With winter flu spreading like wildfire and many British students heading home for some much-needed rest and relaxation, it seems we’re more in need of some healthy home-cooked food than we realise. Research released by Panasonic, to mark the launch of its new Sensor Microwave, reveals that over three quarters (77 per cent) of British students admit that their dinner diet during term-time usually consists of processed foods, including take away and ready meals. Parents may be shocked to discover their offspring have become victims of the ‘Freshman 15’ – a.k.a a whopping 15lbs of weight gain. Creative ‘home-cook’ recipes that British students admitted to making include a pizza with a chicken nugget base and a carb-laden lasagne toasted sandwich.
To save the UK’s students from a fast food coma, Panasonic Faster Chef Challenge tasked students to come up with simple and delicious recipes from scratch, using only a microwave oven. To keep you on the nutritional straight and narrow, here's their recipe for Vegetable Couscous.
Dish: Large glass or ceramic casserole dish
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large courgette, thickly diced
225g green beans, trimmed
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 small cauliflower broken into florets
400g can of chickpeas, drained
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
300 mls hot vegetable stock
1. Place all the above ingredients except the couscous in a large casserole dish. Cover, place on the glass turntable and cook on HIGH MICROWAVE for 15-20 mins or until the vegetables are tender.
2. Pour 450 mls of boiling water over the couscous. Allow to stand for 10 min. Cover and cook on MEDIUM MICROWAVE for 5 mins or until warm.
3. Separate the grains with a fork and stir in the vegetables.
For more ideas on how to create quick and healthy meals check out the Panasonic Faster Chef Challenge videos on the Panasonic UK YouTube channel, or visit www.theideaskitchen.co.uk/videos/faster-chef-student-challenge/