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the cheat's guide to gourmet res food

Res food is notoriously, well, interesting

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Even if you’ve never cooked for yourself before, this cheat’s guide will have you whipping up mouth-watering meals (on a tight budget and with the most basic tools) in no time! 

Chicken or beef? Okay, maybe fish cakes on a Friday. But if those are the main choices on offer, day after day, it’s no wonder your taste buds are getting a little tired. If you’re in for the long haul at the food hall, we suggest you add a pinch of flavour and a big dollop of creativity.

Essential tools of the trade? Spices like garlic powder, paprika and chilli flakes. Stock up and keep them handy so you can sprinkle them on meals. Get a squeezy bottle of honey and use it to replace sugar.

It’s not just about eating healthy, it’s also about staying healthy, so don’t be cavalier about cleaning up. Wash plates, utensils and containers you use to serve and store food in your room, wipe surfaces and rinse out mugs.

And when it comes to going gourmet? Try out these simple ideas, no master chef classes required.

Catered cuisine

Save leftover chicken or fish in lunchboxes. Cut the fish fillet into cubes and wrap in a tortilla with some low-fat mayo slaw. Shred the chicken breast into a salad for a healthy lunchtime snack that will keep until the next day. (Just one day people, remember chicken and fish will probably not be your friend on day 3.)

Here are a few more crafty “recipes” using items almost every dining hall will have on their menu:

Stuffed potatoes
: Split a baked potato open, mash the insides, mix in some grated cheese and microwave until everything is nice and melted. Add a few fresh ingredients from the salad bar and tuck in.

Breakfast parfait: Layer yoghurt, fresh fruit pieces and cereal in a bowl. If you can afford it, bring a few nuts and dried fruit to the breakfast table and dress it up even more. It’s pretty simple, but it’s all in the presentation! 

Microwave meals 

The microwave is the ultimate tool in res. Scramble eggs with milk and salt in a mug for a quick breakfast. Crack an egg in a bowl of instant noodles and add scissor-snipped spring onion for a tasty dinner. Steam vegetables in a bowl of hot water for a healthier option. For something a little fancier, try these easy recipes:

Chocolate mug cak
e: Fill a mug halfway with store-bought chocolate cake mix, add 1 egg, a tablespoon of milk and chocolate pieces. Whisk together and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until just cooked but still gooey.

Mac and cheese: Fill a mug or bowl with ½ cup macaroni, ½ cup boiling water and a pinch of salt. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until just tender. Stir in ¼ cup grated cheese and ¼ cup milk and microwave until melted and creamy. Season and savour! 

Sandwich press sensations

A sandwich press is one of the best appliances you can invest in for your res room, guaranteed. Not only does it make a really good cheese toastie (always a winner), but you can also use it instead of a pan to cook up a whole meal. On a health kick? Grill a few crunchy veggies on the hotplate and add to a cup of couscous. Here are some other quick fixes:

Burgers:
Use the sandwich press to grill burger patties and toast hamburger buns. Spread a liberal amount of your favourite sauce on the bottom bun, and layer patty, lettuce and tomato on top for pure burger perfection.

Flapjacks: In a bowl, combine store-bought flapjack mix with eggs and milk according to the packet instructions. Heat the sandwich press and pour a portion of batter into the centre. When it bubbles, flip to cook the other side. Top with fresh fruit, syrup or chocolate spread.  

Simplify your life, move to Capitec

Yet another way to simplify your student life is by moving to Capitec. Use our banking app to keep track of your budget and spending habits. With Global One, you’ll get 4 free savings plans, and earn interest on your transactional account. 

 

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