“Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy.” - Mary Berry
Tagine, quiche, stuffed peppers, taboulé, brownies, if any of these sound appealing, maybe it’s because you’re not eating them often enough. It’s often the case with students that they have to limit their options to really simple dishes or get unhealthy takeaway meals.
However, you can still enjoy good meals as part of the student lifestyle. While very few students make home-cooked meals, that could change.
Takeaways aren’t ideal for students as you’ll see in this article. It’s often much better to cook for yourself. If you're done with sausage sandwiches, instant noodles or soups, or sandwiches, then here's why you need to start cooking hearty meals for yourself and improve your culinary skills.
Cooking at Home is More Cost-Effective for Students
As students, we’re often tempted to go for the simplest meals because we’ve got a busy schedule, for example, or we think we'll never learn how to cook like the professional chefs. That’s why you can get fast food or something delivered to your flat even though it costs more to do so.
It’s much easier eating a takeaway on your lap in front of the TV than spending half an hour cooking your own food. That said, there are plenty of simple and cheap recipes you can make.
Cooking at home is more economical than getting food delivered. After all, ten quid on a student budget can be an awful lot. Furthermore, cooking can be enjoyable so make the most of it!
Additionally, leftovers from a homecooked meal tend to last much better in your freezer and last night's kebab or a fry up!
Cooking at Home is Healthier
“The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift.” - Laurie Colwin
Whether it’s spinach, carrots, chocolate cake, gnocchi with a creamy bechamel sauce, etc., there are plenty of healthy recipes that students can learn how to cook. Most takeaways focus solely on the taste, not the nutritional value.
That said, the food is good, comforting, and convenient. This is probably down to the great amounts of oil, butter, and salt that are often found in takeaways.
Getting food delivered is practical and fun when you’re a student. Some of it tastes so good that it’s almost addictive.
There are ingredients that are commonly used to improve the flavour of takeaway food that are really bad for your health. They’re also bad for your figure because a lot of takeaway food is quite fatty.
Cooking at home allows you to choose your own ingredients, fewer additives, and cook to your own taste while ensuring it still tastes good! You no longer need to make cheese on toast every day, you can have smoked salmon with cream cheese on toast instead or avocado toast instead.
Rather than mashed potatoes, you can opt for sweet potato, you can make your own veggie or meat gravy for pies, or you can even make gluten-free dishes if you need to.
Cooking at Home Allows You to Cook to Your Own Taste
One of the biggest advantages of cooking at home is that you can cook whatever you want.
Do you like squash?
No problem! You can remove courgettes from the original recipe. No worries.
Want to add broccoli to your carbonara?
That’s fine, too!
Cooking at home means you can remove some ingredients and add others. This is especially useful if you don’t like certain ingredients or if you have specific dietary requirements. This is a great solution when all the takeaway menus are starting to look the same.
Why not try out new recipes and breathe new life into old dishes, making them far more interesting than whatever the takeaway has to offer?
Takeaway food can be useful sometimes but you’re not really in control of what’s going into your food. Cooking at home puts you back in the driving seat!
If you prefer cooking with a bit of spice or chilli, roast dinners with pork chops, or pudding over something savoury, you're in charge of the menu you when you cook for yourself. Additionally, you get to choose the herbs and seasoning for your dishes.
See some of the best cookery classes here.
Cooking at Home is more Rewarding than Takeaways
We don’t think about this often enough, but cooking for yourself requires technique, skills, dexterity, patience, and work. This makes it far more rewarding than just ordering takeaway food.
Every student will know from their exams that putting in hard work is the best way to achieve success.
While you can follow cookbooks or family recipes, you can also create your own dishes and when they turn out alright, they’ll do wonders for your self-confidence.
While the dish mightn’t be better than that of a professional chef, with each iteration, it’ll get better. You’ll also be saving money while you do!
As a student, you can use your time cooking to get better at it and start making some wonderful dishes.
Invest in a decent cookbook and you'll soon see your home cooking getting a little better. You'll soon be able to tell a good ingredient from a bad one and get the most out of your cooking so that you can even manage to make great food on a weeknight.
Cooking Under Certain Constraints
As a student, there are several reasons you mightn’t be able to cook exactly how you want: you live at home with your parents, you have a small kitchen, etc. All these constraints can put you off the whole idea.
However, you can use these constraints as motivation. They’re an opportunity to create great dishes and the challenge will make them even more gratifying.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your food won’t taste as good!
Have you heard of mugcakes?
This is a cake you can make in three minutes thanks to the help of a cup and a microwave. This is a recipe that was definitely designed with students in mind since you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it.
Even if you’ve got a lot of cooking equipment, you may have to share the kitchen with roommates or your parents.
In this case, you just need to talk to your roommates and maybe set aside a time where you’re free to use the kitchen uninterrupted. This will give you an opportunity to try new recipes or improve on the old ones.
Noone will need to get a takeaway as sharing is one of the best things about cooking. That’s what cooking is all about, sharing, generosity, and love.
Cooking at Home: A Way to Unwind
In the spirit of sharing, cooking at home is a great way to enjoy yourself. Cooking can be relaxing and therapeutic for some.
It’s a hobby that, with the help of modern cooking accessories, allows you to change traditional recipes, invent new ones, discover new ingredients, or just enjoy making the old ones.
While a good number of us see cooking as a means to survive, others make the most of cooking as an opportunity to create new flavours with new ingredients after a long day of studying, for example.
You don’t necessarily need the best equipment as the act of cooking itself is a great way to clear your mind and fill your tummy.
Not bad, is it?
In short, as a student, getting takeaway all the time isn’t a great idea. Cooking at home can be great for your budget, your creativity, and your taste buds.
So are you ready to make some delicious recipes?
If you need help with your cooking techniques, you can always get a cooking class London from a private tutor. Whether you want to learn how to cook vegetarian food, crispy tacos with homemade salsa, desserts, different types of meats, or healthy snacks, you should be able to find a private tutor to help you without having to pay the costs of lessons at a cooking school.
You can get either face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, or group tutorials. Each type of tutorial has its advantages and disadvantages and you need to work out which tutor works for you, your learning style, and your learning objectives.
A lot of the tutors on Superprof also offer the first hour of tuition for free so make sure you take advantage of that.