Weekly meal prep: the student budget

Overall, getting back to the college grind today didn’t go as badly as I expected. Okay, getting up early enough to catch a 7 A.M. bus was pretty tough all right, but other than that my early gym workout, prepped meals and many cups of green tea made it mostly a smooth ride.

Up on the blog next week, I'll be putting clean eating to the test on a student budget. 💪🏼🍴

A post shared by Ryan Mangan (@endorphinstew) on

After chatting to a few people about their idea of a ‘student meal budget,’ I was pretty baffled as to how much they vary. Some students may look at €31 as a very generous amount to spend on food during the college weak, others may be able to add some more to that.

It turns out that all of my meal prep this week has added up to that. Personally, I’m quite happy with that price considering all the money I’d mindlessly spend on food out and about last semester. If that’s too much for you, however, don’t worry – this is my first time meal prepping, and the more I do it, the more I hope to bring down the costs while still maintaining that healthy balance.

I’d also like to note too that a lot of the products I picked up (all from Tesco Ireland) such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, soy sauce etc., won’t all be used up in a week, so that’s money you can stretch a long way. 🙂

TOTAL COST= €31. Unless stated otherwise, all products were purchased from Tesco Ireland. Average price per meal = €2.80.

Chicken Stir Fry (2 servings)

Chicken stir fry

INGREDIENTS

  • Brown/whole wheat pasta, x1 bag
  • Plain chicken breasts, x2 diced
  • Fresh packaged stir fry
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Soy sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Cook off your whole wheat pasta, empty out water, rince with cold water and then put aside for the end of this recipe and recipe 3.
2) Oil a baking tray with some olive oil, place your  chicken fillets onto it and bake for 30 mins or until they appear white throughout.
3) Place a large pan on medium heat, drizzle some rapeseed oil onto the pan and wait until it becomes runny.
4) Throw in your stir fry, drizzle with some soy sauce, more rapeseed oil and fry through until your veggies are moist and tender.
5) When the veggies are cooked through, place them on top of the pasta in a storage container, tumble in the (diced) chicken fillets and then drizzle with some more soy sauce.

6) voila!

Sweet Potato Soup (3 servings)

sweet potato soup

INGREDIENTS
  • Large organic sweet potato, x2
  • Ginger, 1 inch
  • Salt
  • Pepper (I used lemon pepper)

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Peel, chop, wash and dice 2 large organic sweet potatoes.
2) Tumble the diced sweet potato into a medium sized pot, barely cover the top layer of potato with water, stick over medium heat for 30 mins.
3) When the sweet potatoes are nice and tender, grate in about 1 inch of ginger, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper (I used lemon pepper).
4) Blend carefully using a hand blender.

Mince Passata (2 servings)

Mince pasatta

INGREDIENTS

  • Small Tesco beef mince pack
  • Brown/whole wheat pasta, x1 bag
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • Handful of ripe vine tomatos
  • Package of Tesco organic tomato passata
  • Small bunch of fresh basil
  • Tbl spoon of ground garlic

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Chop up a cup of mushrooms, a handful of ripe vine tomatoes and finely chop a small bunch of fresh basil.
2) Drizzle some rapeseed oil onto a large pan over medium heat, add in the mushrooms, tomatoes and basil. Shake in some ground garlic.
3) Cover the pan, stirring the veggies every 30 seconds or so.
4) When the veggies have become moist, empty them out onto a plate and leave aside for now.
5) Place the minced meat onto the pan over a medium heat, gently breaking it apart using a wooden spoon.
6) Once the mince has cooked well through, add in your veggies again along with your carton of organic passata.
7) Once the contents are mixed well through, empty them onto the pasta in a storage container.

Hummus (very filling with crackers)

Rapeseed hummus

INGREDIENTS

  • Tahini
  • Cumin
  • Chickpeas
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Large lemon, x1

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Place 1 tin of organic chickpeas into a sieve and run some cold water through them.
2) Hand blend the chickpeas with the juice of 1 large lemon, 1 tbl spoon of cumin, 1 1/2 tbl spoons of tahini, and 3 tbl spoons of rapeseed oil.
3) I much rather my hummus thick, but if blending becomes a problem, add in a little water.

Healthy snack box (2 servings)

Snacks g4u

This didn’t require much thought beyond the combination of four of my favourite healthy snacks these days:

  1. Dried cranberries.
  2. Brazil nuts.
  3. Bee pollen (This is from the Nua Naturals range and I picked it up from Evergreen. It’s the most pricy thing here, but you’ll be stretching money far as I’ve had the same tin for five months!)
  4. Good4UNutrition apple and cinnamon super seeds.
I hope you found today’s post somewhat helpful. My next aim is to delve into the main health benefits of the above foods, which are mostly why they’ve been added to the list! 🙂 If you’re interested in keeping up to date, you can check out my Facebook page here. 🙂
As always, thanks a billion for reading!
Until the next time,
Ryan.
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