The Shared Kitchen – More Original Student Recipes By Madi Holland

This is the second article in our student cooking series ‘The Shared Kitchen’ by Madi Holland.

Hello, my name is Madi, I am currently a second-year student at Surrey studying Media and Communications. I have always really enjoyed cooking and baking and was really looking forward to being able to start experimenting with food when I moved to Uni. Before I started, I looked at buying a recipe book, and began by searching for student cookbooks, yet was faced with an acute collection of books which only offered recipes for traditional ‘English’ foods (which included things like pastas and curries, but only very basic and almost boring meals). I then looked up cookbooks that included more interesting dishes and a wider variety of cultures. Again, I was only offered a small amount and all of which were expensive to make. I very quickly noticed a gap in the market for fun and affordable meals for university students, which were healthy at the same time - so that’s where I came up with the idea for The Shared Kitchen. In my first year at Uni, I started trying out recipes I had seen before and began experimenting with new ideas, which I am so excited to share with you and even hope to eventually publish in a book for future students.

I like to be non-restrictive when cooking and don’t tend to include precise measurements. I understand that some may like one ingredient over another and would like to use more of one thing, or that not everyone owns measuring cups/spoons. All of my recipes are for one serving, unless stated otherwise, so I am going to include the price per serving (PPS) from the shop most local to the University of Surrey, Tesco, on the basis that you will be buying the cheapest options available. I have tried to create recipes which can be interchangeable, for example, swapping one meat for another, or even catering for vegan options. Whilst I may not always explain how to cook the vegan/vegetarian options, I can still offer the correct alternative, when possible, as well as including the labels for them (V, VG, GF).

Crispy Fried Gnocchi

  • Fresh gnocchi (½ pack)
  • Pesto (a few teaspoons)
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil (any oil - I use vegetable or fry light)
  • Cheese

This is a really quick and easy meal, you can have for lunch or dinner. Start by using a bowl to cover the fresh gnocchi in paprika, salt, pepper and a small amount of oil. You could use the bowl you are going to eat from and just rinse while you are cooking, to save a bit of washing up - it is everyone’s least favourite part of cooking, so I will always try to save myself from doing loads! Add to a tray for the oven and cook for 20 mins @ 220°C, or add to a lined air fryer tray and cook for 15 mins @ 200°C. (When converting from oven to airfryer it has been suggested to remove 20°C and reduce cooking time by about 5 mins. I prefer to use the airfryer, but obviously not everyone will have access to one, and the oven works just as well and is just as yummy!) Once the gnocchi is nice and crispy, add to your bowl, and add a few dashes of pesto. I used green pesto, but I think red pesto would also work nicely. You could also always add a bit of chilli for a kick too, either chilli oil or just chilli flakes. Grate some cheese on top, parmesan is the ideal choice, but cheddar is much cheaper - well not by much at the moment! I serve it with basil, but it is a bit pointless, I don’t ever eat it, it is just purely for decoration. Once you have decided on basil or no basil, serve and enjoy!

(PPS: £1.32)

Bagel Chips

  • Bagel (don’t get a pre-sliced one!!!)
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasoning based on what flavour you are going for:
  • For Garlic bread - garlic powder, mixed herbs
  • For Pizza - tsp of tomato puree, mixed herbs

Cut the bagel vertically into small chips and add to a bowl. Drizzle with some oil, not too much as it will make the chips soggy rather than crispy. Season with salt and pepper, then add your seasoning of choice, I have suggested a few above, but you can interpret to your own taste - be creative, cooking is much more fun when you try new things, think of the flavours you like and just add them to the bowl, maybe not too many at once, but whatever your heart desires! You can also add some cheese (cheddar or parmesan) before cooking for an extra bit of flavour. If the seasoning isn’t covering the bagel chips enough add a little bit more oil to help this. Cook in the oven for about 10-11 mins @ 220°C or in the air fryer for 6-7 mins @ 200°C. I serve the garlic bread chips with mayo, but I think the pizza chips are best on their own. Serve and enjoy!

(PPS: 30p)

Feta Scrambled Eggs

  • Eggs (2)
  • Oil
  • Feta (⅙ block)
  • Slice of bread (sourdough is my preference)
  • Cherry tomatoes (5-6)
  • Pepper
  • Parsley

Start by adding a bit of oil in a pan on a medium heat and let it heat up for a minute or two. Add the eggs and break the yolks, but don’t mix them completely, and season with pepper. Whilst the eggs are cooking, slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Occasionally stir the eggs so they don’t stick and crumble in your feta. Once the eggs are nearly done, about 90% cooked, turn off the heat and move the pan off the hob. Mix in the cherry tomatoes, and toast your slice of bread. You could also add onions or mushrooms to this to upgrade it. Plate the eggs on the toast and season with parsley. Serve and enjoy!

(PPS: 92p)

Those were three more of my quick and affordable recipes. From one student to another, I hope I was able to help you out a bit and inspire you to try something new. I am looking forward to sharing more recipes from The Shared Kitchen with you soon and I hope you are too! Please contact me if you have any recipe requests, ideas or suggestions for changes, I’d love to hear them!

(I’ve also recently started a TikTok page where I share more recipes, step by step videos of the cooking process and other fun stuff, so please check it out!)


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