The Student Room Group

University - recipe suggestions for students

hi there !! i'm hoping to start uni in 2024 but am slightly nervous abt cooking etc. currently have dietry requirements - essentially vegan and gluten free - am alr trying to budget my meals (have concerns over money and ik i'll have to get a job during uni anyways). ik i have quite a long time till uni but want to get prepared early so it's more comfortable. i would love any advice of cheap shops/meals that are vegan and last some time (shelf life) ?? thank you 😁
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
hi there !! i'm hoping to start uni in 2024 but am slightly nervous abt cooking etc. currently have dietry requirements - essentially vegan and gluten free - am alr trying to budget my meals (have concerns over money and ik i'll have to get a job during uni anyways). ik i have quite a long time till uni but want to get prepared early so it's more comfortable. i would love any advice of cheap shops/meals that are vegan and last some time (shelf life) ?? thank you 😁


In Sainsbury's at the moment gluten free pasta costs the same as normal Sainsbury's pasta (75p for 500g) prices likely to change between now and next year though.
With pasta: pesto (you can get vegan stuff, or make your own (essentially just blend a load of stuff together)), tinned tomatoes (add seasoning, veg etc.), garlic and olive oil, bolognese (tomatoes, lentils/soya mince/other vegan mince, onion, garlic, carrots mushrooms celery etc. (whatever you like)), https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/vegan-pasta-recipes. Marmite (not gf, there's possibly a gf version?), houmous, lemon and courgette, possibilities are endless.

Curry: lentils or chickpeas, a bunch of spices, maybe coconut milk and/or tinned tomatoes, maybe a couple of veg e.g. spinach, cauliflower, aubergine, butternut squash. Serve with rice.

Chilli: basically same as bolognese, but add kidney beans, also some spices (like chilli and cumin), bit of lime juice at the end if you fancy it. Have with rice, maybe sweetcorn, avocado if you have the funds!

Cottage pie: bolognese base but without the tomatoes, add some peas. Top with mashed potato (microwave a pierced baking potato until soft, mash it in a bowl with a fork with some (non-dairy) milk, butter/oil, bit of salt and pepper. Oven for a bit.

Stir fry: cook some noodles (you can get rice noodles). In a big pan/wok, fry: tofu (or other protein) and whatever veg you fancy, stick in some soy sauce, and maybe some ginger/chilli/garlic/sweet chilli sauce/peanut butter.

Chickpea tagine-y stew-y thing: chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, some veg like carrots, dried apricots/prunes/sultanas if you fancy. Probably have with rice or gf bread or some gf couscous if that exists, or quinoa.

Jacket potato: add literally anything baked beans, preferably some form of cheese (if you can afford some vegan stuff, or maybe some nutritional yeast but it doesn't have the same gooeyness), chilli (leftover from above) for example.

Rice: risotto, spicy rice, fried rice stick some seasoning in your rice as it's cooking, add whatever veg/protein/other ingredients to make it into your desired dish.

Bowl food ("Buddha bowls" perhaps?): rice, tofu or other protein, veg/salady veg, some sort of dressing/sauce, maybe some seeds or something for some crunch.

Soup + some bread = great warming lunch in winter. Plus some leftover soup could double as some sauce for some pasta (depends how rogue you're feeling)?

Potato wedges, polenta, mashed potato, toast with whatever. Oats.


Lidl and Aldi are generally pretty good; also have a look in other supermarkets (like Sainsbury's and Tesco) as they often have products that are "price matched" and take advantage of loyalty cards for discounts. Batch cooking saves a bit of time. Bulk buy, frozen veg (I always have peas, spinach, cauliflower) is great, freeze bread as well, soya milk's generally the cheapest milk, I like to buy dried pulses as they work out cheaper than tinned stuff, little bottles of lemon/lime juice (35p in Lidl last time I checked), peanut butter (£3.99 for 1kg in Lidl and Aldi) (my favourite hehe :smile:).


Basically: carb + protein + veg/fruit, bit of fat; try to have a reasonably varied diet and enough vitamins and minerals (especially calcium, iron, iodine, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin B12). And make sure you're eating enough overall! :smile:
Imagine limiting down your options so severely by not only being gluten free which isn't much of a choice...but then on top of that choose to be VEGAN. Not even vegetarian but vegan. Yh you're screwed. Give up on veganism. You can't have those that combo and have "cheap" in the same paragraph without dying of boredom eating crap.
Reply 3
Original post by bl0bf1sh
In Sainsbury's at the moment gluten free pasta costs the same as normal Sainsbury's pasta (75p for 500g) prices likely to change between now and next year though.
With pasta: pesto (you can get vegan stuff, or make your own (essentially just blend a load of stuff together)), tinned tomatoes (add seasoning, veg etc.), garlic and olive oil, bolognese (tomatoes, lentils/soya mince/other vegan mince, onion, garlic, carrots mushrooms celery etc. (whatever you like)), https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/vegan-pasta-recipes. Marmite (not gf, there's possibly a gf version?), houmous, lemon and courgette, possibilities are endless.

Curry: lentils or chickpeas, a bunch of spices, maybe coconut milk and/or tinned tomatoes, maybe a couple of veg e.g. spinach, cauliflower, aubergine, butternut squash. Serve with rice.

Chilli: basically same as bolognese, but add kidney beans, also some spices (like chilli and cumin), bit of lime juice at the end if you fancy it. Have with rice, maybe sweetcorn, avocado if you have the funds!

Cottage pie: bolognese base but without the tomatoes, add some peas. Top with mashed potato (microwave a pierced baking potato until soft, mash it in a bowl with a fork with some (non-dairy) milk, butter/oil, bit of salt and pepper. Oven for a bit.

