Cooking can take up a large part of your day. I think I spend at least half of my time in lectures brainstorming recipes and fantasising about buying expensive seed/nut combos that I totally can’t afford. But when it comes to actually cooking the meal, I often find that I have little time to dedicate to making the food and nearly always end up googling ‘vegan recipes under 30 mins’.
But our modern world has removed time as an issue when it comes to food. We are repeatedly told that sourcing, preparing, and consuming food are time-consuming problems that must be solved! This can be seen in some big brand names, such as the ‘grab-and-go’ Starbucks range or ‘food-on the-go’ by Tescos. We have been taught to take the shortest route possible to the highest calorie foods. These ‘meal solutions’ given to us by money-making food corporations are everywhere, making processed, unhealthy food more readily accessible. As a result we have learnt to view food as a guilt-ridden temptation, rather than a satisfying, enjoyable event.
So with this in mind, I encourage you to dedicate just a small amount of your time to cooking! Though it seems so much easer to grab a panini from Starbucks, the nutritional advantages to taking your own cooked meal into work/uni are huge. You don’t have to spend hours slaving over the stove, you can make so many different healthy and delicious meals under 30 mins. I also think there is something so satisfying about deciding which meal to cook, buying your ingredients and then seeing it take shape.
Seeing meals as more of an event helps us feel fuller for longer and is an easy way to control what we are putting into our bodies!
I’ve started taking my own food into uni for lunch (my tupperware collection is pretty impressive right now!) and come up with a few cheap meals that are easy to make in under 30mins. I really encourage you to try them out and challenge you to replace just one or two shop-bought meals a week with your own homemade creations, enjoy!
As part of my challenge to find meals that were quick to make, I stumbled upon this recipe from the LEON cook book. It required about 5mins of effort on my part and gave me a really healthy, flavoursome lunch the next day. Perfect!
5 baby aubergines (can be done with large aubergines, just increase the cooking time
2 tablespoons olive oil
Handful chopped nuts
2 tablespoons honey (use agave syrup for vegans)
teaspoon chilli flakes/caynne pepper
Large bunch coriander
1 chopped garlic clove
salt and pepper
2 cups water
1. Mix the nuts, coriander, garlic spices and honey in a blender. You may have to add a splash of water to help with mixing. Stop when mixture becomes a paste
2. Cut each aubergine in half lengthways, but do not cut through the stem. Cut again so that it is quartered but is still attached at the stem
3. Divide the stuffing between the aubergines, using a teaspoon to spread it over the inside cut surfaces.
4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the aubergines for 5 mins, turing over to brown them.
5. Add the water to the frying pan, cover and simmer for about 20 mins until soft (If using larger aubergines, simmer for about 30mins). Turn them a few times during this time to ensure even cooking on all sides.
6. Season and serve.