This Is How We Stew It – Lindsay Seccombe

There I stand staring into my cupboards, dreaming of having some money so that could eat out tonight when I think to myself, you’re a nutrition student, you’re supposed to cook tasty, healthy meals.

Now what can I make!? I look to my right and there I see my trusty companion, my slow cooker.

If you don’t have a slow cooker already, then I advise you to buy one. As a university student cooking for yourself, you will only need a small 1.5 litre one for as little as £7! – Absolutely Stewpendous (I seriously love puns…)

I enjoy cooking many meals in my slow cooker, as I can throw all my ingredients into the pot and carry on with my day rather than standing over a hot stove. Because to be honest… I don’t have time for that!

This recipe can be altered in spiciness depending on how daring your taste buds are, personally I prefer mine fairly mild. I suppose this recipe is a mix between a curry and a stew, due to the spice involved.

So here we go…

Ingredients (Serves 2 – Costs £0.44p per serving) – wow!

  • 1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Tin Mixed Beans in Chilli Sauce
  • 1 tsp Medium Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Mixed Herbs
  • 50g Lentils

(Optional extras include – peppers, onions, chickpeas or whatever else needs using up in your cupboards) – which would change the cost slightly.

So, as I said earlier, there isn’t much method involved as all ingredients can be added straight to the slow cooker except for the lentils.

The lentils need to be added to 250ml water and cooked in a pan on the hob for 25 minutes before being added to the slow cooker. Leave the slow cooker to do its job on a ‘high’ heat setting for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

The stew can be served on its own or with a hefty scoop of rice or potatoes!

Serve and ENJOY!

Check out MetMUnch for more savvy student tips over at, on Instagram and Twitter at @metmunch.

Go Bananas! Make a cake – Rachel Davies

Go Bananas!

I don’t know about you, but I only like bananas that are completely yellow – any black or brown and there’s no way I will eat them. BUT! I never ever throw them away!


My go to bake for left over bananas is obviously banana cake!

Here’s the recipe:

130g butter or margarine. (if you don’t line the tin with a loaf case or greaseproof paper, you’ll need a little extra to line the tin)

140g caster sugar

2 large eggs

140g Self Raising Flour

5g baking powder

2 Bananas

  1. Mix the butter and the sugar
  2. Beat the eggs and mix in
  3. Mix in the flour and baking powder
  4. Mash the bananas and mix in (you can also blend the bananas for a smoother texture)
  5. Line the loaf tin with either a greaseproof case or butter
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 180C, check that a knife or skewer comes out clean, if not give it a little longer in the oven.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Here is where you can get creative!

  • Add 50g chopped nuts such as walnuts to the cake mixture
  • Decorate with a toffee icing or add toffee chunks to the mixture for a Banoffee twist
  • Serve with custard for a bananas and custard flavour
  • Add 40g cocoa powder or 60g dark chocolate chips to the mixture for a banana and chocolate cake!
  • Take out of the oven about 10 minutes early and sprinkle banana chips over the top, put back in the oven until cooked.

Had a go? Let us know: Twitter @MetMUnch or Instagram @metmunch

How to bake a simple cake – Rachel Davies

Sliced Caked Sponge Cake Baked CakeIf I had a pound for every time I heard someone say, “I can’t bake” – I’d be rich!

But home-baking doesn’t have to be like the Great British Bake Off – remember you’re not baking to impress Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (or Prue Leith now its moved to Channel 4!) – just bake for yourself and your friends, but make sure you’re going to do something you’ll enjoy as it will make the task even easier.

Recently, there has been a trend for Microwave cakes, which have been advertised as a ‘really easy cake’ that you can make in minutes (there’s some great ideas for recipes here, for when you don’t have a lot of time to bake). But to be honest with you, they don’t even taste half as nice as a normal oven baked cake.

