Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to make food without Mum!
Okay so you’re living out of home and trying to study, while at the same time trying to work at least 18 hours to help you make enough money to survive the week.
But within all the studying (or procrastinating :P), working and socialising we find we don’t have enough time to make our own food, so we end up eating out (and spending the money we don’t have) or vegemite on toast for dinner with some chocolate for dessert. If this sounds like you, for your health’s and money’s sake, read on...
Just because Mum’s not home to have dinner waiting for you anymore, or to do the shopping, doesn’t mean you have to settle for vegemite on toast (yuck) or buying takeout.
I’m 21 years old and I’ve been living out of home for about 2 years, while studying and working at the same time. I hardly ever buy take out and I make all my meals at home. So I’ve come up with some handy tips I think will help get you started:
1.       Not quite sure how to cook pasta? You need this book - The Starter Kitchen by Callum Hann. This will teach you some basics and give you some easy meal ideas for the week.
You can buy this online for about $23 or it can be found at any book shop, like Borders at Rundle Mall.

    2.       If you’re a pasta pro on the other hand ;) here are the basics you should have in 
YOUR  fridge:
-          Eggs
-          Milk
-          Cheese
-          Yoghurt
-          Chilli, garlic, lemon, ginger
-          Tofu (if you like, comes in handy)                                                                                     

In your pantry:
-          Rice, pasta
-          Tin cans of tuna
-          Tin cans of tomatoes
-          Soy sauce
-          Apple cider vinegar (so many health benefits!! Also it’s awesome as a salad dressing, no salt or extras required)
-          Spices: ground garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper (these random spices that you’ve probably never heard of can be found at a shop called Ceylon Spices in Gilles Plains)
You can cater this to your taste and needs, but try to always have these on hand because a warm mouth-watering spaghetti could easily be tonight’s dinner :)

Handy tips:
3.    Being out of home, you still need to get all your nutrients! Buy all your fruit and vegies from a Market place. It’s ridiculously cheaper, so your saving a lot of money in the process. The Adelaide Central Market is a great place to shop or there are the Farmer’s Markets which are held every Sunday at the Adelaide Show Grounds which sell local and organic produce....just to name a few.

4.    ALWAYS GO SHOPPING WITH A LIST! Never wing it or you end up forgetting things and buying more than you initially expected.
The foods I found that are really useful to always have on hand are spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, apples (great to eat on the go) and bananas (make yummy breakfast smoothies).

5.    Pre-prepare food. Good quality air-tight containers make food last so much longer, saving you time and money. I tend to make a big batch of salad and separate it into 2 or 3 containers, and when I go to use them I throw a dash of apple cider vinegar on it as a dressing and a can of tuna on top. It makes it so handy if you’re running late, which I usually am!

6.    Make your own meat patties and meatballs and have them handy in the freezer. They’re so much tastier, cheaper and you know what is actually going into them. My next article will include how to make this :)

I make Sunday’s my shopping and preparing day. If I have a list ready I’m in and out of the markets in about 30 minutes, and food prep takes about 30minutes when I’m home, depends on what I feel like having that week.

The hardest thing about doing this is being ORGANISED, but its definetly worth it! This will save you so much time and money, once you get yourself into a good routine.

My next article will include some easy recipes and some meal preparing ideas, so watch this space! Good luck and happy eating :)
By Sylvia

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