Student Recipe Challenge

Craig tries out some 'cheap and easy' student recipes. Check out how he got along;

By Craig

So as it gets towards the end of my second term, my student loan started to run out and ordering takeaway wasn't really an option for me anymore... not that I ordered a lot of takeways anyway. My cash was running low and I ended up searching the internet for some healthy but cheap student recipes. I figured I'd share them with you guys below

Spiced black bean and chicken soup with kale 
So firstly, after searching for a meal I could make in bulk with some ingredients I already had and tired searching for recipes around that. I came across 'Spiced back bean and chicken soup with kale'. It sounds like a mouthful, but when it comes to food, a mouthful is good (sorry for the bad food pun!)

Alright, the recipe can be found here;

You'll see that there's a lot of ingredients, but pretty much everything on the list is common in most kitchen or it is really cheap to buy. For example, Sainsburys sell some really cheap 'salad cheese' which is the same thing as feta cheese but half the price! Other than that, you can change up some of the spices etc as you wish, although even if you can't halde spicy food very well, you don't have to worry as this dish uses very minimal spices and you won't burn your mouth on it! 

The dish is very adaptable and you can make changes where you wish. If you are a vegetarian you could take out the chicken, add more vegetables or find a meat alternative such as Quorn or Tofu (also if you can't afford meat then Quorn is a cheap and tasty alternative.) Ok now for the fun party, a 'what mine looks like vs what is 'supposed to look like'. 

So my photo is less flattering but my square bowl makes up for the poor lighting in my kitchen... you know it's true. But overall it was a success, very tasty! 

Stir fried beef with hoisin sauce 
Recipe number two is 'Stir fried beef with hoisin sauce'. This one is really easy to make and done pretty quickly also. Although I make it much slower than intended due to buying broad beans instead of mangetout for some reason... thankfully there's a fruit and veg shop down the road, so it only added about 5 minutes to my overall cooking time! 

The recipe can be found here; and again, there are a fair few ingredients but you don't have to use all of them for it to taste good! I didn't have sesame seeds or dry sherry (I substituted red wine vinegar with this, although you could miss it out entirely if you don't want to buy either ingredient). 

In terms of buying the steak, you don't have to buy really expensive steak either. I got a good pack of 2 Sirloin steaks for around £4 at Sainsburys, but this meal made 2 portions so it felt like I was gaining more for my money as I could have the meal over two days. 

Now for the photo comparison; 

Again, square plates make up for poor lighting! My plate also makes the portion look fairly small, but I assure you that it's just because my plates are huge. The meal was super filling and that's coming from a guy who needs to eat 24/7. 

Of the two dishes, I think that my favourite was the soup because it was the most unique dish of the two. I've never had a soup with feta cheese in it before, have you? But I still really enjoyed the stir fry dish. Both recipes make plenty of food for a second or even a third meal depending on how much you eat. I can never seem to save my second portion for another meal, but on this occasion, I forced myself to. So I can look forward to these next week when I completely run out of money. 

Best of luck and If you have any questions, or if you want to discuss the meals I created, feel free to get in touch via Scapes social media;      



Where next?