5 Student-Friendly Veggie Meals!!

Hello!! Since coming back from winter break, I’ve been really enjoying getting back into cooking. It’s weird really because before uni I couldn’t cook at all and now I’m always looking up new recipes, buying new foods and experimenting with different ingredients. Although sometimes cooking can be tiring after a long day, I really like feeling in control of what I’m eating and to be honest I think I eat a lot more healthily at uni than at home!

Today I’ll be sharing some of my favourite meals to have as a student and all of them are budget friendly too!! As I said in my 2019 goals post, I’m going to work on becoming vegetarian this year, so all of the meals I’m including are veggie friendly!! (Also apologies that the photography is not great haha, was trying to sneakily take photos of my food without people thinking I’m weird!)

The first meal I’m going to talk about is pretty basic but it was still really nice!! I had a cauliflower cheese grill which sounds really odd but honestly it was so nice! Then along with this I had some sweet potato wedges which I made myself, carrots, cabbage and peas. This is what I call a “freezer meal” – something I have when I can’t be bothered to cook from scratch but it’s very versatile as you could swap the cauliflower cheese grill for any type of pasty, slice or whatever you feel like! I buy most of my veg frozen and one bag of frozen peas literally lasted me the whole of last term, so this works out as a very cheap meal. Also I had gravy with this because I literally eat gravy with everything at the moment 😂

The second meal I’m going to talk about is something I cooked for the first time a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it! It was sort of something I just threw together but it actually turned out to be delicious. Essentially, it is a chick pea stir fry with noodles. As I’m trying to incorporate veggie meals into my diet, I thought I’d experiment with chick peas as a source of protein. I usually find chickpeas really bland but this time I made a sort of dressing with oil, mixed herbs, salt and pepper which I coated them in before adding them to the rest of the veg I was stir frying and they ended up having a really creamy taste. I then just cooked some noodles on the side. This meals literally took about 10-15 minutes to make and it was so nice, I will definitely be making it again! Also, any type of stir fry is such a great student staple as you can literally chuck any left over veg in a pan and fry it.


My photography skills really don’t make these meals look appetising lol but this next one is one of my favourite things I’ve cooked!! As you can probably tell, I love sweet potatoes as this meal consisted of two sweet jacket potatoes (cooked à la microwave bc the oven is SLOW), stir fried greens, sweet corn and pepper with homemade baked beans!! I mean, I had baked beans in my cupboard but there’s something so satisfying about making your own! I made my baked beans by boiling a tin of chopped tomatoes then adding some kidney beans which were left over from the day before, but haricot beans also work well! (Although I am aware this meal was basically just veg lol and doesn’t have much protein, I’m still working on making balanced veggie meals!)

(I mean, the photography just keeps going downhill but OH WELL). This next meals was another sort of improvised meal. I had a panini to use so I decided to make panini pizzas by grilling them with tomato puree, cheese, peppers and tomatoes on top. I then made sweet potato fries which I either coated in paprika or Italian herbs, I can’t remember, and then had LOTS of spinach on the side (why do they make bags of spinach so big?? It’s a STRUGGLE to get through it before it goes out of date!!)

Finally we have a nother quick meal which I just through together the other day but it actually turned out well! I had spinach and ricotta filled pasta with fried egg, pepper and sweetcorn and some kale. I absolutely love filled pasta (and it’s always on offer in Tesco ayy) and this was just another case of using up veg.

I’m actually pretty proud of the amount of veggie meals I’ve been eating. I’d say I’ve got to a point where half of my evening meals per week are veggie, and I’m pretty impressed with that!

If you’re a student like me, I hope these meals have given you a few ideas! I love trying out new meals so please let me know what your go-to meals are or just veggie-friendly meals in general, I would love to get some tips!

Advertisements

Things I Love About Uni!

As you are probably aware if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I do like a bit of a rant about uni. So, I thought it was time to spread some positivity on my blog – both for your sake and mine – by sharing with you some of the things I love about being at university!

Meeting New People

I’ve never thought of myself as being very good at meeting new people, but I suppose that’s because at home I’d gone through primary school, secondary school and college with pretty much the same people so I was rarely in a situation where I could meet new people. However, since coming to uni I have discovered I absolutely love meeting people from such a diverse range of backgrounds. Being close to London, my university is quite international which means I’ve met people from all over the world, as well as around the UK, and I find it so interesting learning about other people’s cultures and experiences. At first it was a bit daunting being in a place where I knew no one, but you’ve just got to remind yourself that 99% of other freshers are in the same position! I love the fact that there are so many people here to meet and there’s always new opportunities to get to know new people through your course, societies, mutual friends or even just bumping into people in the library. I’ve also been able to meet more like-minded people which is such a refreshing experience – and slightly mind-blowing – when you meet someone who may have had a completely different upbringing to you but you still perceive the world in a similar way!

