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Seven Simple Meals Better than a Kebab


The kebab may seem like the easy choice, and the most delicious. Save your pounds, save your calories, check out these simple meals from David Lifton, and step away from the donor counter.

Most of us do it at least once in our lives, and some of us do it regularly. We find ourselves craving carbs and there, in the late night or the post-school haze, the bright lights and tasty smells of the kebab shop lure us in.

The problem with fast food outlets is that they can almost double the amount of money you might aim to spend on a night out. Shops vary, but from the main take-aways in Bristol’s city centre you’ll be expecting to pay a tenner for a 12-inch pizza, a fiver for a kebab and about three quid for a tub of cheesy chips.

If you’re the kind of person who goes out every weekend, over a month you could be saving £20 by ditching kebabs for other alternatives. I’ve chosen these recipes because they’re cheap, they’re relatively easy to make and their taste will challenge your cravings for fast carbs.

With the meals, they’ll require a bit of pre-night out preparation; but you’ll thank yourself when you get up in the morning and see no 12-inch pizza boxes. It’s important to point out that these meals also double up as meals to see you through the week, making food time really quick and convenient for you.

Pesto-y Cheese Toasties

This classic is so easy to make and you can adapt it as you please. You toast two pieces of bread, spread some margarine over the top, layer cheese and pesto and put the two slices together, or you can buy toaster pocket: a plastic jacket that allows you to toast the entire thing (make sure you butter both sides of your slices of bread to stop them from drying out).

It’s well worth buying these pockets; they’re an invaluable tool for late night snacks, giving you a far superior taste.

Flatbread Pizza

(Pre-prepare and microwave) Ignore the pizzeria on the corner when you leave the club. Squeeze half of a tube of tomato puree into a bowl and mix with a couple of tablespoons of water. Add diced garlic, onions, peppers and mushrooms and leave in the fridge. When you return from your night out, take three pitta breads, microwave the tomato mixture for seven minutes and spread it over them. Scatter grated cheese and any Italian herbs you might have to finish.

Baked Bean Chilli

A perfect meal if you’ve brought people home with you.

(Pre-prepare and microwave) Baked beans work really well in chilli because you’ve already got the tomato sauce. Take a tin of beans, kidney beans, sweetcorn, a chopped clove of garlic, paprika and some hot chilli powder (or whatever hot spices you have) and throw them all into a small pan. Stir over a medium heat for three minutes and then let it simmer for another six.

Cold Chicken Wrap

Most halls and fridges will have cooked chicken in them (make sure it’s still in date!) Open out a couple of fajita wraps, spread over a decent amount of mayonnaise, take your chicken pieces, some salad leaves, cheese, fresh peppers and whatever other vegetables you can find and layer them over the top. Roll the wraps up and tuck in.

Easy Sausage Pasta

(Pre-prepare and microwave) Pour a tin of tomato soup into a pan and simmer on a low heat. Slice up some left-over sausages, garlic and spinach. Mix these ingredients in with the soup and start boiling pasta. Cover the soup pan with a lid and leave to simmer for ten minutes. Once it starts to bubble, take the sauce off of the hob and serve with the pasta, garnishing with grated cheese and herbs.

Not-Quite-Cheese Cake

Most of the time we crave savoury foods for their bulk, but I’ve had a sweet tooth in the past and sometimes pasta and toast don’t quite satisfy. This recipe sounds like it needs a lot of time, but it’ll take less than two minutes.

Break up a handful of biscuits roughly and place them into a bowl. Take a carton of natural yoghurt, mix it with any kind of jams or spreads (my favourite is lemon curd but strawberry jam would work just as well) and pour over the base. Finally, scatter any fresh fruit you might have in your fridge over the top. Drizzle honey to finish before chomping your way through this perfect, light snack.

Hearty No-Cook Porridge

To beat that kebab, you might want something hearty and healthy. If you’re stumbling into your house at 4 o’clock in the morning (which happens on a regular basis for me) then is there really any problem in having breakfast?

Porridge is the king of cereals. Born in Scotland, it’s no wonder this tough cereal has survived the centuries – yet, unlike other traditional meals it’s so simple to create.

Place a couple of handfuls of oats into a glass jug. Fill the kettle with water and boil, add a cup of milk to the oats and then pour over 50ml of hot water. You can add more milk if you like your porridge less firm. Finish by adding banana or other fruit and drizzling honey over the top.

Sounds delicious right? Now you’ve stepped away from the donor counter and you’re thinking about your body, do share any recipes with us…