The Shared Kitchen - Original Student Recipes By Madi Holland

This is the first article in our new 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).

Brunch Bagels

  • Bagel (plain, wholewheat, sesame, GF, V, VG – all work just as well!)
  • Salami (you can also use pepperoni, or another cold meat of your choice/V/VG options)
  • Salad tomato (1)
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado (optional, as I know it can be expensive!)
  • Rocket
  • Green pesto (you can use reduced fat pesto for a healthier alternative)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Black pepper

Start by slicing your bagel in half and toasting it to your liking - I know there’s always a debate on what the perfect level of toasting is, so just whatever your preference is! Whilst the bagel is toasting, slice the tomato and cucumber, I would recommend about 6 slices of tomato and 8 of cucumber. When the bagel is done, spread a small amount of pesto on each half (you can do more if you are bulking for the gym – pesto is full of calories!) and then your desired amount of salami, I tend to do only one slice per half - as salami fits perfectly on a bagel. Place the slices of tomato and cucumber - and avocado if you are having it - on top of the salami, then add a small handful of rocket. To serve, drizzle with mayonnaise and sprinkle with black pepper. This is much easier to eat with a knife and fork, as it can get very messy eating with your hands, and you'll probably lose half the toppings in the process.

(PPS: 90p)

Brunch bagels

Crab Fried Rice

  • Crab sticks/Seafood sticks (4)
  • Rice
  • Medium egg (1)
  • Spring onion (2 or 3) OR Onion (¼)
  • Bell pepper (½)
  • Frozen peas
  • Sweetcorn (½ tin)
  • Soy sauce
  • Black pepper

This is one of my easiest recipes ever, it’s so tasty and even works well with day old, leftover rice! If you don’t have the leftovers, start by boiling your rice, and whilst it’s cooking, you can chop up the bell pepper, spring onion and crab sticks. When the rice is done, drain it and leave it to the side. Add all the chopped ingredients, as well as the frozen peas and sweetcorn to a frying pan, with a small amount of oil, on a medium heat. Season with some black pepper and a dash of soy sauce, leave to cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Crack the egg into the pan and cook - this works best if you push all the other ingredients to one side so the eggs can scramble - then mix together. Season with a bit more soy sauce, then add the rice. Keep cooking at a medium heat and once the rice goes golden, serve!

(PPS: £1.28)

Crab fried rice

Greek Yoghurt Bark

  • Greek yoghurt (500g)
  • Chocolate chips (1/3 bag)
  • Frozen raspberries (1/3 bag)

There are so many varieties to this recipe, this one is just my personal favourite. For example, you can switch out the chocolate for peanut butter or jam and the raspberries for other fruits or even granola. To make this healthier, you can use 0% fat Greek yoghurt, and dark chocolate. Start by lining a baking tray with baking paper, then spread the entire tub of Greek yoghurt evenly onto it and decorate with your choice of toppings! You can use chocolate chips, or melted chocolate, I prefer melted chocolate as it means it is spread out more evenly and you get some in each bite! I would also recommend mushing up whichever fruit you choose before putting onto the Greek yoghurt. Once you have finished with your toppings, put the tray in the freezer overnight, then cut up into ‘bark’ pieces. This is a really great snack to prepare for over a week or two, as I would only have 2 pieces per serving, which makes it hold about 8 servings.

(PPS: 24p)

Greek yoghurt bark

Those were three 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!

Email - mh02248@surrey.ac.uk

Instagram - @the.shared.kitchen