Actually, no. I’m not going to do an article on ‘saving money on your food shop at uni’ or anything that might be mildly useful but also extremely patronising. And hypocritical, actually.
I spend fuck loads of money on food.
I can’t stop myself. I see a recipe in the morning, write down one or two ingredients I’m missing, walk over to the veg shop and OH MY GOD THEY HAVE GIANT MOOLI. Shit. I’ve suddenly bought 3 mooli and forgotten the recipe that I had most of the ingredients for. Now to find a recipe with mooli. That one trip for a carrot, an onion and some parsley suddenly became an entire bloody bag full of of stuff to put in some sort of mooli related salad or curry I’ve tried to come up with in the shop.
I go home. Ashamed (but also excited by my mooli), I lay out my produce and sit myself on the sofa ready to do some research for my degree. But no, the impulse buying hasn’t stopped yet. Alex gets back from a lecture, fatigued and craving Shreddies.
‘Fancy a Tesco’s trip?’
20 minutes later, I’m back on the sofa, but this time with a family packet of Walkers Sensations, a creme egg and some sort of Chinese prawn-flavoured snack from the Asian section. And Alex’s Shreddies.
This is essentially the reason I got a job, which I guess can only really be a good thing – I’m more willing to give up 2/3 nights a week waitressing until midnight than I am to give up my love of cooking food. Slightly unorthodox and (as many of my friends would argue) stupid logic for a student, but what do I care. I just had venison for dinner.
(the venison was on offer at £5 for 3 massive steaks so not actually that decadent)
Having said this, there are days when I go a little OTT on obscure flours and cocoa butter (£7 a tub…), and so need to reign it in come dinnertime. This recipe for turmeric rice, curry roasted cauliflower, honey glaze carrots and broccoli is more on the frugal side – so long as you have a little collection of any spices then you’re pretty safe. Add any other old veg you might need to use up, and add some leftover cooked chicken if you want to make it meaty.
This recipe is particularly good if you’re suffering from a cold, since turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and veg is always good for a cold.
Turmeric rice with curried cauliflower, honey roasted carrots and broccoli, serving 2
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
Enough brown rice for 2 people
A small handful of both pine nuts and pumpkin seeds (optional)
A handful of raisins
A bunch of small carrots, cut into strips
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
Half cauliflower head
2 tsp curry powder
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Line two small baking dishes with baking parchment (to make cleaning up easier).
- Boil the rice for about 30 minutes or until done. Rinse with boiling water and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1tbsp olive oil and the honey. Add the carrots to one of the baking dishes and pour over the honey/olive oil dressing. Toss/fondle (yes, fondle) your carrots until coated. Season and roast in the oven for around 45 minutes.
- In the same small bowl (no need to wash, really), whisk together the remaining tbsp olive oil with 1/2 tsp turmeric and the curry powder. Break the cauliflower into florets and place in the other baking dish, coating with the dressing as you did with the carrots. Put in the oven next to the carrots, roasting for about 25 minutes.
- In dry wok on medium head, toast the remaining turmeric and cumin until fragrant. Add a dash of coconut or olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Fry until soft, before adding the cooked rice with a tiny bit of water.
- Add the raisin and toasted nuts and seeds (if using, though I would strongly recommend you do), and stirfry until thorough combined and hot.
- serve up the rice in a bowl and top with the cauliflower, carrots, and maybe a few more seeds. I also added some broccoli that was going off, and the next day a poached egg when I’d run out of broccoli.
- Promise yourself that you’ll treat yourself to a steak tomorrow.
Also, my friend Meg wrote an article about me in The Tab! Click here to have a look. If I get enough views I might get paid to write for them!