Student Meals – Budget Friendly Vegan Winter Warmers

The dark nights are setting in, Fresher’s Flu has taken a hold and the reality of not being able to afford to live off takeaways has hit. What better way to take the edge off the chill and warm up with these easy, filling, healthy – and most importantly cheap – vegan dishes.

All of these dishes will stay fresh for 3 – 4 days in the fridge, so you can batch cook and have meals ready to go for dinner and lunch the next day. You can also freeze all these dishes for up to 4 weeks, so you have meals ready to go when your student loan is dwindling and you just can’t be bothered to cook.


Hearty Smoky Lentil and Potato Stew

Carb heaven. This dish is perfect to line your stomach before a heavy night at Cosmic Ballroom.

(Serves 4)


500G white potato or sweet potato
1 x can of red lentils
1 x can of chopped tomato
250ml Water
2 x vegetable stock cubes
1 x tablespoon tomato paste
2 x garlic gloves
1 x medium white onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 x teaspoon smoked paprika
1 x teaspoon mixed Italian herbs

1) Peel and chop your potatoes of choice into bite sized chunks whilst bringing a pan of water to a boil. Parboil the potatoes, this should take around 7-10 minutes. Test the potatoes by piercing one with a fork, it should still be quite firm whilst allowing a fork to pass through it without breaking the potato up.
2) Whilst the potatoes are boiling, dice your onion and garlic cloves, in the meantime heating oil up in a frying pan on a low to medium heat. Fry your onion and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent. This should normally take around 5 – 7 minutes, be mindful of the temperature to avoid burning the garlic.
3) Once the onions and garlic are soft, add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir.
4) Drain the tin of lentils and add to the pan, also add the tin of chopped tomatoes at this point. Once the tin of tomatoes has been added, fill the tin ¾ full with water and add to the pan. Now add in 2 vegetable stock cubes. Allow this to come to a boil on a higher heat then turn down and simmer on a low heat.
5) Once the pan is simmering, add the parboiled potatoes.
6) At this point, you should add in the smoked paprika and mixed Italian herbs.
7) Let simmer on the stove for around 20 – 25 minutes, then serve up!


An easy way to get some extra veggies and vitamins into this dish would be to add some grated carrot, or some frozen cauliflower or frozen peas when adding the tinned tomatoes. Like it spicy? Add some dried chilli flakes – a cheaper alternative to fresh chillies but they still pack a punch.


Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

A perfect hot lunch staple after a morning in lectures. This dish can be enjoyed hot with a chunk of bread, or also enjoyed cold as a dip with crisps at pre drinks (you’ll need to add less water for this option). If you leave out the water and stock cubes, you’ve also got a simple but delicious pasta sauce.

(Serves 3 – 4)


800 grams tomatoes
3 x red bell peppers
3 x garlic cloves
1 x large white onion
2 x vegetable stock cubes
300ml – 500 ml of water
Salt & pepper to taste Dried basil and oregano Optional: Tabasco sauce or smoked paprika

1) Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Chop and deseed the red bell peppers into large chunks, also chop the onion into large chunks.
2) Place the tomatoes, peppers, garlic cloves and onion in a large baking tray. Drizzle with a generous amount of oil of your choice.
3) Roast in the oven for around 35 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and sweet.
4) Once the vegetables are roasted put them into a large pot on medium heat. Make sure to squeeze the garlic out of their skins. Add 300 ml to 500ml of water. If you want a thicker consistency, add less water.
5) Add two stock cubes and bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer.
6) Cook for around 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
7) Blend until the soup is at your preferred consistency.


For a smoky kick, add either a dash of Tabasco sauce or a teaspoon of smoked paprika whilst the soup is simmering.

Mediterranean Butter Bean Stew

Packed full of vegetables, this protein rich stew is sure to help fight the dreaded Fresher’s Flu, and goes well with couscous or brown rice which you can batch prepare then reheat during the week – make sure the rice is piping hot when reheating.

Serves 3 – 4


1 x tin of butter beans (you could also use chickpeas or cannellini beans)
1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x courgette
1 x carrot
1 x white onion
1 x red pepper 200g mushrooms
2 handfuls of spinach
2 x garlic cloves
Mixed Italian herbs Salt and pepper to taste.

1) Start by chopping the onion and garlic into small chunks whilst heating some oil up in a frying pan. Once chopped, sauté until translucent.
2) Chop up the courgette, carrot, mushroom and red pepper into small pieces, and add to the pan. Sauté for around 10 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
3) Drain the tin of butter beans and add to the vegetables, then pour in the tinned tomatoes.
4) Fill the tin of tomatoes up ¾ full with water and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer.
5) Simmer for around 20 minutes then add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add in your choice of herbs, I’d recommend some mixed Italian herbs.


If you’d like a smoky flavour, add a teaspoon of smoked paprika.


Chilli sin Carne

A meatless twist on the family classic chilli con carne. Goes perfectly with some corn chips and avocado for a lighter lunch, or some brown rice for a filling dinner.

Serves 4


1 x tin of kidney beans
1 x tin of sweetcorn
1 x tin of lentils
1 x large white onion
1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x tablespoon tomato paste
3 x garlic cloves
2 x Vegetable stock cubes
Chilli powder Paprika

1) Heat some oil up in the pan on a low to medium heat whilst dicing the garlic and onion. Once diced, sauté on a medium heat the ingredients in the pan for around 5 minutes until translucent.
2) Add a tablespoon of tomato paste then drain the lentils, kidney beans and sweetcorn. Add these into the pan and mix for a couple of minutes until heated through and covered in the tomato paste.
3) Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes then fill the tin ¾ full with water and add to the mixture. Now add in the vegetable stock cubes and stir until dissolved.
4) Add a teaspoon of chilli and a teaspoon of paprika powder, you can adjust the amounts to suit your tastes. You could use chilli powder or 2 fresh deseeded chillies for this recipe.
5) Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 25 – 30 minutes stirring occasionally.


Easy Daal

3 x garlic cloves
1 x large white onion
500g red lentils
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin

1) Put 500g dried red lentils into a pan of cold water, enough to come up around 2 inches above the lentils. Bring the water to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
2) Dice the garlic cloves and the onion, whilst heating up some oil or butter in another pan. Fry the onions and garlic on a medium heat until it is translucent.
3) Turn the heat down to a low setting, and add your spices to suit your taste. I recommend around a teaspoon of garam masala, cumin, chilli and ground coriander.
4) Once this has been mixed, remove the pan of onions and garlic from the heat.
5) Allow around 25 – 30 minutes for the lentils to cook, adding water when needed before adding the onion mixture. 6) Add salt and pepper to your taste.


Add some fresh coriander to the top, and enjoy with a side of basmati rice or naan.