University student Ellie loves food and is always looking for ways to eat healthy while sticking to the budget that is living as an undergrad. She believes there is life beyond beans on toast and wants to raise awareness that take-away and ready-made meals are more expensive than buying ingredients fresh.
What has always astounded me is how many students, supposedly penniless students, will fork out for a Domino's after a night out, or when they just can't be bothered to cook. Sure, they're delicious. But what you'll often hear me shout in bewilderment is "you can buy a pizza from the shop for a pound!" My mum laughs at my frugal ways but, if I can get it for cheaper, I know it's not worth the money I'm spending.
So, alternatively, you can meet somewhere in the middle and make a tasty homemade pizza; it may cost more than a pound but it's still a fraction of the price of many popular take-out places. I know from experience that you can be waiting an age for a pizza to be delivered and, surprisingly, this takes about half the time to make from scratch - remind me why you're paying so much for a take-out again? A little known fact is that pizza boxes often can't even be recycled because of all the grease - the paper fibers can't be separated from the oils during the pulping process - so, again, it's another item for the landfill. So, it's cheaper, quicker, healthier and better for the environment; what's not to love?!
- 1-2 people
- 1 - pizza base
- 100ml - tomato and basil pizza topping
- 150grams - cheese
- 100grams - sweetcorn
- 0.5 - onion
- 4 - mushrooms
- 60grams - pineapple
- 25grams - pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place the pizza base on an oven tray.
Spread the pizza topping sauce over the base to form an even covering, leaving 1-2cm around the edge.
Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese on top – 50-75g
Drain the sweetcorn and sprinkle over the pizza.
Dice the onions and do the same.
Chop the mushrooms into slices and place on top.
Cut the pineapple into 2cm chunks and add.
Add an even sprinkling of pine nuts.
Add the rest of the cheese to the top.
• Sandwiching the toppings between two layers of cheese keeps them from all falling off when you try to eat it. If you’re dairy-free, use vegan cheese or leave it off altogether; you might just need to use a knife and fork to stop it sliding off everywhere!
• There’s no shame in needing to check the oven user manual. I’m in a new student house which means a new oven, so I didn’t know what all of the dials meant and I think I ended up grilling it at first – woops!
• Since you can’t just buy the right amount of ingredients you want, make pizzas with a friend – it’s fun, I promise! Alternatively, make another one and keep it in the freezer. I had some bread which was in danger of going stale before I would be able to eat it so I made some mini pizzas: wrap them individually in cling film or tupperware and microwave / grill when you want to eat them.