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Quick stress-free veggie recipes for deadline season!

Just wanted to start this off by saying well done for all the hard work you’re all putting into this year, as deadline season is in our midst just wanted to say you have got this and it’s the final push before Christmas! I wanted to create this light-hearted post with some easy go-to recipes for when you’re feeling stressed and need a distraction by cooking or a quick meal for when writer’s block hits! And to provide other options to give you a break from that much-loved pesto pasta!

Here are just a few general cooking tips:

1. I think first and foremost its important when stressed to listen to your body and how you are feeling, so cook what you want in that moment. Try your best to make a meal balanced but if it isn’t, it is not the end of the world, in the wise words of one of my good friends, ‘sometimes when you want a burger, you just need a burger!’

2. Also, on this note, if I look at a meal and think its lacking in being balanced my best bet is to just whack on some vegetables, whatever you have in the fridge will be fine, have some rice on the side and finish off with a sprinkle of spinach (it makes any meal look put together!).

3. Most importantly, it does not matter if you are not a perfect cook, as long as you’re cooking and providing your body that much needed nourishment and energy to get the brain working then you’re doing a brilliant job

4. If you and your housemates, friends, or course mates happen to be free on a day you can also make this a procrastination activity for all of you and maybe suggest group cooking by having a theme, or each preparing a course – whatever works for you

5. Feel free to make extra whenever you cook, either for a meal the next day or in the week, as when deadlines are coming in thick and fast, pre-prepared meal prep will be your best friend – or even for your lunch for that much loved library studying session

These recipes are going to be veggie/vegan (as I’m a veggie and attempting to go vegan!) but feel free to adapt the recipes for how you like them or just feel free to experiment! Most of these are either from the ‘Broke Vegan’ or ‘Bosh’ cook book which I would really recommend for quick and easy veggie/vegan meals.

1.) Chilli Non-Carne / Burritos

Ingredients: - this should make you some extra but adapt the recipe accordingly 😊

- Splash of oil

- Handful of mushrooms (finely chopped) chestnut is recommended but any will do

- 1 onion (finely

- 1 celery stick (finely chopped)

- 1-2 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)

- 1 chilli – or chilli powder/flakes

-1tsp of cumin

-1tsp of coriander

- 1/2tsp of paprika

-1tbsp of vegan bullion powder – or can use normal stock cube

- 1tsp caster sugar

- 1x400g chopped tomatoes or passata

- 1x400g kidney beans

- Salt and pepper

-Rice to serve


1.In medium size saucepan heat the oil over a high heat.

2.Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes until golden.

3.Add the onion and celery and cook for a further 10 mins until translucent and soft.

4.Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute, then add the ground spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

5.Add the bullion powder, sugar and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 10-15 mins until the sauce has begun to reduce.

6.Add the beans and cook for a further 10 mins, then taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

7.Serve with rice and enjoy!

2.) Fajitas


-Splash of oil

- 1 onion (finely chopped)

- 1-2 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)

-1 red pepper – or whichever colour you prefer

- Any other vegetables you have to whack in e.g., sweet potato/sweetcorn

- Fajita seasoning – which you can get very cheap at any supermarket

-Sprinkle of ground cumin and paprika

-1tsp of caster sugar

-1 tin of kidney beans

-Optionally can be served with salsa, boiled rice, guacamole etc.

-2 tortilla wraps


1.)Heat some oil in a frying pan and put in the onion and garlic until translucent.

2.)Cut the peppers in half, cut out the stems and seeds, slice the flesh into strips and add them to the pan.

3.) Sprinkle over the sugar and a sprinkle of salt.

4.) Sprinkle in the fajita seasoning and the other spices and cook off until fragrant.

5.) Reduce the heat a little and cook for approximately 20 mins, stirring regularly, until the peppers (and any other veg) have softened.

6.) Drain the kidney beans and then stir them into the fajita mix (or serve them separately if you prefer) and cook them off for about 10-15 mins.

7.) Heat your tortillas and then serve your fajitas as you like!

