Three Recipes for Surviving Freshers’ Week: Carbs, Desserts, and Quick.

Chicken Pesto Pasta

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My favourite go-to carb filled meal for an uncomplicated dinner.

Ingredients:

80g green pesto

2tbs olive oil for frying

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cloves of garlic

600ml chicken broth (may need to add more to cover pasta)

100g sundried tomatoes

200g fusilli pasta

1/4tsp salt

1/4tsp red pepper flakes

90g baby spinach

Method:

Serves 2

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on a medium heat. Rub the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pot and brown on both sides. Cook the chicken thoroughly for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  3. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, sundried tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, and pasta, and mix until combined. Cover with lid and bring to boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
  5. Reduce any excess water, add the spinach, and stir until wilted.
  6. Finally add the chicken and pesto and mix well.
  7. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Veggie Sandwich

A quick and easy fix for a healthy, filling lunch between lectures, easily adaptable for a packed lunch too. Add your own ingredients and mix up our suggestions with your own for new tastes each day.

Ingredients:

2 slices of whole wheat bread (or bread of your choice, use ciabatta for a crispy alternative)

1 avocado, diced and mashed

1 cup alfalfa sprouts

1 tomato, chopped

1 small sweet onion, chopped

4tbsp ranch dressing (or mix some mayonnaise with a honey mustard dressing)

4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or mozzarella)

Method:

  1. Place the bread slices on a baking tray. Spread each half with the mashed avocado.
  2. Distributing the ingredients evenly, cover each half with the sprouts, tomatoes, onion, dressing, sesame seeds, and top with the shredded cheese.
  3. Place under the grill on a medium to high heat until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).
  4. Enjoy!

The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake

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The best way to make friends during Freshers’ Week? Cake. Bake this cake to share with your new housemates, and you’re guaranteed to be welcomed with open arms. And the best part? They won’t even realise it’s vegan!

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

2 ½ cups plain flour

2 ½ cups caster sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

2 ½ cups non-dairy milk

1 cup light oil

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

1tbsp vanilla extract

Icing Ingredients:

½ cup vegan butter

½ cup vegetable shortening

1 ¼ cup icing sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

1tsp vanilla extract

1-2tbsp non-dairy milk (if required)

Method:

  1. To Make the Cake: Preheat your oven to 180C. Prepare two 8″ round baking pans by lightly greasing them, and then cutting a circle of baking paper to fit into the bottom.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then pop them in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before icing.
  4. To Make the Icing: Use a mixer to blend all of the frosting ingredients except for the non-dairy milk. Blend until whipped and creamy. If the frosting is a bit too stiff, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  5. To Assemble the Cake: Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes. Remove the parchment paper and discard. Place the first cake on your cake plate, and spread about half of the frosting on top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake. Add swirl patterns with your spatula to make it pretty. Store the cake in the fridge or a cool place until you are ready to serve. Note: you can add some mini Colin the Caterpillars for some extra fun! (no, unfortunately he is not vegan).

Now go and try them for yourself, I can tell the chocolate cake is calling you!

 

– Emily Stephenson

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