Stir fry: cook some noodles (you can get rice noodles). In a big pan/wok, fry: tofu (or other protein) and whatever veg you fancy, stick in some soy sauce, and maybe some ginger/chilli/garlic/sweet chilli sauce/peanut butter.

Chickpea tagine-y stew-y thing: chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, some veg like carrots, dried apricots/prunes/sultanas if you fancy. Probably have with rice or gf bread or some gf couscous if that exists, or quinoa.

Jacket potato: add literally anything baked beans, preferably some form of cheese (if you can afford some vegan stuff, or maybe some nutritional yeast but it doesn't have the same gooeyness), chilli (leftover from above) for example.

Rice: risotto, spicy rice, fried rice stick some seasoning in your rice as it's cooking, add whatever veg/protein/other ingredients to make it into your desired dish.

Bowl food ("Buddha bowls" perhaps?): rice, tofu or other protein, veg/salady veg, some sort of dressing/sauce, maybe some seeds or something for some crunch.

Soup + some bread = great warming lunch in winter. Plus some leftover soup could double as some sauce for some pasta (depends how rogue you're feeling)?

Potato wedges, polenta, mashed potato, toast with whatever. Oats.


Lidl and Aldi are generally pretty good; also have a look in other supermarkets (like Sainsbury's and Tesco) as they often have products that are "price matched" and take advantage of loyalty cards for discounts. Batch cooking saves a bit of time. Bulk buy, frozen veg (I always have peas, spinach, cauliflower) is great, freeze bread as well, soya milk's generally the cheapest milk, I like to buy dried pulses as they work out cheaper than tinned stuff, little bottles of lemon/lime juice (35p in Lidl last time I checked), peanut butter (£3.99 for 1kg in Lidl and Aldi) (my favourite hehe :smile:).


Basically: carb + protein + veg/fruit, bit of fat; try to have a reasonably varied diet and enough vitamins and minerals (especially calcium, iron, iodine, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin B12). And make sure you're eating enough overall! :smile:

thank you i rlly appreciate the help !! have started getting all the loyalty cards, and looking at shops local to possible uni options - and yes bulk buying/freezing/left overs is a good idea !! (and i'm not a strict vegan or anything - i just tend to avoid those kinds of food for health etc - so even like occasional "normal" foods like cheese will be okay - vegan prices are quite pricey 😢)
thanks so much for the advice - will check out those meals for sure :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by Micheal Mill
Imagine limiting down your options so severely by not only being gluten free which isn't much of a choice...but then on top of that choose to be VEGAN. Not even vegetarian but vegan. Yh you're screwed. Give up on veganism. You can't have those that combo and have "cheap" in the same paragraph without dying of boredom eating crap.

Other people’s dietary choices are none of your business.

Many people have different reasons for having a vegan or mainly plant-based diet. Some may not want to eat animals, and be allergic to or dislike the taste of dairy products. Some may do it for moral, ethical, or environmental reasons, or simply because many plant-based options (such as lentils!) are in fact a lot cheaper than meat. I think that as long as the individual is vegan for the “right” reasons (i.e., not as an excuse to restrict their diet as part of an orthorexia/anorexia/other restrictive eating disorder mindset), and that there are no nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed, there is nothing wrong with not consuming animal products.

Spoiler


And on your last few words: there are plenty of foods and meals that are simultaneously plant-based, cheap, and exciting. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest you try some :smile:
(edited 5 months ago)
Miguel’s £1 meals are nice and he has a you tube channel showing how to cook them

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vegan-One-Pound-Meals-budget-friendly/dp/1472263723

You should look to batch cook and freeze to get the price down. It also reduces the number of nights a week that you have to full on cook.
Original post by bl0bf1sh
Other people’s dietary choices are none of your business.

Many people have different reasons for having a vegan or mainly plant-based diet. Some may not want to eat animals, and be allergic to or dislike the taste of dairy products. Some may do it for moral, ethical, or environmental reasons, or simply because many plant-based options (such as lentils!) are in fact a lot cheaper than meat. I think that as long as the individual is vegan for the “right” reasons (i.e., not as an excuse to restrict their diet as part of an orthorexia/anorexia/other restrictive eating disorder mindset), and that there are no nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed, there is nothing wrong with not consuming animal products.

Spoiler


And on your last few words: there are plenty of foods and meals that are simultaneously plant-based, cheap, and exciting. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest you try some :smile:


it is my business if you make it public posting it online...the world wide web and therefore open to any comment that come your way. You kinda made it my business. As for the rest of that bs lets not pretend the large large majority arent doing it for moral reasons. That just creating a whole bunch of noise for a less than 5% list of reasons it's silly and dishonest. Bla bla bla
Original post by Micheal Mill
Imagine limiting down your options so severely by not only being gluten free which isn't much of a choice...but then on top of that choose to be VEGAN. Not even vegetarian but vegan. Yh you're screwed. Give up on veganism. You can't have those that combo and have "cheap" in the same paragraph without dying of boredom eating crap.


They asked for advice on cheap shops/meals, not for someone to judge their diet...
Original post by Anonymous
hi there !! i'm hoping to start uni in 2024 but am slightly nervous abt cooking etc. currently have dietry requirements - essentially vegan and gluten free - am alr trying to budget my meals (have concerns over money and ik i'll have to get a job during uni anyways). ik i have quite a long time till uni but want to get prepared early so it's more comfortable. i would love any advice of cheap shops/meals that are vegan and last some time (shelf life) ?? thank you 😁

Vegetable stews, soups, stir fry's, curry's...that sort of thing you can vary a lot by buying whatever vegetables are cheap at the time, you can always make a big batch and freeze some :smile:

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