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
Jacket Potato with Creamy Greens
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
Towards a Beef-less Stew
It’s hard to read all the reports about greenhouse gases and the cow industry and not feel a pang of guilt every time you sit down to eat a burger. Beef stew had been in regular rotation in our house because it was so easy and cheap. Usually I would use a tough cut, like a shin, and stick that in the slow cooker all day, or put it on at midday on high when I was working from home. I would cook it until the meat would fall apart and the disc of bone would be left nestling somewhere in the centre of the stew, bare and pale.
James’s Beans on Toast
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.
Batch Cook: Sloppy Joe Sauce
Sloppy Joe associations: I once went to a Sloppy Joe themed party. The desperation intrinsic to such an event led to some really poor decision making on my part. Never again. For one thing, Sloppy Joe’s are kind of an awful party food. You can’t eat them while you’re standing around. You can’t hold a pint in one hand and a Sloppy Joe in the other without becoming totally coated in damp clumps of protein. You’d have to have them deconstructed in little cups with tiny spoons, or maybe dolloped onto a blini, or ladled into a bag of tortilla chips. I mean, seriously why not just eat the whole mess out of a bag of tortilla chips like a scout at a jamboree? Hindsight, 20:20. Continue reading
Fast pasta for lazy days
Recipe books rarely assume you, the cook, are feeling hungry yet simultaneously disinterested in actually making any food. The following ideas are, quite frankly, simple and obvious. This is not gourmet or even ‘quite nice’ cooking. This is making a hot and filling meal on a day when you wish it were already made. You will need only one saucepan and a limb willing to do some half-arsed stirring. Continue reading