Top Tips 4 min read

Cheap and Healthy Meal Ideas for Students

Katie Fiddaman

Katie Fiddaman posted on

Living on a budget can be hard and lots of people struggle to remain healthy at university because it can be really tempting to eat fast food and confectionary all the time. But, this isn't the best for your insides...So, for those of you opting for a healthier diet, this blog contains some cheap and healthy meals that you can make at university.

Breakfast

Porridge with Banana

Heat the porridge in the microwave with 180ml of milk for 1-3 minutes, depending on how hot you like it. Slice and add the bananas (or summer fruits, strawberries or apricots) to the porridge.

Photo by Lex Sirikiat / Unsplash

Greek Yoghurt with Berries

You can add the berries to your greek yoghurt either chopped and cold or microwave them and make them into a compote.

Muesli with Summer Berries

You can buy muesli, a mixture of oats and other cereals, dried fruit and nuts, in most supermarkets or you can make your own. You can eat it on its own or add extra berries or fruits for flavour.

Lunch

Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken caesar salad is a perfect quick and easy meal for a light lunch, especially in the summer. If you don't fancy chicken, you can have it without! There isn't really a method for this one, you just need to chuck it all into a bowl. So you need:

  • Romana lettuce leaves
  • Chicken
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Parmesan
  • Croutons
  • Tomato (optional)
  • Caesar dressing (a lot of supermarkets do low fat versions of this)

    Photo by Raphael Nogueira / Unsplash

Mushroom, Tomato and Basil Omelette

This one is from BBC Good Food... You need:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • 300g chestnut mushroom, sliced
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped basil leaves

And the method:

  1. Heat the grill to its highest setting and place the tomatoes on a square of foil underneath, turning occasionally to prevent burning. When the tomatoes are slightly scorched, remove from the grill, squashing them slightly to release the juices.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl and mix with a fork. Add a small splash of water and mix. Add chives and some black pepper, and beat some more. Set aside while you prepare the mushrooms.
  3. In a nonstick frying pan, heat the butter over a medium heat until foaming. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-8 mins until tender, stirring every few minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Briskly stir the egg mixture, then add to the hot pan (tilting it so that the mixture covers the entire base) and leave for 10 secs or so until it begins to set. With a fork, gently stir the egg here and there so that any unset mixture gets cooked.
  5. While the egg mixture is still slightly loose, spoon the mushroom mix onto one side of the omelette, and top with the cream cheese and basil leaves. Flip the other side of the omelette over to cover, if you like. Leave to cook for 1 min more, then cut in half and slide each half onto a plate. Serve immediately with the tomatoes on the side.

Avocado and Egg on Toast

  1. Mash the avocado in a small bowl or slice it and season with salt and pepper if required.
  2. Put the toast in the toaster.
  3. Cook the egg to preference: fried, over-easy, poached, scrambled or boiled.
  4. Place avocado over toast, top with egg, salt and pepper and any sauce if desired!

    Photo by Ben Kolde / Unsplash

Dinner

Big Batch Bolognese

Another excellent recipe from BBC GoodFood: Big Batch Bolognese.
recipe-image-legacy-id--1074456_10-1

Vegetable Stir Fry

This 10-minute recipe is healthy and can also be served as a side with a grilled fillet of fish or chicken. The ingredients are:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 chilli (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 500g mixed vegetables such as pak choi, baby corn and broccoli
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, then fry the chilli and garlic for 1 min.
  2. Add the veg and toss to coat in the oil.
  3. Fry for 2-3 mins, then add the soy and chilli sauce, mixing well.
  4. Cook for 2-3 mins more until the veg are tender.
  5. Serve alone or with grilled chicken or fish fillet.

Mexican Chicken Fajitas

This one is super easy to make and is particularly good when you are catering for a larger group. You need:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Fajita mix (Tesco)
  • Vegetables (peppers and onions usually)
  • Wraps
  • Cheese
  • Sauces: salsa, guacamole and sour cream

Once the chicken is cooked, add the fajita mix (this is optional, of course, if you don't like your chicken seasoned then you can have it plain). Cook the vegetables in a separate pan. Grate the cheese, and at the last minute, put the wraps into the microwave and serve everything.

Photo by Alexander Mils / Unsplash

More healthy meal ideas can be found online. If you have any other meal suggestions to help out other students, please comment on them below and let us know what your favourite meal is!

Cheap and Healthy Meal Ideas for Students
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