I found this cookbook during reading week in Waterstones, and I needed it so badly in my life I didn’t even wait to buy it off Amazon. I decided I would cook veggie for myself once I went to uni because it makes my food shops dirt cheap and forces me to eat relatively healthy food. As much as I would like to say my main goal when starting uni was related to my course, or about making new friends, in reality it was simply ‘do not get obese’. For all you meat-eaters, this cookbook is a sequel to ‘Nosh for Students’ and I’m fairly certain they share the same layout and tips, just different recipes.
The main thing I love about this book are the ingredients. I’ve had student cookbooks before where the recipe column goes something like ‘1-2 tbsps hemp or poppy seeds, thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, 1 punnet mustard cress, a dash of red wine’. Whoever writes these student cookbooks have clearly never met any students, and have clearly never been to Aldi. Vegetarian nosh for students knows you want more than a pot noodle, but it also knows that dried mixed herbs, tins of chopped tomatoes and curry paste are your dear friends. All recipes are also measured out in things that you will already have, like tablespoons, a mug or a teaspoon as it understands few student flats/houses will own scales.
Another great thing about this cookbook are the pages at the beginning that fill you in on general cooking skills and know-how. Granted, some of them are slightly patronizing – if you’ve gotten to the age of 18 without knowing how to cook pasta you need to re-assess your life. However most of them are really helpful for students who are new to cooking, for example how long staple foods keep for, average boiling times and how to make your weekly shops more efficient.
All of this of course would be pointless if the recipes themselves were not top notch, but so far from what I’ve tried they have all worked as well as the book tells me they will, the instructions have been easy to follow and the food has been scrummy. Having said that one thing that I do not understand about vegetarian cookbooks is when they have sections for baking and desserts, it feels like such a cop-out. I for one was not compelled to buy this book so that I could know how to make meat-free cupcakes or veggie tiramisu.