The best dinners to take to the IC

Ditch that same old Sainsbury’s meal deal and channel your inner Gordon Ramsay

We have officially entered into the dreaded exam period and for many of us this can only mean hours spent in the library. During this time, food is your knight in shining armour, your source of energy that gets you through the toughest of times. So inevitably your next meal becomes the most exciting part of the day when you’re stuck in the IC.

Too many helpless students settle for the same old snacks, a Sainsbury’s meal deal or the dreaded homemade sandwich that has no doubt been squashed by the ton of books in your bag. Revision is hideous enough without the added extra of disappointing food.

Make dinner great again with these quick and simple ideas that will leave you feeling full and satisfied for the whole week.

Stir Fry Noodles

So quick and so easy to make ahead of time. Simply chop up an onion, some mushrooms, peppers and any other veg you fancy. Chuck everything into a wok or frying pan with some oil until cooked. Throw in some soy sauce and ‘straight to wok’ noodles and there you have it. Trust me, its cheaper than buying a meal deal and tastes delicious. If you can stretch the budget try adding some cooked chicken or salmon fillet.

There’s a bowl of noodles at the end of the rainbow

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Every student should know how to cook pasta. If you don’t, you seriously need to re-evaluate your life. This meal is great because you can cook it with three ingredients and make plenty of batches for very little money. Simply chop up your chicken into small chunks and cook in a pan with some oil. Boil your pasta for 10 minutes before draining. Add a dollop of pesto a long with your chicken pieces and voila you’re set for a productive library sesh that Nigella would certainly approve of.

The key ingredient

Fajita wraps

Who says a pre-made library dinner has to bland? Add some fajita mix to ‘spice up your (library) life’. If you don’t have a fajita dinner kit, get on down to the Co-op and grab some tortilla wraps, peppers, salsa, fajita mix and you’re set. Cook your peppers plus any other added extras you’d like (chicken, onions etc.) and add your fajita seasoning. Wait for everything to cool. Spoon into your wraps with some guac and fold in the ends tightly before wrapping in foil. Why not buy some Doritos and salsa as an added extra to make your (library) neighbours very jealous.

There’s also a ‘crispy chicken’ variety whaaat

Greek Meze

It sounds fancy but it is actually easy to recreate. All it takes is a trip to Aldi and some decent sized tupperware. So first things first. Falafel. You can get delicious falafel from Aldi for a very good price. Put as many as you want into some tupperwear with some sliced pitta bread. Take plenty of hummus (might I suggest the whole pot?) to dip these superb delicacies. Of course no Greek meze would be complete without a fresh greek salad. Slice up some lettuce, tomatoes, onion and place in another transportable dish. Add some black olives and lots of feta cheese with your dressing of choice.

You’re going to be falaFULL


If you’re the type of person with culinary skills that don’t go much further than simply chucking something in the oven, then this one is for you. Do you know what is better than hot pizza? Cold pizza. Simply purchase any pizza of choice and cook according to the instructions on the packaging. Once the pizza has cooled you can slice it up. Wrap it in foil or place slices in a tupperware dish and you’re done. Bellissimo!

Be prepared for the judgemental looks if you opt for ham and pineapple


Because no weekend should be spent doing revision, but sometimes it just has to be done. If you’re feeling like a treat or found your Greek meze looking more like a Greek tragedy, just do yourself a favour and grab a takeaway. Think of it this way, all the money you’re saving on not going out during exam season can be put towards a chicken chow mein or a good ol’ chippy. No one likes late night library sessions. Treat yourself.

Don’t forget the gravy

Lots and lots of junk food

If it has got to the point where Sunday, as ‘the day of rest’, is no longer a recognisable concept, the exam stress has clearly hit you hard. In normal circumstances you would have spent your Sunday’s hanging from Poptarts. In such an instance one must resort to the hangover cure. So stock up on sweet and savoury goodies because the same rule applies to the ‘revision hangover’ you develop when the week comes to end. Not nutritous but certainly delicious.

Helping you through to the early hours of Monday morning

And if you haven’t realised just yet, almost no library dinner would be possible without tupperware. So say goodbye to Sainsbury’s packaging; tupperware will be your new best friend.

University of Sheffield

The Tab Sheffield

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