I am many things but a chef is not among them.
Nevertheless since I'm moved out of home I had to figure out how to cook healthily and as an eternally broke student relatively cheap and efficiently all the while using the least amount of dishes (cause you gotta wash all that up later as well, you know what I'm saying), and I'm going to impart some of that knowledge on you today.
Some of these recipes may seem a bit more complex to you, but don't click off just yet, just believe me, if I managed to do them successfully, you should be fine, plus I'll be providing a step by step manual.

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1 chilli

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you literally just have to open cans for this one and it will last you two days (unless you eat it for lunch and dinner which I did today)

you need:

kidney beans
olives (black)
tomatoes (chopped, sieved or even fresh doesn't matter, though sieved usually takes more spices)
corn
chick peas (if ya fancy)
garlic and onions (if ya fancy)
spices

  • just open the lids slightly, tip the liquids out and pour water in which you then tip out again, tada the contents of the cans are cleaned without you having used any pots or anything
  • if you want to you can cut the onion and garlic clove(s depending on whether you plan on seducing anyone that day) and roast them with a bit of oil in the pot you're going to use to warm the rest
  • after you've boiled the onions and garlic you need to poor a tiny bit of water over them, so that the rest won't scorch (it will sizzle frightingly loud for a second but don't worry about that)
  • now you pour the tomatoes (then pour a bit of water in the can, swirl it a little and pour again, to completely empty the can) and the rest of the cans into the pot
  • you can pour the olives in the bowl you're going to use and cut them in halves but it's not strictly necessary
  • now add some spices, I always use salt, pepper, garlic and chilli, but you know, just let your inner Remi out

if you want to change this recipe up a little or are in the mood for something more complex, you can make tortillas out of this by adding iceberg salad, tortilla chips and vegan cheese and rolling all of this into tortillas

2 summer rolls

most of you know spring rolls, but do you also know their tasty cousins summer rolls?

you need:

rice paper (you can get this and some of the other itmes at your local asia market or sometimes even at the super market)
glass noodles
soy sauce
almond or soy milk
peanut butter or pulp (pulp is pricier but can be used for other meals as well)
literally any vegetables you still have in the house (great leftover meal), though I can recommend mushrooms, carrots, soybean sprouts and string beans

  • you cook any of the vegetables that need to be cooked (in my case only the string beans) and slice the others (carrots are good as thin slabs)
  • now you put some of the peanut butter some of the milk into a bowl and stir until it's no longer two liquids but one sauce, tada saté sauce
  • you cook the glass noodles, but don't pour the water out!
  • now you take the rice paper and soak it in the warm water from the glass noodles until it's soft enough to fold
  • put anything you want in there and fold it neatly, bon appétit

3 string beans curry

you need:

curry powder (not that cheap, but you only need a spoonful each meal, so it lasts for a while)
tomatoes (again, doesn't matter if fresh or chopped or whatever)
tomato paste
string beans (maybe you still have some from the spring rolls or vice versa)
onions and garlic
peanut butter or pulp (see)
real peanuts if you want to, but I never used them in this recipe

  • roast the sliced onion and the garlic cloves in some water at the bottom of the pot you're going to use/ the pan, this makes them sort of glassy and soft
  • put some tomato paste on top and stir
  • cut the string beans in smaller pieces after having boiled them
  • pour everything (the tomatoes, the string beans and the peanut butter) in and stir
  • now put a tea spoon of curry powder and some other spices (like garam masala, salt and pepper) in there and you're done
  • I recommend you eat some bread with this, depending on how spicy your curry is, plus the meal itself admittedly isn't too much of a substantial dish

4 red lentils "steak" (sandwiches)

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last time I made these I had approximately a week to eat from them because I made so many, so maybe be gentle with the quantities

you need:

