THE POACHED EGG – with wholegrain toast

Healthy, simple, fast and cheap. What more could we students want?
This really is the simplest meal to cook, ever. It’s like beans on toast, but replace the bargain beans with yummy nutritious goodness. I eat this as breakfast and lunch. Lunch?!  Okay… so I am a petite 20 year old who a poached egg and 2 slices of wholegrain toast would fill, but for those of you who look at this with alarmed eyes and reach for your reserved ready meal, WAIT! 2 poached eggs IS acceptable and I promise you that served with a small salad, it will be sure to fill you up.

This is a great staple meal to fall back on if you ever find yourself with only half a loaf of bread in the freezer* and a couple of sorrowful eggs in the fridge (using fresh eggs gives the best results).

*TOP TIP: bread is to remain in the freezer at ALL times (unless you’re capable of eating around half a loaf a day- which I wouldn’t advise). Pry individual slices only out at a time- nobody wants to be the owner of a mould ridden loaf. 

What you’ll need:                                                                                                         Serves 1

1 egg
2 slices wholegrain bread
Smearing of butter

How to cook it:

– Place a pan of boiling water on the hob
– Crack the egg into a mug and make sure no crafty pieces of shell fell in
– Tip the egg into the water and admire the magical swirling and whirling of egg white

– Leave for 3- 4 minutes to cook (a little longer if you don’t want a runny yolk)
– Pop your toast down
– Wait patiently for it to pop back up and lightly smear it with butter
– Now scoop that heavenly goodness out of the pan! – use a slotted spoon and gently shake off any excess water to avoid soggy bread

– Put it on top of your toast and enjoy!

Advertisements

ORZO & FISH

Orzo; a pasta in taste and texture, but deceitfully rice like in appearance. That’s orzo: rice shaped pasta. Novel and unnecessary? Maybe… but for those of you who like to experiment with foods, orzo is a definite must try and the heart of this recipe. It is one of the more expensive types of pasta, so for those of you not wanting to go on this culinary adventure, leave now.
– Just kidding smart price rice would be a perfect substitute, but remember to adjust cooking times and quantities.

For this dish (my first recipe blog post!) I took inspiration from an amazing contemporary tapas restaurant I recently visited in Glasgow: Ox and Finch (highly recommended if you’re ever in Glasgow). Though my invention might not be quite as spectacular here’s the recipe for my own Orzo concoction which goes great with any kind of white fish; and slightly resembles the heavenly dish I tasted in the land of the Scott’s. (To make this into a more filling dinner I also served it with honey roasted sweet potato, red onion and carrot.)

What you’ll need:                                                                                                          Serves 2

1 courgette                                                                                                           2tbsp olive oil
2 handfuls of frozen peas                                                                                2tbsp fish sauce
2 handfuls of broad beans (tinned or fresh)                                             2 fillets white fish
150g orzo                                                                                                              Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

Please don’t be alarmed by the large amount of food above, I made this for 6 people but have reduced the quantities for this recipe.

How to cook it:

– Prep the veg: cut the courgette into similar sized pieces as the broad beans.
* Fresh is best, and I’m at home so managed to forage some home grown courgette and broad beans from my sisters garden! If using fresh broad beans, just remove the pod and boil them in a pan for about 6 minutes until just soft. If using tinned (I won’t judge) you don’t need to boil them.
– Fry the courgette in 1tbsp oil for 4 minutes until they begin to go slightly transparent and brown.
– Add the broad beans and peas to the pan and fry for another 2 minutes.
– Remove from the pan and put them in a bowl somewhere, they’ll be added to the orzo soon.
– Put the orzo into a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
– While the orzo cooks season your fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.
– To save on washing up use the pan which cooked the courgette and beans to fry your fish. Or if you’ve already hastily plummeted that pan into the sink to soak, grab another pan!
– To the pan add 1tbsp oil and the fish sauce. Once that’s heated place the fish in the pan leaving it to cook for approx 4 minutes on each side.

– Cut into the fish to check its cooked all the way through and serve!
– Drain the orzo when cooked and pop it back in its pan, adding to it those lovely greens and the juice of one lemon.
– Give it a thorough stir and serve with the fish!

Hi there! I'm Laura- yes that's me. That ecstatic face is to welcome you to my new student food blog!

Hi there! I’m Laura- yes that’s me. That ecstatic face is to welcome you to my new student food blog!

Who am I?
        Right now I’m a student studying Human Nutrition at Northumbria University, about to embark on my dreaded final year. I’m a nutrition fanatic interested in all things healthy which comes from my passion for food. Hypocrite I hear you thinking? Those brownies don’t look so healthy… Yes, I do love the occasional indulgence in cakes, biscuits and saturated- fatty goodness as much as the next. But when my nutritionist ego kicks in I slap my hand away from that gooey goodness and tuck into some healthier treats.

What’s This Blog Going to be About?
       This blog will (hopefully) be a helpful guide to following a healthy diet at University.

It’s a struggle to prioritise food in between manic studying and enjoying new found independence, so I hope to give you tasty, healthy recipes as well as top tips on food shopping and cupboard essentials; catering for all cooking abilities, from Burn it Betty, to Sautéing Steve, without crippling a student budget or attention span.

Fresh from returning from the Summer Nutrition Society Conference in Glasgow; for my first post I’d like to share with you some trends nutritionists are hyping about:

       1) Eat whole grains

Those brown foods are good for the bowels.

As well as a high source of fibre which helps regulate digestion and bowel movements, wholegrain foods are thought to improve heart health and keep you feeling fuller for longer (preventing naughty snacking!- theoretically…) Clearly, this is a food group not to be neglected; if you want to learn more and get some tasty recipes to help you fulfil your whole grain quota (3 servings per day is recommended!) check out Wholegrain Goodness.

       2) Eat less sugar

Sugar seems to be that Joey Essex of ingredients which just gets into everything. Foods you wouldn’t even consider to have seen a sugar granule are being ‘enhanced’ left and right by manufacturers. As much as we ignore the sugar induced headaches and enjoy the sickly satisfaction we get after consuming the entire ‘sharing sized’ bar of chocolate to ourselves, the sad fact is: sugar IS a leading culprit to those pounds which pile slip on whilst away at Uni. A concious decision of trying to reduce your sugar intake is the first step but for more hints and tips keep up to date with my blog!

       3) Eat less meat

Meats over rated.

I’m over rated.

Meat and two veg. The basis of a conservative traditional British diet, loved and nurtured by many. But the reality is meat is not a sustainable food, or particularly rich source of nutrients. Also it’s pretty expensive, and for a student budget: it’s really expensive. So take inspiration from those radical vegetarians, and dare I say it, vegans; for alternative ways of getting that essential iron and protein which meat tends to supply. For more ideas I am going to be dipping into the pool of vegetarian dishes so keep checking in for new recipes!