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How to Make Quick ’n’ Easy Salads as a Student Cook

A quick and easy salad can be a fantastic lunch for students on the go. Salads require no cooking time and they fill you up and keep you studying hard until dinnertime. Try your hand at one of the recipes below and see if you still feel hungry during that mid-afternoon lecture.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Some cheat a little bit here and use sun-dried tomato pesto rather than the real deal, but if you fancy treating yourself, go ahead and buy some delicious sun-dried tomatoes.

This salad keeps in the fridge for about three days, but make sure you cover it, or better still, keep it in a plastic storage container.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3

Pinch of salt

2 mugs of pasta (penne or whatever you have)

2 big spoonfuls of sun-dried tomato pesto

1/2 a lettuce (something leafy like curly leaf is best, but you can use whatever you have), sliced into pieces

1/2 a cucumber, diced

1 red pepper, deseeded and diced

1/2 tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Drizzle of olive oil

  1. Fill a saucepan three-quarters full of water, and bring to the boil.

  2. When boiling, add a pinch of salt and then pour in the pasta.

  3. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until tender (taste it to see – run a piece of pasta under cold water to cool it).

  4. When cooked, drain in a colander, shake and leave to one side.

  5. Get a big bowl and add the chopped lettuce, cucumber, pepper and beans. Mix well.

  6. When the pasta has cooled to room temperature, pour back into the empty saucepan and plop 2 big spoonfuls of the sun-dried tomato pesto into the pasta. Mix well.

  7. Transfer the pasta to the bowl of salad, drizzle with olive oil and mix again. Put on a plate and serve. You can cover the rest and put it into the fridge for a quick lunch tomorrow.

Per serving: Calories 522 (From Fat 111); Fat 12.3g (Saturated 1.8g); Cholesterol Trace; Sodium 239mg; Carbohydrate 84.3g (Dietary Fibre 2.9g); Protein 18.5g.

Citrus Couscous Salad in Pitta Breads

Apart from having a daft name, this quick, healthy and cheap snack should be a hit with students across the globe. Couscous is like a natural pot noodle. Just pour boiling water over the couscous, leave it for a bit and it’s done. So easy!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

1 vegetable stock cube

1/2 mug of couscous

1/2 red pepper, deseeded and diced

1/4 cucumber, diced

1/4 red onion, peeled and diced

Drizzle of olive oil

2 pitta breads

1 lime

  1. Crumble the vegetable stock cube into a measuring jug and then flick the kettle on. Pour boiling water over the stock cube and fill the jug to about 200 millilitres. Get a fork and stir well.

  2. Pour the couscous into a bowl and pour the vegetable stock over the couscous until it’s just covered. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel. Wait about 10 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed all the water.

  3. Get a fork and run it through the couscous, breaking it up. Add the red pepper, cucumber and red onion pieces and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well.

  4. Put the pitta breads in the toaster.

  5. Grate a little bit of the skin of the lime over the couscous. Then cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from both pieces over the bowl. Mix again.

  6. By now the pitta breads should be done, so cut them in half to open them up and fill with couscous.

Per serving: Calories 778 (From Fat 132); Fat 14.7g (Saturated 1.7g); Cholesterol Trace; Sodium 2805mg; Carbohydrate 137.7g (Dietary Fibre 12.7g); Protein 23.8g.

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