare the rice which you can then add to the meat to create a mixture.

Microwave the tortilla wraps to secure warmth and add salsa to your mixture of fillings. Then just stick it all in the wrap and fold. Yum!


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