Fresher’s Food Survival Guide (PART I): Basics, Quick and Healthy Meals

Welcome to the three-part Fresher’s Food Survival Guide, here to give you the best hints and tips on St Andrews food producers, stores, restaurants, cafes etc.

o-maticCatered students, you can look forward to a year of chips served at every meal and the monotonous joy of the ‘Soup or Take-Away?’ dilemma at weekends when you have to fend for yourself.

Self-catered students, hopefully the selection of recipes in this guide will help you get kick-started in the kitchen. That said, we wish you luck for the future habitual cooking disasters and unintended fire alarms.

These recipes are so simple to make and only require one large saucepan to cook. Doubling-up quantities means you can freeze some for reheating another day.

1. Butternut Squash Soup: Hearty, healthy and transportable



  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 chicken and vegetable stock cube
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic bulb (crushed)
  • Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter
  • Olive oil


1)     Chop the butternut squash into 2cm chunks

2)     Soften the onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil

3)     Add the butternut squash and stock cubes. Add enough water to cover the butternut squash (and a bit more).

4)     Bring to the boil for 15-20 minutes, or until the butternut squash has softened.

5)     Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a little while.

6)     Using a stick blender/a freestanding blender, blitz the saucepan contents into a soup.

7)     Season to taste using the paprika, salt and pepper.

8)     Add a knob of butter at the end to give the soup a nice silky finish.



2. Simple Bolognese

UntitledThe success of the bolognese sauce is in its versatility – make a pasta dish by serving it with grated parmesan on top, add some chilli flakes and kidney beans and serve with boiled rice for chilli con carne, make a Sloppy Joe by serving it up in a gap or even use it to make a cottage pie by putting it in the bottom of an oven-proof dish, covering with mashed potato and baking in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius (fan) for 30-40 minutes.

 Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic bulb (crushed)
  • A generous squirt of tomato puree and one of tomato ketchup
  • A dash of Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins)
  • 500g minced beef
  • 250g mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • ½ glass of red wine (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Soften the garlic and onion in a frying pan in a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Add the beef and stir continuously until it is all browned. (You will need to keep moving the meat around to stop it from clumping together).
  3. Add the mushrooms, tinned tomato, wine, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and 200-300ml of beef stock. Stir to combine.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding more stock if required and then season to taste.


3. Green Thai Vegetable Curry: This is a really flexible dish. Instead of using sweet potato you could  try chicken or salmon.


Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 2 tbsp thai green curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • A dash of fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 sweet potato
  • A handful of green beans
  • 1 pepper
  • ½ cup of rice
  • Groundnut oil (Olive or Vegetable would work as well)


  1. Prep the vegetables by chopping the sweet potato into 2cm chunks and slicing the pepper.
  2. Place a large saucepan on a medium heat on the hob. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and stir in the curry paste. Add the coconut milk and a dash of fish/soy sauce, and then stir to combine.
  3. Add the vegetables and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, boil the rice in a saucepan to packet instructions. (If you put the rice in the saucepan and then fill the pan with water to half a thumbs height it should be pretty perfect).
  5. Serve the curry on a bed of rice.



Thanks to  loblolliesAggieland OutfittersfoodnetworkThe Pioneer Woman and topfoodpics for the lovely photos.