Exploring a New Area

If you know me well you’ll know that I am very much an adventurer and that exploring new places makes me feel alive! I didn’t know much about the area of the UK that my university is located in before coming here (and to be honest I still don’t!!) but being somewhere completely different to home means there’s always new places to discover. I’m quite a restless person and don’t like being in one place for too long, so often if I have a day or an afternoon off I’ll go on a spontaneous trip somewhere. For example, I went into London to wander around and look at the Christmas lights. I’ve only been to London probably less than 10 times in my life so there is still so much of it to explore and I really don’t know my way around! I also go walking a lot, mainly because I’ve joined the hiking society and also because I just love walking. Last week I went on a two hour hike in between my lectures just because the sun was shining and I wanted to get out and about. I really do love where my university is, even though it’s a campus and not in a city, I love the surrounding area and how it’s so close to London and lots of other interesting places to explore.

Cooking

Before coming to uni, I actually really didn’t enjoy cooking but now, surprisingly, cooking dinner has become one of my highlights of the day. I really love having the freedom to buy my own food and cook what I like – not that I didn’t like my parents cooking at home, but it’s so satisfying to sit down and eat something you’ve taken the time cook! I really love trying new recipes and experimenting with different ingredients and I find cooking dinner helps me to relax after a day of studying. I’ll be sharing some of my favourite meals in a post soon! 🙂

My Degree

I am actually really loving my degree! You may remember I changed degree at the start of uni as studying French didn’t really work out how I wanted it to, and for a while I was a bit unsure whether Politics and International Relations was right for me as I always saw myself going into a career related to languages, but the more I study the more I realise this is the right path for me. I really feel like I’m learning about how the world works and what problems we’re facing on a global scale and it’s made me realise that i want to go into a career that will help make a difference to some of these global issues. My degree kind of encompasses all the bits I loved from studying geography, history and politics A Level as well as completely new stuff like philosophy which I find my mind is really in tune with, I’ve always like philosophising about thinks and I love the way that studying philosophy makes me think about the world today!

Every Week is Different!

Literally the weeks at uni fly by as I’m always busy doing one thing or another, and I love the variety of things I get to do here. my uni is really goof at putting on lots of events and although I don’t go to all of them, I have been to some like pet therapy and the Christmas market (we had ACTUAL reindeer!) which I’ve really enjoyed. Also I find each week my friendships with people change and grow – some weeks I become closer to some people and then the next I’ll grow closer to others. With every week I spend here, I feel a little bit more like this is the place for me.

My Room

I’m not going to lie, decorating my room was probably the thing I was most excited for when coming to uni. I’ve spent a lot of time making it feel homely and I absolutely love it!! my accommodation in general is just really nice and modern and I’m so happy with it. Also, I have an amazing view from my window, especially in the autumn – can’t wait to see what it’ll look like in spring!

So, that’s a few of the things I’m loving about uni so far!! I’m sure by the end of the year there will be many more!

If you’re at uni, what are you loving so far? And if you’re going to uni soon, what are you most looking forward to? 🙂

2019 Goals!!

Pink and orange sky as the sun sets between trees

Okay so I know I’m a little bit let in setting out my goals for the new year, but honestly December just flew by so quickly that I didn’t have time to properly sit down and think about what I wanted to work towards next year.

Whilst doing some revision for my philosophy module the other day, I came across the concept of doing things that make you happy. Whilst this obviously isn’t anything new and I’ve always recognised living a happy life as the main goal I would like to reach, it really made me think about how we can be more happy and satisfied with the way that we live. In particular, the quote “have the courage to change your life in accordance with the moments that actually bring you happiness” stood out to me.

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on the how I used my time last year. What things did make me happy and make me feel alive and what things didn’t and that I want to cut out of my life, so I think doing more things that genuinely make me happy is going to be my motto for this year and the basis of my 2019 resolutions.

Okay, that’s enough rambling, time to get into my goals!!