3.) Sweet potato and lentil curry


- About a handful of red lentils rinsed

-Splash of oil

-1-2 sweet potatoes – peeled and diced

- 1 onion (finely chopped)

-1-2 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)

-Ginger – can get fresh ginger and use about 3-5cm or I just use the ginger paste which is cheaper and longer lasting and do a little squeeze of that

- Curry powder/seasoning – could use normal curry powder or I use a blend of ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric and a sprinkle of paprika

- About 250ml coconut milk

- About 250ml of vegetable stock

- Couple of handfuls of fresh spinach


1.) Heat oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat.

2.) When heated, added the onion and sweet potato and stir frequently for about 5 mins until the onion browns.

3.) Add the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant (approximately 1 minute).

4.) Stir in the spices and continue stirring to prevent this from sticking and burning. You can add a couple tablespoons of the vegetable stock at this point to unstick where necessary.

5.) Stir in the coconut milk and remaining vegetable stock and the red lentils. Place the lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil and then a gentle simmer for about 15 mins, until the liquid has reduced, and the potato has softened. Stir every now and then to make sure nothing has stuck. Then remove the lid and put in the spinach.

6.) Serve with boiled rice, or a microwave pilau rice or even treat yourself to a naan!

4.) Mushroom and Cauliflower Spaghetti Bolognese


- Splash of oil

- Handful of mushrooms – would recommend chestnut but any kind is fine (finely chopped)

- A couple florets of cauliflower

- 1 onion

- 1 carrot – optional (peeled and finely chopped)

- 1 celery stick – optional (peeled and finely chopped)

- 1-2 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)

- A squeeze of tomato puree

- About half a tin of chopped tomatoes or passata

- About 250ml of vegetable stock

- 1tsp balsamic vinegar

- A serving of cooked spaghetti – or whichever type of pasta you prefer


1.) Heat the oil in the pan. If you have a food processor then blitz the mushrooms until finely chopped but if you do not, finely cutting them by hand is fine. Then cook in the pan until golden.

2.) Similarly, blitz the cauliflower after as well, but if not just finely chop and then set aside.

3.) Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 10mins until softened. Add the garlic until fragrant.

4.) Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes or passata and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20mins until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

5.) Add the cauliflower and cook for 10 mins.

6.) Add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper and serve with your pasta of choice

5.) Lentil and Vegetable Casserole – taken from my mum’s own cookbook!


- Splash of oil

- 1 onion

- 1-2 cloves of garlic

- Any of your fave veg e.g., carrots, sweet potato, cauliflower, peas – literally anything you have just chuck in

- Squeeze of tomato puree

- Half a jar of passata

- 500ml vegetable stock


1.) Lentils of choice – I would recommend red split lentils, pearl barley or the lentil soup mix .

2.) Heat the oil in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry lightly in the pan until golden.

3.) Add any of the vegetables you like.

4.) Add tomato puree (or even ketchup if you do not have puree) and the passata.

5.) Add the vegetable stock – you will need quite a bit for the lentils.

6.) Add the lentils and herbs and as the water gets absorbed, this should become a thicker consistency, almost soup like.

7.) Once the lentils are softened, approximately 20 mins making sure to stir every now and then, you are good to go.

6.) Banana pancakes

- 1 large banana

- 100ml dairy-free milk

- 75g porridge oats

- Maple syrup to serve – optional


1.) Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. The batter should be quite thick.

2.) Preheat a frying pan over a medium-low heat with either oil or some butter.

3.) Add a couple of spoonfuls of batter into the pan (going for American pancakes sort of size and consistency).

4.) Cook each pancake for 2-3mins, turning once, until slightly golden on both sides and cooked through.

5.) Serve with any leftover banana and maple syrup

These are only a small selection of ideas to hopefully give you inspiration and get you into the swing of cooking.

Happy cooking! And as always if you are feeling stressed or need someone to talk to, Nightline is here from 8pm to 8am (look at the back of your student card for our number) 😊


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