It’s been a while since I’ve been in London and it’s the first time that I’m in a situation where I’ve got to feed myself. I could go over my supposed angst at the situation, reminisce about the good old food days, and probably smirk at how I’m handling the situation right now, but since I always pride myself on being practical, here’s eight food items that a) won’t break the bank, b) takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and c) are moderately healthy, d) will fill up your stomach. You’ll notice another weave through these two soon, but I’ll leave that for when you finish reading.
Cereal, Milk and Juice
So, the classic quickie breakfast, and wonder of wonders—it’s quite good after all. Supplement this with toasted bread with chocolate filling if you have a hungry morning. If you’ve got a hangover, orange juice helps!
Requirements: Pretty much nothing if all you’re having is cereal and milk. Remember to check the expiry date on the milk, keep it refrigerated and consume within a week.
The Ham/Pork Sandwich
Buy Ham and pork slices from Tesco. Both are delicious, but the pork ones especially so. The way I make them is: three slices of bread, with fillings alternating between: 2 slices of pork and one ham, and one spinach or lettuce half-handful. Combine this with the fish fillet below and it’s a nice lunch/dinner. Microwave then at 250W for 2 mins.
Requirements: Toaster for bread, pork, ham slices and either lettuce or spinach filling from Tesco (you buy them in a plastic bag).
The Tuna Sandwich
Pretty much the same as above, but the Tuna comes in a tin and can be bought at local stores so you might not have to find your way to a distant Tesco/Sainsbury’s. One tuna tin should last your for three sandwiches. Store the remaining tuna in an airtight container but don’t keep it in the fridge. Consume within a week.
Requirements: can opener (yeah without it it’s a pain to open).
Chicken (or Vegetable) Soup in a Tin
A quick “snack” or filler, these again come in a tin (but the ones you can just pull to open). Just put out in a small bowl and microwave, 250W for 4mins. One tin serves two servings. It’s pretty healthy too.
Paratha and Curry (any kind)
Buy a parathas packet (might be spelt porattas on it) at a local Indian shop. To make them, just buy some oil (olive oil is what I like) and pre-heat the pan: 5 on your indicator for around 5 mins. Each paratha will then take around 3-4 mins to make. Make sure you slightly burn both sides. Combine with curry—the vegetable ones are common and can be bought for a pound at any Indian shop, the non-veg ones are a bit rarer, but try hunting around. Mix with rice too for a full meal when you feel like it.
Requirements: parathas, a pan to cook, (olive) oil, some curry (or curd, or sugar).
Pizza to Bake
You can buy pizza again at pretty cheap prices at local shops or at mainstream stores. The instructions on the back will be pretty clear, but it involves you putting the pizza on an oven plate for around 15-20 minutes. Make sure you have it hot because pizzas are not good when had cold. When you put in the pizza into the oven and take it out, use oven gloves (or if you don’t have them—some kind of thick cloth). This is again a nice quick snack.
Requirements: Oven, pizza.
Fish Fillet to Microwave
Fish fillets can be bought at all mainstream stores. I love the ones at Waitrose, but Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s’ are good too. Find the one you like. You can either oven this or microwave, but I prefer the latter. Just do a 540W for 6 mins and it’s done! Eat after it cools down a bit.
Rice and Curry (of any kind)
So, rice is insanely easy to make. Instead of me telling you how, I’ll point you to where I learnt it from: WikiHow—the video at the bottom is almost exactly how I did it the first time. Rice is also easy to buy at all local stores and it’s very satisfying to have combined with some form of curry (see curry above).
So one thing that you should’ve noticed: I didn’t exactly write these for expert cooks. This is for people like me who are absolute beginners in the kitchen. But this way works, trust me—when you’re really busy you don’t have time to cook much anyways.