Student – How to eat cheaply!

I know better than anyone what it feels like to be a broke student. The amount of times I’ve hit the bottom of my overdraft is quite scary. Then the student loan comes in, and I think I’m rich – for about two weeks.

If you’re on this website, it’s probably because you’re looking for a new recipe to try out,  or you’re interested in how companies in your area give back to their communities. This article won’t help you with either of those things. However, if you’re looking for help on making delicious food with a small budget, you have come to the right place.

Let’s start with the obvious. Ready meals are not cheap. Even if they’re frozen! The price says 3 for £6 at ASDA so you think, what a bargain! But the portions are small, and that’s only going to last you three dinners! Also, if we’re being honest, cheap ready meals from ASDA do not taste good and definitely aren’t good for you, no matter what they put on the label. The salt and preservatives stuffed into one of them almost gives me a heart attack by looking at it, and I haven’t taken a bite yet! That’s not to say I’ve never eaten one. In my first year of uni I had more ready meals than I could count on four, maybe five hands! And how did I feel after eating them? Gross, undernourished and hungry! Ready meals are the easiest things to cook. It’d be pretty hard to do it wrong, but is it worth it?

As long as you have the basics in your fridge and cupboards, you can make a nutritious and delicious meal for just as cheap as a ready meal. When I say the basics, I’m talking flour, salt, pepper, stock cubes, garlic and tomato puree and milk etc. These are the basics for a lot of meals! The initial cost will be slightly higher to buy these items, but as soon as you have them they should last you a long time! I’m still on the same bag of flour I bought in September!

Soon, you’ll find that your weekly shop really goes down in price. Have a look at some of the recipes on this website for some cheap, and easy meals with bare minimum ingredients. Some that I would recommend would be Spaghetti Bolognaise, Chicken Curry and Lasagne. Imagine being able to say that you can cook these dishes from scratch! It’s a lot easier than it sounds, trust me.

Scrumptious Italian Christmas Pudding Cake

Italian Christmas Pudding Cake
Italian Christmas Pudding Cake

Italian Christmas Pudding cake

It just keeps getting better. This, trust me, is an indulgence you simply cannot do without. It bears absolutely no comparison to a Christmas Pudding but as an alternative, it wins hands down!! It is a delightful Italian Christmas dessert, light and fluffy and has the appearance of something aristocratic with all the scrumptious flavours of Christmas all rolled into one. Miss this and weep! Sheer Bliss!

Method

(To make this cake you need a 22-23cm Springform cake tin.)

Cut the panettone into 1cm slices and use a third of these to line the bottom of the tin, making sure there are no gaps. Drizzle 2 tbsp of the Kahlua over the panettone so as it becomes moist.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until very frothy. Then slowly whisk in the mascarpone and double cream then slowly add the marsala. Carry on whisking until the mixture is thick and more firm.

Nigella Lawson
Truly one of the most influential charismatic cooks of our time.

Source:
Nigellissima

625g Panettone
6 x 15ml tbsp Kahlua Lq
2 Eggs
75g Caster Sugar
500g Mascarpone
250ml Double Cream
125ml Marsala or Sweet Sherry
75g Glace Cherries
125g Chocolate Chips
100g Pistachio Nuts
2 x 15ml tbsp Pomegranite Seeds

£14.15

£1  per portion: 

12 – 14 Slices

Remove a good cupful of the mixture and store in the fridge for later. Add the glace cherries to the mixture followed by 100g of the chocolate chips and 75g of the chopped pistachios and fold in.

Now use half this mixture and put on top of the tin lined with panettone.

Now use a further third of the panettone slices to cover the mixture you have just added and remember, no gaps. Drizzle with a further 2tbsp of liqueur.

Now place the remainder of the filling on top and cover with the remainder of the panettone slices. Use the final 2tbsp of liqueur on this final layer.

Cover the tin with clingfilm and press down on the cake to make sure all the layers are well seated.

This can then be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days until needed.

Before you serve, remove from the springform tin, place on a presentation dish and add the cupful of filling you saved to the top surface, levelling as best you can.

Now scatter the remainder of the nuts, and chocolate chips over the top, adding the pomegranate seeds.

Enjoy!!