Student Weeknight Meal Ideas

Spelt Pasta

Buddha Bowl

I always look forward to dinner as it means that the day is coming to an end and I can relax after a day full of lectures, exercise and studying. I have found that I am less hungry later when I have had a decent amount of protein for dinner, whether it is chicken (chicken drumsticks are a student’s best friend), red meat (yes that includes mince) or some other type such as mussels or quinoa.

I load up my plate with tonnes of seasonal veggies and mix it up by boiling, steaming, grating or roughly cutting them up. A huge advantage of eating lots of veges is that I get hardly any colds/ flus throughout the year!

I love quinoa, brown rice, rice paper rolls, kumara/ sweet potato (my favourite) or even spelt pasta as carbohydrate options. But at the moment I am completely obsessed over Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine that fools you into thinking you are eating pasta – without the ‘food hangover’ side effect!

Protein that has a higher natural fat content like red meat and salmon are more easily digested when carbs aren’t eaten at the same time. This can help with fat loss and will give you more energy after dinner.

An easier food combining principle is to eat all of your fruit in the morning. This makes it easier on your gut and prevents bloating that can occur when fructose (the sugar in fruit) ferments.

My favourite dinner is a beef schnitzel stir fry with this amazing sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Tamari *
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, or more olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce, to taste
  • 1 tsp honey (or maple syrup for a low FODMAP option)
  • Optional extras: ½ tsp chilli flakes, a small bunch of chopped fresh coriander leaves

* Tamari is a GF version of soy sauce but even if you don’t have issues with wheat, it is still worth investing in Tamari as you are buying the real thing. The cheaper soy sauce that I used to use is made up of mostly wheat and water – i.e. it isn’t what it says it is.

The best kumara mash ever!

  • 2 kumara, roughly peeled – the skin contains nutrients that help to slow the aging process
  • ½ cup coconut milk, or more
  • A generous season of salt and pepper
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Roughly chop up the kumara into even sized pieces – the smaller they are the faster it will cook and cover with water in a medium sized pot. Put the lid on and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water is rapidly boiling, turn the heat down to medium and leave the lid ajar. When the kumara is fork tender, drain the water off and then use a masher or fork to break up the kumara. Start with ¼ cup of coconut milk and keep adding more until the mash is smooth and creamy. Serves 3 as a side. Yum!

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