So here is a simple cake recipe:


125g margarine or butter Margarine is much softer, so is good if you’re mixing the cake by hand, Butter would need to be left out of the fridge a while before you start so that it can soften

125g Caster Sugar You can use Granulated Sugar, but the cake gets a grainier texture

2 large eggs

125g self raising flour It’s best to use self raising flour – if you only use plain flour you’ll end up with a flat cake! If you only have plain flour, you need to add a teaspoon of baking powder and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the mixture.

Yes, really that’s all you need!


Heat the oven to 150C.

  1. Grease a baking tin with either the margarine or butter, whichever you have chosen to use.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the margarine/butter with the caster sugar
  3. Mix in the eggs
  4. Either, sieve the flour into the bowl and mix or, if you don’t have a sieve, add the flour a little at a time and mix in between each addition.
  5. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin
  6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. (When cooked, the cake should be a golden brown colour on top and if you insert a knife of skewer into the middle of the cake, then it will come out clean.)
  7. Leave to cool.

Want to decorate the cake?


100g Butter or Margarine

200g Icing Sugar

  1. Mix together the two ingredients and spread over the cake once it has cooled


200g icing sugar

2 tablespoons water

  1. Mix the icing sugar and water and spread over the cake

Feeling Adventurous?

You could add flavours to the decoration, such as vanilla essence, orange essence or lemon essence, or add some orange or lemon zest using a grater and then squeeze the juice into the mixture.

Let us know if you have a go at baking! Send us a picture to @MetMUnch on Twitter or Instagram!




Blueberry and Lemon Oatmeal Cookies – Rachel Davies

Anyone that knows me will know that I am obsessed with Pinterest. I could spend hours on there (and to be honest with you, quite often I do!).  I get so many ideas for baking from it and although they don’t always work – they give me chance to play with and adapt recipes.


Recently I found a recipe for blueberry oatmeal cookies at

It’s a good recipe but I’ve added lemon to it, which in my option makes it even better! In the last few months I have done a lot of baking with blueberry and lemon – I’ve done cupcakes, cakes, pavlova and of course these cookies!

Here’s my amended recipe:


1/2 cup soften coconut oil or butter (104 grams) – I used butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (110 grams)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 egg

1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (140 grams) gluten free flour can be expensive so you can use regular plain flour

1 1/4 cups rolled oats (106 grams)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (100 grams)

1 Lemon (using the zest and the juice)



  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix softened coconut oil (or butter) and brown sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla, then beat again for 2 minutes or until smooth.
  2. Add the flour, oats, mixture, baking soda, and salt to the mixing bowl with everything else. Mix until combined.
  3. Slowly fold in the blueberries with a wooden spoon. Add the juice and zest of the lemon.


  1. Cover & refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm the dough. (This is especially important if you use coconut oil so the cookies don’t spread too much.) Drop round balls of cookie dough onto a lined/greased cookie sheet. Push the balls down slightly.
  2. Bake for 10-13 minutes at 180°C or until edges just begin to turn golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on baking sheet so that they can firm up a bit. Transfer to a wire rack to allow cookies to cool completely.


Enjoy baking them! Tweet @MetMunch or tag us @metmunch in your Instagram photos to let us see how you get on!


Fabulous Foods to Kick Start your Day – Lindsay Seccombe


MetMUncher Lindsay Seccombe provides us with some excellent hints and tips about energy boosting breakfast ideas…

As a University Student, choosing the right foods for breakfast is key! It really is the most important meal of the day, it fuels your brain with essential nutrients and energy it needs to help you through a day of lectures. It also satisfies the appetite, helping you to avoid overeating during the day, keeping your fingers off those chocolate bars.

Here are a few of my energy-boosting breakfast ideas:

  • Peanut Butter and Banana on Toast

We don’t really need a recipe for this one, but it is full of protein and potassium. A great combination which will give you all the nutrients and energy you need on a morning. This filling combo should help to avoid 10am snacking and satisfy your tummy until lunch time.



  • Avocado and Poached Egg on Toast

So so yummy, providing you with essential healthy fats, protein and carbs from the moment you wake up. Start as you mean to go on!

