Being at uni is difficult at the best of times, let alone in a global pandemic. Then you're faced with the absolute mission to make yourself lunch, while swamped by deadlines (even if you haven't moved all day, lunch can be mission impossible)
𝘐𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 - couscous (of course), cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, celery - or basically any veg you'd like in the salad - mayo, mustard (swedish or dijon are best) and lettuce (optional, yes.)
Cook the couscous in a bowl on the side, and dice all your veg into cubes - this lunch is a great way to get ya five a day in early so you can have pizza for dinner and not worry about student malnourishment (not dramatic at all). Fresh/cold veg like cucumber and raw red pepper add a nice crunch, something i find usual salads lack. Now i've said lettuce is optional, i know you're thinking - it's a salad, salad = leaves?? However, personally i must say i don't enjoy salad leaves all that much. If ya like them though, add some spice to your life with a bit of peppery goodness i guess. So, you've got the veg and the couscous is probably done by now - chuck it all in a bowl. At this point you could add a vegan chicken or something for a bit o' protein if you fancy. The next option here is to add salad dressing - or do as i do and make it extra spicy, literally. Mix Mayo (Hellmans vegan is the fav in this house) and a bit of mustard into the couscous salad. Trust me, it's got more body to it than a salad dressing, don't lie you know what i mean. There you have it, a couscous salad! Vegan student friendly edition.
𝘐𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 - bread, cheese, pesto, salad tomatoes, and butter
Here we have a humble toastie, but add a little bit of je ne sais quoi if you will. Seeded bread, thats the first step. The seeded bloomer from lidl is 85p and h u g e, perfect for a toastie if you ask me. Next step, pesto; Asda or Tesco free from pesto is affordable, and just as good as the sacla brand - later this pesto on both sides of your toastie and don't be shy - it's green so it must be good for you right? (don't listen to me) . Now for cheeeeeese! Vegan cheese is a nightmare, all are different and some smell like they've just emerged from the bin of a foot spa or something, hence why it felt like a religious experience when i tried koko cheddar. It's pricey don't get me wrong, although one time i found it in home bargains for 49p and oh boy did i stock up, but i can safely say it is one of the nicest vegan cheese alternatives i have ever tried - and i've been through a few. Finally, the tomato. If you don't like tomato, red onion is also good in this creation (just to get in one of those trusty five-a-days), or if you like both then go wild! Now whip out a frying pan, toastie maker, or even your george foreman grill you got in fresher's deals at Asda, and toast that baby to perfection and enjoy.
𝙑𝙚𝙜-𝙞-𝙛𝙞𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤𝙖𝙨𝙩
Stop right there, i know beans on toast is veggie - i mean vegified as in, add veg. I know you may be thinking all these Vegan lunch ideas are just common foods, but sometimes you need reminding of what there is, and i'm here to help you :) So, beans.
𝘐𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 - Bread, Beans, Mushrooms, Red Onion (and black pepper)
You may notice similar ingredients in all these meals, and that's because I want to keep this as budget friendly as possible. Staples i always have in are mushrooms, peppers and red onions - red onions over white as they can be used raw too.
This meal is as simple as it sounds, chuck your red onion and mushrooms in a pan and cook until they start to brown, then add your beans. Again i usually use the lidl bread for this venture, as it is thick and you can even get away with one slice depending on how hungry you are. Cook the beans for as long as it says on the tin, and whack 'em on your toast and bam - lunch is served.
𝘐𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 - wraps, 'chicken' nuggets, sweet chilli sauce, lettuce!, tomatoes, mayo and cheeeeeese
I'm sorry, suddenly i like lettuce again. This is such a quick lunch, and so forgotten about (until that tiktok wrap emerged i guess). Literally just grab a wrap, microwave it for 10 seconds (to soften it up to fold) and spread on some mayo. Add your nuggets (I like Sains own - plant pioneers - nuggets, or Morrisons, best value for money i think) and top it with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce. Now i say to add the sauce before the lettuce, because if you add it after then the folding stage becomes a sticky mess of sweet chilli under your nails that you'll forget until you itch your eye and blind yourself. So, sweet chilli added, we now go for the tomato and lettuce - agains see, one of your ever so loved five-a-day, but disguised as a Nando's knock off wrap. Thank me later fellas.
𝘐𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 - sausage rolls.
You heard me, sausage rolls. This became a staple meal in deadline season, all you need is an oven and a timer on your phone so you don't fall asleep and burn your student accommodation down. As i can't really tell you how to make store bought sausage rolls, i shall rank them for you instead.
Linda McCartney Rolls - 6 in a pack, a very nice roll, but not easy to find cheap. If you have a B&M near you, they often have them on a deal of 2 for £2, which if you see - do it. But apart from that, not friendly to the budget, but friendly to the tastebuds.
Greggy Boi (AKA Greggs) - Great for on the go but not necessarily for the wallet. The best deal is 4 for £3, and if you're a commuter, or a forgetting-to-have-breakfast-er before uni then greg is your man.
Plant Pioneers (Sains) - We're on to mini sausage rolls now. 30 mini sausage rolls for £1.75 is a pretty neat deal if you ask me. They're perfect for a lecture snack, or a more of a platter lunch with some other mini things, i don't know i just like bitesize sausage rolls. Usually i'd cook up quite a few and chuck 'em in a box to snack on when working - overall these are the best value for money and easier to shove in your crammed freezer.
Morrisons, Asda, and Tesco also all have 'party packs' of mini sausage rolls for a similar price.
That's all for today on Quick student lunches. There are many, many more that i shall share in the future but for now writing this has made me hungry - and i don't even have any mini sausage rolls in store.
Thank you and goodbye, catch you on the flipside - adios.