3 Super Easy Meal Ideas

Sometimes, making dinner is fun and it’s nice to put some effort in, but often it’s just a chore that needs doing. When it comes to exam time, or a particularly busy period, or just a long day, thinking about dinner is not what you want to do. But these three meals are all perfect for a lazy night, and completely adaptable. They’re literally only a couple of steps each, and all done in under half an hour. (Perfect for the student life.)


Pasta and Greens

Everyone knows how to cook macaroni, right? This recipe has very few ingredients:

  • Macaroni (or any other pasta, let’s be real)
  • Collard greens (otherwise known as spring or winter greens), just to add some veg
  • Butter or garlic & oil to cook the greens with
  • Philadelphia/other cream cheese

Step one: put the macaroni on to cook. Step two: cook the greens in a pan. Step three: when all is cooked, stir in the philadelphia and pasta with the greens until the cheese is melted. Et voilà! You can switch it up and use different flavoured cheeses too, as there’s that whole Philadelphia range now. My personal favourites are the original, the sweet chilli, and the garlic/herb.

This meal is just super easy for those brain-dead nights, which is why it’s one of my favourites. We always have greens, pasta, and Philadelphia in the fridge, so it’s perfect.


Cheat’s Pizza

If you’re like me and don’t eat meat, but you really fancy something that isn’t a plain old Margherita and really don’t want to make one from scratch, here’s the cheat’s way out – because it can be quite hard to find something in a supermarket sometimes, and this is much cheaper than getting a takeaway.

Buy a basic pizza, take it home, and before you put it in the oven, spruce it up a bit with whatever you have in the salad drawer or in the cupboard. I personally like to add some spinach (who needs a knife, just rip that stuff up and sprinkle it on), maybe some tuna, you could even put an egg in the middle if you want, to make it all Florentine. Do whatever. Go freestyle. Have fun. And done.


Halloumi Wraps

I love these. All you need are:

  • Some standard wraps
  • A pack of halloumi cheese
  • Some salad
  • Salad cream or houmous (or whatever condiment you like)
  • A griddle/grill pan

Just shove the sliced halloumi in an oiled griddle until it’s browned (this will likely get very smoky, you might want to open a window), then assemble your wrap!

This is extremely versatile; I often use bistro salad, houmous, spring onion, sometimes normal onion or whatever to put in my wrap alongside the halloumi, but you can honestly use anything in the salad drawer. Anything at all. Peppers. Cucumber. Spinach. Beetroot. Anything will do with halloumi, just try it! It will probably take you about five minutes to cook the halloumi and, what, two minutes to assemble the wrap? That’s definitely what I call an easy dinner.

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Reflecting

I have just six days left at my school.

It’s a weird thought at this point, to have been in the same place for seven years and to only have six days left. It doesn’t actually feel like it’s happening, but I’ll only be coming back in for four exams, and a results day after next Friday.

Goodness only knows I’ve been waiting for this moment for far too long, but only because I’m a bit impatient sometimes. In reality, I’ve done everything on track. I think it’ll be weird to finally leave my school. It’s the place I found my real friendships, the place I found a lot of opportunities, and the place I grew into the person I am today. And I don’t think there’s a whole lot I’d change, all things considered.

Over the years at this school, I’ve had some really bad haircuts. I’ve had a lot of injuries, and a lot of arguments. I’ve accidentally lost a lot of weight and had to try to get it back. I’ve been on school trips to the Isle of Wight, Dorset, Norfolk, Paris, Normandy, Iceland. I’ve been published in a major science journal. I’ve been ill a lot of times. I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve grown about five inches. I’ve learned about history stretching from AD900 to 1991. I’ve learned more about rivers than I ever even wanted to know. I’ve cried, laughed, yawned, run, cried and laughed again more times than I could possibly count. I’ve spent weeks creating a digital app, got a Bronze CREST award for an essay, dressed up in weird clothing to do sponsored walks around the park, helped my friends get into and blow up sumo suits in our form room. I’ve been in the local newspaper. Joined a youth council and interviewed an MP. Written for a website (not my blog, another thing). I spent six months straight not having even one day wholly at home.

So yeah, I’m not gonna lie about it. It’ll be weird to leave. I’m not sure I’ll miss being here, in the sense that I’ve worked for so long with the goal of leaving, but I always say I’ll miss people, rather than the places. I’m grateful for the experiences, no doubt about it. Sometimes, I think my mum would have rather sent me to a different school, one that was a bit more up there in the local rankings, but I didn’t want to when I was 11, and I haven’t changed my mind. I know that my school is where I should have been, and now it’s where I should be leaving.

It’s nice to take a step back for a moment and think about all I’ve achieved in the seven years I’ve been here. I may only have six days left, but it is definitely time for it.

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Summer Envy

If I had the chance, I’d definitely live somewhere with more sun. Living in England has its perks – London, the history, the scenery – but as someone who constantly craves Vitamin D, it’s not the best. I’m not sure for how long I’d live somewhere else… I’ve always thought about living in New York for a time (not that I think that’s any sunnier than here, it’s just an amazing city I’d love to experience), but not indefinitely.

It’s days like these (23 degrees plus) that I love. The feeling of not shivering is very freeing. If I could spend all my days dressing in shorts and t-shirts, strappy (tank, if you’re anything other than English) tops and skirts, and little dresses, I definitely would. Although, having said that, I do appreciate a comfy jeans-and-jumper day. But not as much.

I get the feeling I’m just eternally pale, though. A couple of years ago I spent a month straight in Florida – the sunshine state – and got no darker. #Bonewhiteforever.

When people upload pictures online of their eternally-sunny country, I sit there and envy them. Faced with the prospect of a cloudy day in England 99% of the time, when there eventually is a sunny day, it makes even getting out of bed 100% easier.

It was amusing when me and my friends were deciding on where to go for our post-exams week away, and one of them suggested somewhere slightly north of us. I objected profusely. I am not going somewhere cold as soon as summer hits.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I’ll never visit colder places – Iceland was one of the best trips of my life. I’d love to go back there, especially when it’s a little colder actually, because there wasn’t all that much snow in October. The pictures of Iceland when it’s January/February sort of time are stunning, just because of the complete blanketing of snow and ice.

Back on the summer envy though, the colours are so much nicer when it’s sunny. Anyone else noticed that? Compare two different pictures of the exact same place, one from a cloudy day and one from a sunny day, and the sunny day picture just looks infinitely… happier, I guess. There are very few exceptions to that general rule, and I think that’s only because some places in England are just so eternally damp that to see them dry counts as plain weird. But even university prospectuses make use of this little trick – they all only use pictures of the university buildings at their best and brightest on a sunny day, to make it look more appealing. The grass looks greener, the rooms lighter… the list goes on.

When I eventually move out of my home (after uni), I’d love to go somewhere where, even if I’m still in England, the rooms are brighter and more open. I think open plan is really nice, though my mum’s not such a fan, just because it lets the light travel unobstructed through the place. Walls just make a place dark.

But yeah. That’s this weekend’s thought, anyway. Well, that and the idea that in three or four years’ time, it’ll be my first summer where I won’t be facing the prospect of exams, and so won’t have to spend all day on nice days stuck inside just so I can see my laptop screen. That time will come eventually, I’m sure. *harumph*

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