  1. Slice the Avocado in half and remove the pip. Scoop out the filling into a bowl and mash together with a dash of salt and pepper.
  2. Bring a pan on cold water to the boil and add a dash of vinegar. Poach the Egg in by gently adding to boiling water and allow to poach for around 3 minutes.
  3. Spread the Avocado onto the Toast and finish by placing the Poached Egg on top.



  • Fruit Salad sprinkled with Quinoa

Your choice of fruit from berries to bananas, slice and chop then sprinkle with a handful of Quinoa for extra energy and fullness to stop your belly from rumbling. Quinoa is an ingredient many of us are unsure of, however this complete protein has other health benefits such as being high in calcium, magnesium several B vitamins and vitamin E. What more could you want on a Monday morning?

If you’re veggie or vegan try adding more quinoa to your diet, as it contains all nine essential amino acid, helping you to meet your recommended daily intake of protein.



  • Avocado with Egg and Cheese

Another tasty avocado dish containing healthy fats and protein, scoop and eat the contents with a spoon and you’re good to go.

  1. Slice the Avocado in half and remove the pip.
  2. Crack half an egg into each half of the Avocado (one will have the pleasure of the yolk).
  3. Place each half into a baking tray into a preheated oven (180c) for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once cooked, sprinkle with cheese, salt and pepper and place back into the oven for a further 2 minutes for the cheese to melt.



  • Greek Yogurt with Berries

Your choice of berries from strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and so on. Add a spoonful of Greek yogurt for extra calcium and protein to start the day.




  • Protein Banana Pancakes

This one is good if you’re bulking and love the added protein to your diet.

  1. Blend together 2 Bananas, 1 tbsp Greek Yogurt, 1 handful of Porridge Oats, 1 Egg and 1 spoonful of Protein Powder.
  2. Once blended add a pancake sized amount of mixture to a pan containing heated oil and cook on each side for around 1 minute.
  3. Carry on till all the mixture is used up!



Blueberry Oat Pancake Recipe

Christmas is coming and we know that tends to mean the closest some of us will get to fruit is a chocolate orange. But it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some healthy, nutritious food.

We’ve selected our blueberry oat pancake recipe especially for your Christmas breakfast. Packed with protein, they’re perfect to give you the energy you need to get from opening presents all the way through to the Eastenders special. 


Blueberry Oat Pancakes

Serves 4


  • 160g rolled oats
  • 250g cottage cheese
  • 300g Greek/natural yoghurt
  • 250g blueberries
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp. honey
  • Rapeseed oil to lightly coat


How To:

  1. Put the oats, cottage cheese, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat gently to form a smooth batter.
  2. Use a large metal spoon to fold the blueberries into the batter – careful not to break them!
  3. Lightly coat a non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over a medium heat until just smoking.
  4. Pour one tablespoon of the batter into the pan to make a pancake and repeat, spacing the pancakes apart.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until the tops bubble and the edges start to brown.
  6. Remove first pancake from the pan and stack on plate.
  7. Top with a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt and stack second pancake on top.
  8. Repeat layers until you have stacked four pancakes.
  9. Drizzle the pancakes with honey.



  • If you’d like a seasonal alternative to blueberries, remove them from your recipe and try slicing pears or an apple to add on the side of your pancakes.
  • Want to up the protein in your diet? Add a scoop of protein powder to the mixture.
  • You can also mix the batter in a blender if you have one.

Soup Surprise with MMU Environment

We wandered into the MetMUnch kitchen this lunchtime and who did we bump into but the Manchester Met Environment Team’s very own Ailsa!

Ailsa was warming an absolutely sumptuous soup – we asked what was in it and she reeled off a list of delicious vegetables (including a munchkin, our personal favourite). What’s more, all 11 ingredients cost just 35p!! That’s just over 3p per item!

