Archive for October, 2011

Guest Blog: Life as a Gluten-Free Student

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Thanks to the power of Twitter, the lovely Saara Aziz came across and was so impressed, has written us a special Guest Blog post! Having been student herself, she understands the challenges of cooking at eating when you’re at uni – but even more so when she discovered she had to follow a gluten-free diet. There will probably some of you out there who are probably in the same situation – let her experiences and words inspire you!

‘When you tell someone you’re wheat/gluten intolerant or you have coeliac disease, you’re usually met with a blank stare. That is, until you tell them about the stuff you can’t eat such as pizza, pasta, McDonalds and beer, then that person literally embraces you in a huge sympathetic hug.

Life for those with either wheat/gluten intolerances or coeliac disease can be quite challenging, but living life as a student whilst suffering from these can be very, very difficult. Not only are you having to balance an active social life alongside your studies, you’re also trying to live independently, be more money conscious and learn to eat/cook the right foods.

Feeling crabby?

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to choose sustainable fish, says MSC’s Ruth Westcott:

‘We’ve been hearing a lot about the impacts of fishing on our oceans recently, and I think it’s easy to feel like there’s not much we can do to help – fishing is happening miles out at sea and seems to be governed by distant and complicated rules and management systems. But…


The MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) works with fisheries, scientists and the whole fishing industry to improve fishing practices and recognise fisheries which are managing stocks sustainably. The MSC ecolabel on products shows that the seafood is from fishermen/fishers that have proven they meet strict standards for sustainability based on the most rigorous international scientific understanding. There are nearly 1,000 MSC-labelled products in the UK and you can find them in supermarkets, schools, restaurants and canteens (check out how your favourite retailer is doing here.)

At the moment Germany has the most MSC products anywhere in the world (over 3000!) so if you would like to eat fish with a clear conscience and see the UK take on Germany in the sustainable fish stakes – ask for MSC-certified fish when you shop and eat out.

A brilliant recipe to try with sustainable MSC certified fish…

Surviving the cold weather – the Xing way

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Simon Long, co-founder of Xing, wrote us a Guest Blog about student food perfect for the colder weather. As someone who runs a business working with students (Xing is all about student-run smoothie bars and enterprise days in schools and colleges), he’s in a good position to share his advice, and offer a cheeky recipe too!

The new uni term unfortunately signals the end of summer. But the cold days and darker nights are the perfect opportunity to make some really simple but impressive grub for you and your housemates – if you want to score some brownie points!

Firstly, you’ll need a slow cooker. You can pick one up from Argos for about £30. It’s a big-ish one-off cost but you’ll save lots of money on ingredients. When you slow cook for hours you can use much cheaper cuts of meat such as shin of beef in this case, which would ordinarily be too tough to use. The result is a hot and hearty stew with rich deep flavours and perfectly tender meat. You don’t even have to stand over the stove whilst the magic happens.

Try this recipe…

One van, two brothers and lots of pizza!

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Today we spotted a very interesting article about two brothers – former Leeds student James Elliot and his brother Thom – who have embarked on an exciting culinary mission: to travel 2,000 miles and sell pizza out the back of a 3-wheeler Piaggio Ape van (it has a custom-made oven at the back!)

So, the lads (nicknamed as the ‘Pizza Pilgrims’) set off from Southern Italy on 10th October to begin their foodie adventure. They’re driving over 2,000 miles across the length of Italy – maximum speed of 40mph! – back to the UK, selling traditional Italian pizza served fresh from their trusty van.

James and Thom will be immersing themselves in everything Italian – culture, history, traditions…and of course, FOOD! This will be a great basis for when they return to our shores, where they aim to establish their street food business: they’ll be transforming the back of the van into a pizza oven, and taking their mobile pizza ‘shop’ to music festivals and street markets around the country.

The brothers will be filmed throughout their trip, capturing the highs, lows, dramas and amusing highlights of their ambitious food journey, and a TV series is planned for next year – we can’t wait!

So, you heard it here 1st – check them out and follow their pizza pilgrimage!
- Pizza Pilgrims website
- Pizza Pilgrims Facebook page
- Pizza Pilgrims on Twitter

Sustainability? What’s that got to do with me?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

This is a Guest Blog post from Tania, one of our presenters who features in the ‘Paint the Town Green‘ video we did at UWE – here’s her behind-the-scenes insights!

‘I’m just a regular student. Sure, I care about the environment and saving the planet and stuff, but while I’m at uni what can I do to help? So when I had to spend the day learning about sustainability, I was a little sceptical. However I learnt a fair bit about how I can improve my lifestyle and in turn, reduce my impact on the environment.