250 g of red lentils (sometimes you have to let these soak over night, so make sure you buy the ones where you don't have to do that)
onions (and garlic (can you notice a trend here?))
cornflakes
vegetable broth
spices (kala namak and garam masala taste really good in this, but they're not super easy to get by (I just have a room mate who is really into cooking), so you can just take salt and pepper)
(toast or any bread)
(vegan mayonnaise)

  • cook the lentils in the vegetable broth and then let them soak on a lower heat for 15 minutes
  • if there is almost no water left, put them in a bowl
  • cut the onion into the bowl as well and pour the spices in there
  • if you have a blender (which I don't), use that, otherwise a fork will do just fine and mash all of that together
  • take some cornflakes and crumble them on a plate
  • now take two spoons and form little balls of lentil mash with them
  • take the ball and smah it onto the cornflakes, press it flat and then turn it around with a spatula, so that the other side is full of cornflakes as well (this sounds strange, but it actually tastes really good)
  • roast in a pan with a bit of oil, not too long or it will burn
  • might turn out to be a bit crumbly (it did for me), but nevertheless tasty
  • now you can eat it like that, with a bit of vegan mayonnaise or on some bread
  • can be eaten cold too (it's even less crumbly then)

5 pasta with creamy sweet pepper sauce

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you need:

pasta made from durum wheat (basically just vegan pasta which is most of it, I can recommend spagetthi for this recipe)
sweet pepper
onion and garlic (oh my god, I never noticed, I'm so anti-vampires)
peanut butter or pulp (see, I told you, you can use it in other meals)
soy or almond milk

  • slice the sweet pepper and the onions (2), the pieces can be bigger than you think, peel the garlic cloves (as many as you want)
  • put them in a casserole dish with a bit of oil and let them "cook" in the oven for twenty minutes/ until they're slightly brown and soft
  • boil the pasta (best with salt and some olive oil), if you can smack a spagetthi to the wall and it sticks, it's done
  • when the vegetables are done, put some peanut pulp, some spices (chilli or paprika are really good for this one) and some milk in a bowl with them and mash them (this works better with an actual blender)
  • now pour the decanted spagetthi into the bowl or vice versa, but do put them together, so the pasta can soak in the sauce, voilà

6 mushroom risotto

you need:

125 g of rice (risotto rice specifically, but the first time I didn't realize that and it still worked fine, so you can probably just take normal rice as well)
an onion and garlic (oh my god, I'm a tiny bit ashamed, but I have good mouth wash)
1-2 spoons of vegan butter (but you can totally use oil as well)
mushrooms
soy sauce
coconut milk
vegetable broth
(you can put white wine and yeast flakes (supposedly taste like Parmesan) in there as well, both of which I haven't actually tried in this recipe yet, so...)

  • roast the sliced onion and garlic cloves in some oil/vegan butter on the bottom of the pot you're going to use to boil the rice
  • pour the rice in and stir, roast for a minute or two
  • deglaze with the white wine or simply with some vegetable broth (the quantity doesn't reaaally matter, you'd be surprised how much liquid rice can take up)
  • let it cook for approximately 15 minutes all the while pouring the coconut milk in there as well
  • simultaneously or afterwards, doesn't really matter, you slice up the mushrooms and then roast them with soy sauce instead of oil
  • done, just mix the two and add some pepper and salt, as well as if you have them yeast flakes
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me right now

that's it, I never had this much trouble finding fitting pictures (I settled for memes in the end, as you can probs tell) and I had to look up half of these culinary terms, so I really hope you liked the recipes and feel like trying some of them out
if you are really, really helpless, these recipes actually add up to a meal schedule for a whole week
also let me know if you'd be interested in more articles like this (depending on how well this does, I might do one on vegan breakfast or dinner foods or budgeting for dumbasses)

note: the last four are actually from German cooking blogs, so I hope I haven't infringed any copyrights, but I have slightly altered them, so I guess not? message me, if you want the links

a pro tip from me is to go on pinterest and just search for recipes, especially if you have leftovers that you want to use, that's how I found most of these

check out my other articles: