Fresher friendly recipes

Your first year of uni will be filled with unfamiliar experiences and a new-found sense of independence. For some of you, the thought of cooking for yourself might seem scary, […]

Your first year of uni will be filled with unfamiliar experiences and a new-found sense of independence.

For some of you, the thought of cooking for yourself might seem scary, but help is at hand. Follow these simple recipes and you’ll have no excuse for pitiful Pot Noodles or microwavable monstrosities. Here’s the Soton Tab’s guide to meals which deliver maximum nourishment but require minimal time and effort.

Super Brunch

This recipe for avocado, bacon and poached egg on toast will keep you full until lunchtime and beyond. Packed full of protein and the superfood benefits of avocado, it’s easy to prepare and also tastes great. For a vegetarian option, swap the bacon for grilled mushrooms or tomato.

  1. Put 2 slices of bacon in a grill on medium heat.
  2. Heat saucepan of water.
  3. Mash half an avocado.
  4. Crack an egg into boiling water.
  5. Toast 1-2 slices of wholemeal bread.
  6. Top toast with avocado.
  7. Remove poached egg from water (after about 3 minutes) and put onto toast.
  8. Finish with grilled bacon

egg avo

Simple Stir-Fry

If you keep a packet of dried noodles in your uni cupboard then creating this meal is quick and easy – perfect when you don’t want to spend too much time prepping your dinner!  Along with 1-2 noodle nests per person, cooking oil and Chinese 5 spice or a packet sauce, you can use a wide range of ingredients (basically whatever you have and whatever you like) including:

  • Chicken/pork/beef strips
  • Peppers/chillies
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion/spring onion
  • Grated carrot
  • Sweetcorn
  1. Boil a saucepan of water and add noodle portion.
  2. Heat oil in another pan.
  3. If using a raw meat (e.g. chicken), cut into chunks or strips and fry in oil.
  4. Chop all veg ready.
  5. When meat is cooked, add veg and a little more oil to the pan.
  6. At this stage add any spices (e.g. Chinese 5 Spice, chilli powder or soy sauce).
  7. Drain cooked noodles, and add to pan of meat/veg.
  8. Fry off together (adding more spice to taste).
  9. Serve…with chopsticks of course!

stir fry

Spaghetti Bolognese

When you find yourself pondering what to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon before you have any real work to get on with, deciding to make a batch meal is a decision your mum would be proud of. A classic spag bol is the perfect meal for boxing up, freezing and saving for days you really can’t be bothered to cook.

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 450/500 grams minced beef
  • 2-3 tins of chopped tomatoes (depending how tomato-y you like it)
  • Tomato puree
  • Dried mixed herbs or pesto
  • Pasta to serve (and optional grated cheese).
  1. Dice the onion and brown off in a large pan with oil.
  2. Add minced beef (roughly chopped).
  3. Once all beef is browned, add tinned tomatoes.
  4. Allow to simmer.  Put pasta on to boil.
  5. Add about a tablespoon of tomato puree to give the sauce a richer taste.
  6. If you want to add any more veg such as chopped mushrooms or peas, do so here.
  7. Add herbs to taste.
  8. Allow to simmer until serving with drained pasta (and cheese).
  9. Once cooled, put the rest of sauce into portion-sized plastic containers or sandwich bags and freeze until needed.  Easy-peasy!


Jacket Potato

A humble jacket with baked beans is the perfect protein-packed snack requiring minimal effort. If you’re in a rush, simply microwave on full heat for 6 minutes then pop in the oven to crispen up. Or those with time (humanities students – this one’s aimed at you) can bake their potato for an hour on a medium heat with seasoning for a fluffy filling, but don’t forget to fork holes in your potato first! Top with baked beans and serve with salad to contribute towards your 5-a-day, or go for tuna for an Omega-3 boost.


Chocolate Banana Bread

This recipe is the ideal way to use up those overly ripe bananas your mum left you when you moved in, because as students you’re gonna want to get the most out of free stuff. This recipe makes 6-8 portions, and housemates always love the baker so be prepared to share! Any leftover slices can be frozen, so simply reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds for an instant gooey delight.


  • 1 ripe banana (peeled weight 100g/4oz)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 50g soft butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 75g sugar
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 50g milk or dark chocolate chunks
  1. Preheat the oven 160C/Gas 3. Grease and line a 450g loaf tin with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Use a fork to mash the peeled banana in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining cake ingredients (except the chocolate chunks) and beat until combined and smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing over the top.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until well risen and golden-brown.
  5. Leave to cool then remove from the tin and slice.


Keep your eyes peeled for more Soton Tab recipes coming online soon.