My first task of the day was to visit a farmers market, which comes to UWE Frenchay campus every first Tuesday of the month. I couldn’t believe I’d never been before! There were loads of fresh yummy produce which is locally sourced, and it’s at decent prices too. I bought some beautiful sausages, potatoes, cheese and a great little chutney to top it all off.

Eats and Treats from Rubelle

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Rubelle is an influential young food blogger who writes about ‘Wheat and Gluten-free Eats and Treats’. Our Web and Social Media Guru Pam is wheat-intolerant (gutted!) and is rather keen on baking and cooking – and gets excited about wheat-free things! So she thought, since it’s Baking Week, Rubelle would be a great person to contribute to the blog for you students – whether you eat free or not!

Here’s Rubelle’s posts from her blog – just for us! :) (Oh, and we’re mentioned as one of her ‘Loves’ – thank you!)

Studentcooking and Baking Week
Recipe: Peanut butter cookies
Recipe: Use-It-Up Vegetable Chilli
Recipe: …with Tortillas/Flatbreads

Happy (wheat-free) baking!

Follow Rubelle on Twitter @RubellesMoon

Use up those oats for Baking Week!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Say hello to Lisa, owner of the fabulous Curiositea Shop – she makes amazing cupcakes and cakes for a living! Since it’s Baking Week, we asked her for a tasty student-friendly baking recipe just for you! Here’s what she cooked up…

This recipe is from the New Students’ Veggie Cookbook which was given to me, ironically, after I graduated in 2002! Here’s a link to it on Amazon.

And here’s the recipe!


• 75g Soft Margarine
• 100g Light Brown Sugar
• 1 tbsp Golden Syrup or Honey
• 1 Large Ripe Banana, mashed
• 50g Sultanas or raisins
• 275g Porridge oats

1. Put the margarine, sugar, and syrup in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and press into a greased 7″ x 11″ baking tin.
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180*C/Gas Mark 4 for about 30 minutes or until golden brown
4. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then mark into fingers with the back of a knife. Leave until completely cold before cutting up. Store in an airtight tin.

Quick tip:
This is quite a forgiving recipe, and I often swap the sultanas for dried cranberries or currents, and you can make up the 275g porridge oats by supplementing some of the weight with other ingredients for example; a handful of sunflower seeds, the ends of packets of other cereals, crumbled Weetabix.

Enjoy! Freshers Tour ’11!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

September: the end of a long, hot summer (well, supposedly, in England) and the start of another school/college/university year – back to some hard work!

But it’s not all depressing, especially for uni students – a new term = FRESHERS! So, since we work with uni’s around the country, and as we’ve done for a few years now, we joined in!

6 of the crew – the boys: Rob, Luke and Joe, the girls: Sarah, Pam and Nicola – split into two groups and spent 2 weeks road-tripping around the UK to be part of the Freshers’ fun, spreading the love of!

Here are a few anecdotes and snippets from the Tour…

A man’s place is in the kitchen…

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

…That’s why it’s full of mess and gadgets!

So says an article in today’s ‘Lifestyle’ supplement in the Yorkshire Post – we thought we HAD to blog about this!

‘According to a new survey, 1 in 10 men believe their place is in the kitchen, as they increasingly take charge of the cooking – and the dinner parties.’

New lifestyle app Great British Chefs (check it out – it’s AWESOME!) conducted the research and found:

• 70% of men AND women said they enjoy cooking (equal)
• 1/3 men admit to kicking their partner out the kitchen when cooking a meal (probably they don’t want them to see their mess?)
• 1 in 10 men state that the kitchen is now the room they spend the most of their spare time in (because that’s where all the food is?)
• 50% of men admitted that they offer to host dinner parties and gatherings because it gives them a chance to use their fancy kitchen gadgets (showing off)
• 1 in 10 men spend over £500 a year on cooking gadgets (Londoners are likely to splash the most cash on their kitchens – 18% spend up to £1,000 a year – ouch!)
• 74% of men own a hand-blender or milk frother (but do they actually USE them?)

So, as a male or female, what are your thoughts? Here in the office we sort of agree this is becoming the case: the lads are (mostly!) keen cooks, fancying themselves as Jamie Olivers, and think they can cook a better meal than their girlfriends…

…While the girls, as much as they enjoy cooking, feel their other halves sometimes dominate the kitchen and get all bossy – not that we complain though! As long as they do the washing up afterwards ;)

What would your ‘last supper’ be?

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

‘Every prisoner waiting to be executed is granted a last meal…’ What would yours be?

This is not a question the average person thinks about – mainly because this is not an average situation.

However surely you’ve thought about, or been asked what would your last meal be if you knew it’d be your last. We know it’s not the nicest thing to think about, but this very intriguing website/project – ‘Last Meals Project’ – caught our eye…

So, check this out for some interesting reading (from criminal minds), and think about what YOUR ‘last meal’ would be.

We asked our lot and here’s what they said…