Couscous salad is a quick and simple lunch, perfect for home or a lunchbox. You can vary the ingredients based on what you have in, and it’s very useful for using up leftovers or ingredient odds and ends – that last stub of cucumber or half a carrot. Whilst it can be packed with lots of fresh salad vegetables, the couscous base is filling, so the goodness of this lunch is not undone by a circa 3pm carb-crash that can only be addressed with half a pack of ginger-nuts.Continue reading
It is National Student Money week, and so I find myself looking back on my student life and what constituted a ‘meal’ in those days. The thing about student money is that you usually have less than none of it, and there are many things that you want, or need, to spend this non-existent money on. An almost universal part of the student experience is therefore trying to feed yourself as cheaply as possible.Continue reading
In honour of Chinese New Year, this week’s recipe is a simple stir-fry dish, suitable for week-night dinners. I’ve got it down to about 20 minutes by being fairly careless with the chopping and pretty generous with the heat.Continue reading
One of the first cooking ‘techniques’ I was introduced to as a student was making cheese and beans on toast using a toastie-maker. At first, I was apprehensive. I couldn’t believe that the beans would get hot enough in the machine to cook through. However, as anyone who has used one of these machines will attest, I needn’t have worried. A toastie-maker heats the filling with all the subtlety of nuclear fusion. Bite too quickly into your toasted creation, and your hunger will dissolve, along with the lining of your mouth.
For some reason, when I think about what I want for my child in life, it always involves baking cookies. It’s possible that I’ve internalised the association of motherhood with cookie making, or else I just this have Pavlovian reaction to cookies whereby if cookies are present, something is going right in the world of your home. My sister was a day student at a boarding school (long story, which I’ll save for my memoir) where the girls were given fresh cookies every day at 10am. By contrast, I went to a Catholic school, so the closest we got to cookies was communion wafers and the cigarettes we smoked behind the music caravan. Not good. Continue reading
I can’t remember my first encounter with this combination, but it was probably at an old-school ice cream parlour in my hometown. When I was little, the crispy, oily sandwich dunked into the rich soup conveyed an almost unbearable feeling of coziness. The cheese was always ‘American’ – processed singles, radioactive orange, savouring of plastic. The soup was without fail Campbell’s Cream of Tomato. I became obsessed with it, and that hasn’t really changed. Grilled cheese and tomato soup are what you eat on a cold rainy day when your heart is a little heavy and the thought of cooking ‘real food’ doesn’t appeal. It isn’t really grown-up food – there’s a reason children love it. It does make a quick and satisfying dinner. Continue reading