Social media

Pretty much ever since I was old enough, I’ve used social media on an everyday basis. Especially with blogging, social media became a vital way for me to communicate with friends, keep up with their everyday lives, read the news etc. I will admit I have become addicted to my phone and it’s really not good for my mental health, so this year I’m going to cut down on the time I spend on social media and using my phone in general, because there are so many exciting things to go and experience in life and I don’t want to waste time scrolling endlessly through social media! I’ve already managed to not use Snapchat and Instagram since New Year’s Eve so I think that this goal is going well so far?? I’m not sure if I want to completely cut out social media or just use it less so for now I’m going to take a break from a few at a time until I am in a better mindset where I can use them more moderately and be focused and content with what I am doing in my life rather than constantly comparing myself to other people, which is not good for my mental health! Since being at uni I have really learnt the value of picking up the phone and having a proper conversation with my friends and family, rather than just seeing what they’ve been up to on social media, so I hope to do this more often in 2019!

Live more sustainably

As I’ve grown up, I’ve become more and more conscious of the impact that our decisions and lifestyle choices have on the world around us. I think it’s really important to be aware of the problems are world is facing as the lifestyle we are currently living cannot be sustained forever unless we make some important changes. I’ve never really accepted that consuming so many natural resources, creating so much pollution and destructing so many ecosystems around the world is the way we’re meant to live or should live or just the way it is. I believe we can change our lifestyles to be less destructive to the environment and maybe that may seem unrealistic to others but I know there are things in my life that I could change to live more sustainably and this year I plan to do some of them.

Since becoming a student, I’ve had access to more money than I have before because of my student loan which has meant that I’ve been spending more moeny on clothes and just general consumer goods. My goal for this year is to think carefully before buying new things because realistically, I probably don’t need them or there are probably more ethical sources I could buy them from. I really want to be more conscious of what I buy and where it comes from because the “throw-away” society that we live in is damaging our environment. I know plastic pollution has been a big thing in the past few months, so I really want to be aware of how much plastic I am throwing away and try to reduce this as well.

In addition, this year I would really like to make progress towards becoming a vegetarian. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have only really had the opportunity to since moving out to uni. I’d say at uni, about half of the meals I cook are currently vegetarian as meat is expensive and I’ve discovered I really love cooking and experimenting with new meals so have been exploring different ways to add protein to my diet other than meat. I need to do some more research into vegetarianism and it is a change that I will have to make gradually throughout the year but I’m hopefully that by the end of 2019, I will be eating fully vegetarian!

Get a job

I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory but I do really need to get a job this summer. When I graduate university (which is a scary thought) I really would like to move to France for a year because I was going to do a year abroad as part of my degree but since dropping French, I’m no longer able to do this. However, I still love speaking French and learning about French culture and it has been my dream for a long time to live there. So I really need to start saving for this as I have no idea how expensive moving abroad will be! Ideally I would get a job or an internship in France whilst I’m there as opposed to just travelling, but we’ll see what happens!

Travel

I really want to travel this year. I’ve been able to spend time abroad in the summer for the last two years with friends and with sixth form and it’s safe to say I’ve caught the travel bug. At the moment I have no travel plans set in stone, but I hope that will change soon!! I love visiting new places and gaining a different perspective on life. Even if I can;t travel abroad, I really want to spend more time exploring the UK, especially the area around my university as it is very different to back home!

Looking after my mental health

My last goal is quite a big one. 2018 was not a great year for me in terms of mental health so I’m very happy to see the back of that year, however I want to make sure that 2019 is better. Some things I really want to tackle are stress, self-confidence and accepting myself. I think self-confidence and struggling to accept myself are two things that I have been struggling with for a very long time and I know they are not things which can be fixed easily, but by recognising them as things I struggle with, hopefully I will be able to make more progress in overcoming this year. Stress is something I really need to get better at managing. I remember during GCSEs, I wasn’t really stressed at all or at least I managed it better but since starting sixth form and then going onto uni, my stress levels have been incredibly high and I’ve just lost the ability to deal with it. Often stress is what triggers periods of bad mental health for me so I’d really like to get a handle on it. One thing I’m going to do to look after my mental health is to incorporate meditation into my daily routine. I have used meditation before during exam time to calm me down and ground me, but I think meditating daily could really help me to stay mindful and think clearly instead of getting so stressed over everything.

So, those are all my goals for 2019. I know some of them are pretty big goals that I can’t achieve in a short space of time, but the new year is a blank canvas so who knows what progress I will have made by the end of the year!

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Have you set any goals for the new year? Let me know in the comments!