Living a balanced lifestyle is key to getting the most out of life, especially in terms of your diet. While we need to eat healthily and provide our bodies with all the vitamins and minerals it needs, it’s vital to listen to what your body is craving and enjoy some sugary or fatty treats every so often. As long as we’re eating them in moderation, why can’t we have Nutella and banana pancakes for brunch when we fancy it? I’ve provided you with a couple of recipes, two being nutritious, filling and super easy to make for everyday student life, and the other two being slightly more indulgent for when you want to treat yourself, to reinforce a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
This is one of the simplest breakfast recipes that I’ve ever come across, and the product is one of my go-to breakfast meals. It’s perfect to make the night before a 9am lecture, to eat on the go, or to leave in the fridge for a couple of days if you sleep through until 11. The yoghurt flavour and fruit used can be adapted to your tastes, and I regularly like to experiment with new combinations to see what tastes best. Also, the use of frozen fruit makes it a lot more cost effective, as buying a bag of frozen fruit is much cheaper than buying it fresh, and you can use as much or as little in a week without worrying about it going bad.
225g 0% Greek yoghurt | 2 tbsp honey | 50g rolled oats | Handful of frozen cherries | Handful of frozen blueberries | A couple of fresh strawberries
Mix the yoghurt with the honey. I do this as I prefer a slightly sweeter and less tart Greek yoghurt in my oats, but it’s purely personal taste. Layer 1/3 of the yoghurt into the bottom of the container you will be storing the overnight oats in the fridge in – personally, I use a leftover jar, whether from a jam, pasta sauce etc. On top of this layer, spread half of the oats and top with the frozen blueberries. Repeat this layering with more yoghurt, oats and another fruit layer, but with the cherries this time. Top with the rest of the yoghurt and then the fresh strawberries. Leave in the fridge for at least six hours to allow the oats to absorb some of the yoghurt and for the fruit to start to defrost.
Cannellini Bean Burgers
Whether you don’t eat meat at all or are trying to reduce the amount that you are eating, these bean burgers make for a quick and easy dinner that is sure to impress your flatmates. They’re extremely easy to put together and can be served on top of a salad or with rice and smashed avocado, in a bun for a healthy homemade burger. If feta isn’t your favourite cheese, these burgers go well with halloumi or can be served without.
A large handful of spinach | 1 small red onion | 1 can of cannellini beans | 1 egg | 3 tbsp of flour | 1 clove of garlic | 1 tbsp of chilli powder | 1 tbsp of cumin | 1 tbsp of garlic powder | Salt and pepper | Spray oil
Chop the red onion, spinach and garlic into small pieces. Mix the red onion, spinach, garlic, cannellini beans and egg in a bowl together, using your hands to combine them well. Add the our to the mixture to bind the ingredients together and shape them into patties. Heat a pan up with the spray oil and once hot add the burgers. Cook each side until browned (the burgers can crumble easily so be careful when flipping them). Serve with the feta (or an alternative cheese) crumbled on top of the burgers.
When you’re fancying pizza but waiting for your loan to drop, this is an easy alternative recipe to satisfy those cravings. This recipe can be topped with whatever you enjoy on a pizza, whether that be vegetables, pepperoni or ham and pineapple…I like to make my own chips if I have the time too, but frozen pre-made chips can be used if you don’t have a great deal of time. This recipe can also be multiplied to feed more than one person, and is ideal either as a snack for a movie night or to be served alongside a dinner.
3 medium sizes potatoes | 2 tbsp of tomato puree | 1 tbsp of dried oregano | 1 tbsp of garlic powder | 50g of grated mozzarella | Spray oil | Salt and pepper | Pizza toppings
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Chop the potatoes into chips (I don’t take off the skins but this is personal preference). Microwave the chips for six minutes to soften them prior to cooking them in the oven. Place the potatoes onto a baking tray, coat with spray oil and salt and pepper, and any other seasoning such as paprika, onion powder and garlic salt. Cook these for 40 minutes. Halfway through cooking take them out of the oven to re-coat with seasoning, and spray with more oil if needed. Whilst the chips are roasting, mix the tomato purée with the dried oregano and garlic powder, and loosen with a bit of water to make a more spreadable pizza sauce. Once the chips are cooked, place them into an ovenproof dish and top with the pizza sauce, mozzarella and toppings. Place the dish back in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and slightly browned.
Pancakes are my most favourite breakfast or brunch food in the world! My love for them began after my first family holiday to Florida when I tried the fluffiest pancakes in iHop, and I feel as if I have finally perfected a recipe for them. My favourite pancake toppings have to be either banana and chocolate hazelnut spread or maple syrup and streaky bacon. However, these pancakes taste amazing with just a knob of butter on top.They’re easy to create, and make for an impressive show for friends or family, especially around the holidays. The milk can be replaced according to your preferences too, for example with dairy-free alternatives such as almond milk.
200g self-raising flour | 3 large eggs | 1 tbsp of sugar | 1.5 tsp of baking powder | 200ml of skimmed milk | 25g melted butter | Cooking oil | Pinch of salt
Mix all of the dry ingredients together into the bowl thoroughly and form a well in the middle with your hands. Beat the eggs, milk and melted butter together in a separate bowl and then pour into the well. Slowly mix until a smooth batter is formed (this can be done with either an electric whisk or by hand). Heat a pan up with cooking oil (or butter) coating the whole of the pan, and pour in a portion of the batter. 5. Cook the pancake on one side until you can move a spatula around underneath the pancake, and then ip it (be careful when flipping the pancake as they can easily break). Cook for a further minute on the other side of the pancake, and until it reaches a deep golden-brown colour on both sides. Repeat until all of the batter is used up. Stack the pancakes high with your favourite topping and enjoy!
This article was originally published in Issue 722 of Pi Magazine.