School’s in, Meat’s out: Feel healthier and save your student loan by going veggie

I THINK we can all agree that one of the things we miss most when going to uni is home cooked meals. The roast dinners, the fish pie, the spaghetti bolognaise. The meat. Ah, the meat.

As you can see, meat and fish are currently missing in my life. When at King’s, I’m a part-time veggie. Or, as experts have called it, I’m a ‘flexitarian’ (and yes, this word is actually in the dictionary now).

Since I’ve been back this year, I can count the amount of times I’ve bought a piece of meat or fish on one hand. The reason? It’s just too damn expensive.

According to a recent report by Prestige Purchasing (food suppliers to the restaurant trade in the UK) meat prices have risen by 5.2 percent and are set to continue rising each year at least till 2018.

With the figures looking this grim, I figured I had to come up with an alternative. It was either buy cheap processed meat to satisfy my cravings (that could end up being horse, cat or dog), or cut it out completely.

By cutting out meat from my shop, I’ve begun to save a weekly average of £5 to £10. With careful planning, I discovered that I could eat healthily for just £20 each week.

Ok, so my weekly shop mainly consists of rice, pasta, beans and, of course, lots and lots of vegetables, which looks a bit boring.

However, sticking to veg has made me experiment more with cooking, and, weirdly enough, I’m beginning to enjoy it.

My flexitarian craze isn’t just about money though. I also found that swapping meat for vegetables made cooking easier and my diet healthier.

A recent survey of 11, 000 students by nutritionist and weight loss company Herbalife Ltd, revealed that 90 percent of UK students, like us, are already taking steps to become healthier.

Niamh Higgins-Lavery, a second year student at King’s who has recently turned vegan, said:

“I think it’s great that some students eat less meat while at university. Not only is this much healthier, and cheaper, but reducing the amount of meat you eat by even a small amount has a massive environmental impact”.

Now I’m not saying that I won’t devour the roast chicken when I go home this reading week, but I’ve decided; it’s not so bad being a part-time veggie.

If you want to give this flexitarian business a go this week, then try your hand at this recipe. It’s one of my personal favourites. Enjoy!

Veggie Rice Stir-Fry for 1

Price per serving: £1.60

Ingredients: ½ a cup of brown rice, 1 pepper, handful of broccoli, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic,1/2 tin of kidney beans, teaspoon of crushed chillies, teaspoon of cumin, dash of dark soy sauce.

Method

1) Boil the rice for 18-20 mins.

2) Fry diced onions, garlic, chillies and cumin in a hot pan with a tablespoon of oil.

3) Add soy sauce and simmer for 1 min

4) Add chopped peppers and broccoli. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add kidney beans.

5) Drain rice, add to the veg, and stir. You’re ready to go.

Note: I’ve used broccoli and peppers here because it was what I had in (and they’re cheap). However, most veg works (mushrooms are also great) so don’t be afraid to experiment.

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