By The Croft Food Section Editors
The Croft Magazine // Cooking can be daunting. In most student households there exists a vast range of skillsets and tastebuds. One of my flatmates prefers to live on tuna pasta and store-bought bagels. While another cannot cook a meal unless it’s a two-day affair that uses just about every pot in our arsenal. In this article, The Croft Food Team introduces you to items that most people will buy ready-made from the supermarket but that are actually easy to make regardless of your ability. Time to level up!
Savannah Coombe, Editor:
My suggestion is that you scrap the deli aisle guacamole and try make it yourself. Guac is easy, healthy and super customisable to whatever’s in your fridge. Dip crisps into it or chuck a big old blob on your chilli. For a generous portion blend three avocados, pepper, fresh chillies, salt, a squeeze of half a lime and coriander in a food processor or mash together with a fork for a chunkier guac. Experiment with different ratios to figure out what you like best. Serve it with some meat or vegatarian chilly, plus loads of tortilla chips.
Phoebe Ransom, Digital Editor:
In winter soup consumption increases tenfold. With their warming and nourishing qualities, soups act as a perfect buffer against the cold evenings. Whilst the 50p tins of soup from Sainsbury’s may seem hard to beat, I can assure you homemade soup triumphs! Plus, most soups are made in one pot – therefore minimal washing-up. The soups that do require roasted vegetables can be left in the oven with little to no attention, meaning homemade soups are ridiculously simple.
You can whack pretty much any veg into soup - this dish is great for any leftover or overripe vegetables. In the soup I made, I had some spare sweet potatoes and added this to roasted butternut squash. I blended these up along with onions, garlic and vegetable stock and seasoned with cinnamon, paprika and lots of chili flakes to enhance the warming sensation. I also added some coconut milk (or alternatively, cream) to thicken and add richness to the soup. Surprisingly, soups are freeze-able so batch cook and pop in the freezer to save for cold days! It’s ‘soup-er’ simple!
Tim Quiney, Deputy Editor:
In my first year I remember reading about upgrading any pasta dish really easily and cheaply using sausages. It sounds strange, but while the pasta is boiling, remove the sausage meat from its casing and fry it up in an oiled, hot pan to get really good colour. Sausages are pre-seasoned unlike minced beef or chicken and can be very cheap. More gourmet flavoured sausages can also be used! The meat will crumble up and infuse the dish with flavour and will also cook much faster than if the meat was still in the casing. Toss the almost-cooked pasta in with the meat, optionally with any cooked/raw vegetables, and finish by simmering with your chosen sauce for a really simple, fast but flavourful dish.
Like the sound of these? Check out these recipes below for more food inspiration.
Featured image: Epigram/Savannah Coombe
What do you think of these ideas? Let us know below!