Belfast Telegraph

Ditch the packet noodles for these tasty student food tips

These tasty ideas are as essential as a new pencil case

By Ella Walker

So you've bagged the results you needed and landed a place at uni, well done. But chances are you've a lot to learn about what to cook once you're finally fending for yourself.

Luckily, food blogger Izy Hossack - who wrote her first cookbook, Everyday Delicious, while she was revising for her AS-levels, and her second, The Savvy Cook, during her first year at university in Leeds - is on hand to give some expert advice.

Follow her tips on what to make when, and you'll maximise your brain power, find new friends and avoid eating too many packet noodles in the year ahead.

The new term is about to begin and you need to get your kitchen cupboards in order

Stock up on grains. Get some big bags of rice because they're way cheaper to buy in bulk, and then you can keep them in your cupboard, or share with your housemates. Pasta and stock cubes I always buy at the beginning of the year, and I always stock up on spices and herbs - because if you buy everything at the beginning, that's your basic stuff, then throughout the week you just have to buy vegetables and maybe some cheese or eggs, and you know you have all the other stuff ready to go.

You've just moved into halls or started a brand new class and want to win over some new friends

Bake something sweet, definitely. Brownies or cookies, because they're easy to share and easy to make.

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Easy approach: Izy Hossack has plenty of tried and tested recipes for university living, including brownies

You're revising for that dreaded exam and need a motivational snack

Make something like hummus and then have some vegetables or pitta breads on hand. I always do this thing where I'm sitting there revising for a few hours and then I get really hungry and there's nothing ready for me to eat. So, if I have some hummus in the fridge, or my chorizo dip, then I can have a snack that I can just take up with me and I can continue revising while I'm eating it.

Things are getting stressful with deadlines, exams, too many late nights and a few tricky friendships

If you wanna go for the biscuits, go for the biscuits, I would say. I definitely do that, and if I'm stressed because I'm revising then I know that your brain runs on glucose, so you know, you're giving your brain some fuel. But I think emotional eating is problematic. I definitely do that myself, and I need to disassociate the stress with the stress eating. If you prepare yourself for it - so I know that I will stress eat - then go out for a walk, take your mind off it, do something alternative. And if when you get back, you're calm but you still want a biscuit, go for it.

You're coming home from a night out, and desperately want a kebab

For me, whenever I'm coming back (from a night out) then I just want bread and butter, so I always have bread in the freezer - access to carbs immediately. Once I came home from a night out and I literally made oven fries - I parboiled potatoes, put them in the oven, roasted them for 45 minutes, then ate them. I don't even know how I stayed up that long and then committed to eating all of them. Have some bread, that would be my go-to. I know some people want a burger, but I'm not that kind of a person. I think that you're never going to stop yourself from doing that, really - if you want some cheesy chips, you're going to get yourself some cheesy chips, there's no arguing with drunk you.

You wake up horribly hungover

Bread is my answer for everything.

You're feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed by your studies and social life and need a self-esteem lift

Cooking is a confidence boost because you can share it with people, and also, everyone's always nice when you cook for them. They appreciate it. They're never going to be mean, they're always going to be like, 'This is great, this is delicious', and you'll feel great about yourself.

The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack, photography by Izy Hossack, published by Mitchell Beazley, octopusbooks.co.uk, £14.99

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