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Freshers feast - student meal prep recipes on a budget

As any student or recent graduate knows, food is one of the biggest challenges of university life. When your social life and studies are in full swing, it’s difficult to find the time to cook, never mind plan ahead, do a big shop and eat healthily. Attempting to do all those things at once (and for longer than a few days into the new term) is as daunting as writing a dissertation - but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of forward thinking, a simple shopping list and an hour or two between the library and a night out, anyone can prep a week or two’s worth of quick, healthy meals that can be eaten in the communal kitchen or on-the-go during the day. Once you have some staple ingredients like spices, lentils and chopped tomatoes you have the foundation of dozens of quick, healthy meals! Not that, but you’ll save on time and money and feel all the better for it. Here are our favourite fresher feasts from Igluu-lover Sammy, who made the most of meal prep as a student and shares her recipes on her Instagram and website.

Quick chilli

Serve this spicy, warming chilli with salad, guac, rice or nachos - or divide your chilli into three or four portions and scoop them into an Igluu meal prep container. They’re freezer safe - perfect to get the most out of your meal! Ingredients (makes 3-4 portions)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 5 mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • 350g lean turkey mince (try and go for 5% fat, or quorn mince on a budget!)
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp marmite
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 200g dried red lentils
  • Tin kidney beans (any type of beans will do)
  • Fresh coriander to garnish (optional)
Method
  1. Finely slice the onion, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic and fry in 1/2 tsp coconut oil for a few minutes to soften. Add the mince and break up with a wooden spoon and leave to brown, mixing when needed.
  2. Add the chilli flakes (to taste), cumin, smoked paprika and mix to combine, then leave for a minute until the aromas are released, before pouring in the chopped tomatoes.
  3. In a small bowl, melt the marmite into a drop of boiling water. At the tomato purée, Worcester sauce and honey and mix together. Add to the main pain and stir in. Grate in the dark chocolate and mix until completely melted and combined.
  4. Pour in the lentils, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until they’re almost fully cooked.
  5. Finally, add the beans and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped coriander.
 

Go-to Gnocchi

High protein, high carb and high in comfort, this baked gnocchi recipe is ideal as the nights draw in. Make ahead of time, get a bit of work or exercise in, then bake it to perfection! It’s also the ideal lunch to meal prep for a busy week ahead. Ingredients
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 400g turkey breast
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 500g gnocchi
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 – 2 heaped tbsp red pesto
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Few drops Tabasco
  • Half a bag of spinach
  • 1 tbsp natural yogurt (the runny stuff)
  • 50g mature cheese
  • 1 ball mozzarella
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Chop the veg and heat in a large pan with some coconut oil. Dice the turkey and add it to the pan and brown for around 7 minutes.
  3. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, fill the tin half full with water, rinse and add to the pan.
  4. Add the gnocchi and the rest of the ingredients except the spinach, yogurt and cheese. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach to the pan and leave to wilt. Add the yogurt and give it a good mix. Season to taste.
  6. Grate over the cheddar and tear up the mozzarella and layer it on. Throw in the oven for 20 minutes/as long as you need and enjoy!
Igluu meal prep containers can be purchased on our website or on Amazon.
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