We had to get the recipe for the soup, and Ailsa kindly shared it with us. Check it out below and enjoy a hearty, cheap, and sustainable soup this weekend.

value vegetable soup by ailsa McConnachie–Folwell

Going to reduced sections in supermarkets is one of my favourite things to do. Sounds crazy, but it’s like going on an adventure – you never know what is going to be there. It’s always a surprise, and when you bag a bargain, you feel great! As a result of buying reduced goods, I’ve become a lot more creative with my cooking, as well as saving a lot of money.

A few days ago, I went into my local Sainsbury’s to find a pile of vegetables were reduced. I bought 3 carrots, a swede, an onion, a parsnip, a munchkin (mini pumpkin) and some tomatoes for only 35p. There was one thing to do with it –  make a hearty, warming, healthy, winter soup.



  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 onion
  • 1 swede
  • 1 munchkin
  • 1 large potato
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Tablespoon of mustard (I used wholegrain but any will do!)
  • 1 stock cube
  • Enough water to cover all the veg once they’re in the pan
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I used rapeseed, but any will do)


  1. Dice your onion and add to a large pan, on a medium-high heat, with the teaspoon of oil. Let the onion cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the carrot, swede, parsnip, potato, tomatoes and munchkin into chunks, roughly 1 inch. (I don’t peel my veg, I just scrub it under water) Add to the pan with the onion and give it a good stir for a minute or so.
  3. Add water to the pan – enough to just cover the vegetables. Add the stock cube and tablespoon of mustard and stir.
  4. Let the water come to a boil, then reduce the heat so the veg are simmering.
  5. After about 10 minutes, poke the veg with a knife to see if they are cooked. If they aren’t, let them simmer for 3-4 minutes longer.
  6. When everything is cooked, take off the heat. Blend the soup using a blender (or leave chunky).
  7. Season as desired and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!


  • Any vegetables can be turned into soup – I even put lettuce leaves in a soup once!
  • Peeling vegetables removes all the nutrients that are under the skin. I say leave the skins on!
  • Mustard goes really well with vegetables – it gives them a fuller flavour and adds depth to dishes like soups, stews and bakes.


Chicken Fajitas

Over the first month of the Uni year we’ve been holding a poll to find out which of our seven specially selected student-friendly recipes is the MMU Freshers’ Favourite. It was a close run thing but the winner is…


And they’re a worthy winner: easy, light, cheap – they’re a student classic. Our fajitas don’t have too many carbs, have a good source of protein in the chicken, and contain nice, fresh vegetables. If you’re a veggie, just swap the chicken for vegetarian chicken pieces, or even try kidney beans as a great protein replacement. Perfect to make when you get home from uni for yourself or your housemates.

MetMUnch student Emily shows you how to make the perfect fajitas in this recipe video, so grab your ingredients, follow her instructions and tuck in!



  • 2 peppers (in colours of your choice)
  • 2 salad tomatoes
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tblspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tblspoon low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 packet chicken / vegetarian alternative
  • 1 fajita kit



  1. Half the peppers and chop into strips.
  2. Chop tomatoes.
  3. Chop lime in half.
  4. Chicken is a high risk food so always use a fresh board or clean your chopping board before use to avoid contamination.
  5. Chop chicken into thin strips.
  6. After handling chicken wash hands thoroughly.
  7. Put oil in pan and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  8. Put chicken in pan and cook until it’s white all the way through (always ensure chicken is cooked thoroughly).
  9. When chicken is white add peppers to pan.
  10. Stir lightly and leave peppers to cook for a couple of minutes until crunchy.
  11. Add seasoning from pack (only use as much as you need and save the rest for the next time you cook fajitas).
  12. Stir in seasoning over chicken and peppers.
  13. Take fajita wraps from kit and add salad.
  14. Take 1 spoon of Greek yoghurt and spread across wrap (Greek yoghurt is lower in fat and salt and does the same job as sour cream).
  15. Place chicken and peppers in centre of wrap and cover with tomatoes.
  16. Wrap the fajita around the filling.
  17. Tuck in and enjoy!