Emily Produced by


BA (Hons) Television Production


Today I’m going to give you some easy and cheap recipes you can try to help improve your culinary skills. At the beginning of uni I was useless in the kitchen, I had no clue how to even fry an egg! However, with a bit of practice I’ve taught myself to cook a variety of dishes 🙂


Both main dishes in the post are made to serve 2-4 people, so you can decide if you want to make excess to freeze for later, half the ingredients or throw a dinner party!


Pasta & Beans (or Pasta E Fagioli if you wanna sound fancy 🙂 )

  • 1 x 400g tin of white beans (cannellini or borlotti), drained and rinsed
  • 200g tinned, chopped tomatoes (or 2tbsp tomato puree)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • A handfull of fresh chopped herbs
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 160g pasta shapes
  1. Pour beans into a medium/large saucepan along with the tomatoes and stock. Add in the herbs and (peeled) garlic cloves. Cook on medium for 30 minutes, making sure the pan doesn’t dry out by adding extra water if needed.
  2. Then add the pasta and some extra water to cover it all, then cook for a further 10 minutes before serving, I had mine along side some garlic bread. It’s supposed to be like a soup when served, however I let too much for my water evaporate so it was more of a sauce but still tasted just as fab!

Black Bean & Peanut Stew

  • 1 finely sliced onion
  • 1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs (optional)
  • 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (can also use ketchup)
  • salt and pepper
  • 100g green beans or peas
  • a dash of lemon juice
  1. Lightly cook the onion until it begins to soften then add the beans and oil. Then cook on medium for a few minutes to full cook through the onion. Then add paprika and mixed herbs, making sure to stir them in.
  2. Pour in 125ml water and the coconut milk as well as the peanut butter and tomato puree, then mix. Turn up the heat allowing it to briefly boil, then reduce the heat back to medium and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring now and again. The sauce should thicken and be reddish-brown in colour.
  3. Then add the green beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper as well as a dash of lemon juice.
  4. Then serve! I had mine with a side of broccoli and white rice 🙂

Side Dish

Skinny Carrot Fries

For this recipe feel free to adjust it depending on how many fries you want, it’s a very forgiving recipe so don’t worry too much about measurements.

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive)
  • dried mixed herbs
  • salt
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200’c.
  2. Chop the carrots in half, then half again, length ways to make the ‘fries’.
  3. Mix the chopped carrots, oil and cornflour in a bowl.
  4. Spread the ‘fries’ onto a baking tray and season with the herbs and salt.
  5. Place them in the oven to bake for around 40 minutes then once done serve with either a meal or just eat as a snack!


Edible Cookie Dough

I adapted the recipe slightly from one I found online to adjust the servings therefore I’d say this recipe below serves around 2 people-if you fancy a small serving or 1 person-if you wanna treat yourself 🙂

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/16 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 /4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • A cap of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • As many chocolate chips as your heart desires 🙂
  1. Although this recipe doesn’t use eggs in order to make it safe to eat, to make it truly safe heat treat the flour in the microwave for around 40-50 secs on high. I did it until the flour started to smell like it was cooking.
  2. Then in a bowl cream together the sugars and the butter, I did this all by hand but you can also use a hand mixer or food processor.
  3. Once combined, add the flour and salt then mix. Then add the vanilla extract and milk, the mixture should start to stick together, keep mixing until all stuck together, then chuck in the chocolate chips and mix. Bon appetite!

Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

For the roll

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • A cap of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Begin by mixing all the dry ingredients, then in 20 second increments melt the butter in the microwave and pour into the bowl. Then add the milk an vanilla extract.
  2. On a clean flat surface, sprinkle flour and roll our the dough into a rectangle.

For the filling

I eyeballed the ingredients for the filling as it depends how much cinnamon and sugar you’d like.

  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Melt the butter in the microwave on 20 second increments until melted.
  2. Mix in the cinnamon and sugar ensuring to keep adding if needed to make a paste as you don’t want the filling to be too liquidy else it’ll run out the dough when you roll it.
  3. Then spread the filling on the rectangle of dough and roll the dough from one end to another (taking the short end and rolling to the other short end).
  4. Then place the roll in a mug (so you can see the swirl on top) and microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.

For the glaze

  • 1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
  • A splash of milk
  1. Mix the icing sugar and milk together until they form the glaze add more sugar or more milk depending on how runny you want the glaze.
  2. Pour over the cinnamon roll and enjoy!


There you have it! 5 easy recipes for you to try out. Let me know if you try any of them, I’d love to hear how they turned out! Thank you for reading, see you in my next post.

Emily Xx

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