Isabella's sumptuous 'Twiglet Toast'Isabella Steinmeyer with permission for Varsity

It’s time to toss the “5 minute Student Meals” recipe book your clapped-out Nanna got you for Christmas and raise an ear because Varsity’s Lifestyle team have got you covered. Read on for a delicious anthology of cheeky snacks to keep you going this term.

(On reflection, this was an awful idea. Keep hold of that recipe book, I’m sure your Nan is lovely)

Zapped Babybel – Iona Boyer

Faced with nothing but a microwave, a toaster, and max. 2m2 of kitchen floor space, a girl learns to get inventive. And in the dark ages of first year, I drew my inspiration from the simplest of childhood goodies, wading through petit filout and cheesestrings (the two-coloured kind, of course) to find my muse: the babybel. Now my recipe is a straightforward one. Unwrap your babybel. Make sure to hold it up to the light as you revel in its waxy crimson beauty. Unwrap another babybel, with the same level of reverie. Deposit both into an Amazon Basics bowl. Place delicately into the microwave and heat as long as is necessary. Watch your housemates’ faces gape in horror as you menacingly swirl a fork into the depths of your bowl and pull out a gooey string of melted plasticky nostalgia. It’s a great icebreaker!

Soy Sweetcorn – Anika Goddard

What an excellent way to get one of your five-a-day! Soy sweetcorn is so simple it’s almost suspicious. If your college has provided you with the unfathomable luxury of a freezer, chuck some frozen sweetcorn in a pan. No freezer luck? Use a can. Do NOT submerge the sweetcorn in water; it will cook in very little water and still maintain all its mineral goodness (the same is true of cabbage, kale, peas and many other green vegetables). Drain, pour into a bowl if you’re feeling fancy, and cover with soy sauce. A well-intentioned second-year experiment whose favorable results surprised everyone involved.

Pita Pocket – Iona Boyer

So tried and tested that my Dad used it at uni 30 years ago (did they even have toasters in the 90s???). Get yourself a pack of pita breads. Cut each in half and fill the insides with whatever you fancy. I recommend mozzarella for extra gooiness. Put these in the toaster, toast, and you’re done! Delicious, cosy, easy. PSA: If anyone – anyone! – feels like asking me whether toasties have to have cheese, I will deck them. On the spot.

Twiglet Toast – Isabella Steinmeyer

How 50% of people don’t appreciate this yeasty delicacy is beyond me but for the sane among us here’s the recipe – if you can call it that – for my Twiglet Toast (patent pending). Lightly toast a piece of bread, smother it in Marmite and add a generous handful of grated cheese on top. Bung in the microwave for around a minute and hey presto! A marmite lover’s dream.

Boiled Cabbage – Anika Goddard

Having brought your friend back from Mash on the promise of a “delicious meal”, you take a cabbage (cheap and plastic-free from Mainsbury’s) from the sweaty bottom drawer of the fridge. You cut the cabbage into halves, quarters, eights and then sections. You boil the whole damn thing for about six minutes in a couple of centimetres of water. You salt and butter cabbage heavily. You gobble.

A Bottle, a Bowl and a Big Spoon – Miranda Evans

A bottle of lager, a bowl of baked beans and a big spoon to serve. This little meal might not have all the major food groups but it most certainly has nutritional integrity. Buzz some beans in a microwave pop open a cold one and kick-back. A delight for the matured pallet, this is the perfect wake-me-up pre-supo snack. For the more adventurous among you, feel free to add a crack (or even two cracks) of black pepper. Be careful not to overstretch yourself though – nobody likes a show off.

“Just peas. That OK?” – Maddy Sanderson

Being a Cambridge student, I had always assumed that myself and self hatred were as thick as thieves – the sleepless nights, the imposter syndrome, my taste in men, the list goes on. Surely I could not sink any lower, I thought to myself time and time again. I was wrong. It was one dark and blustery night, deep into Michaelmas, when the flickering light behind my eyes was finally snuffed out forever and I willingly chose to chow down on a cold can of peas. Petit pois, mind you. I’m not an animal.

A Note on Tahini – Natasha Macbeth

For even the most noncommittal vegan, a life without tahini would be a very sad one indeed. It’s so very versatile: drizzle it over yoghurt, cereal, avocado toast, roasted veg… the list goes on. Or mix it with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and use it as a pasta sauce. My personal favourite, however, would have to be tahini and oranges. Unappetising as it might look, you really just have to trust me on this one. See it as the big sister of apples and peanut butter. Be brave!

Baked Bean Rigatoni – Owen Hanks


Mountain View

For god’s saké, don’t miss out on Kibou!

This cultural delicacy can only be made once in a blue moon; a Dadaist nightmare of a dish, the recipe is simple. All you need is some “pasta with holes in” (rigatoni fits the bill) and a can of baked beans. Once you’ve stared into your barren cupboard for long enough, combining these strange platefellows starts to seem almost reasonable – you’d never turn down filled pasta in a rich tomato sauce, surely the canned beans will add some sauciness and fit snugly into the pasta holes? Spoiler: they do not, but when forces of hunger, desperation and sheer laziness fuse, slimy pasta tubes are all we’ve got.

So there you have it. The best snacks Lifestyle can muster up - consume at your own discretion.