Food: 5 Seriously Lazy Student Recipes

Eaten enough mee-goreng for a lifetime? Sick to death of chicken rice? IGNITE’s food section will be bringing you the best international recipes that are perfect for your shamelessly-lazy student lifestyles!

Laziness scale (for fun :D):

* (You could be a chef)
** (Hats off, hard worker)
*** (Lookin’ good, Sparky)
**** (No prior knowlege needed)
***** (You could do this in your sleep)

Here we go!

Quesadillas (serves 1)

Laziness scale= ***** (You could do this in your sleep)

1 packet flour tortillas (Old el Paso is good)
1 packet mixed pizza cheese
Mushrooms, sauteed (optional)

Notes: This recipe is very versatile, and super easy. You can put almost anything in it, so long as you mix it with liberal amounts of cheese so that when the cheese melts it all holds together. It tastes even better with cheese and bottled pizza sauce, like a mini pizza!


1. Put two tortillas on a plate. Fill one half with cheese and any other ingredients as you would a normal sandwich, being careful not to overfill.

2. Cover and microwave until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

3. Slice into quarters and eat!


Tuna melt sandwich (serves 1)

Laziness scale= **** (No prior knowlege needed)

Two slices of bread
Lettuce leaves
1 can of tuna mayo
1 slice of cheese
1 tomato, sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
Black Pepper
Dried herbs of choice

Notes: It’s possible to make your own tuna mayo with canned tuna in water mixed with mayonnaise and flavoured to taste, but that’s only if you’re extra hard-working. As is, this makes for a more interesting tuna sandwich. Although, please, please use nice cheese, like Emmenthal or Gruyere. In a pinch, normal processed cheese will do but the effect won’t be the same.


1. Toast the bread according to your own preference. Mix the chopped onion into the tuna melt while you wait.

2. Assemble your sandwich as follows: Bread, lettuce leaf, tuna, cheese, tomato. Grate fresh black pepper over the open sandwich, sprinkle with mixed dried herbs. Cover and microwave or heat until the cheese melts.

3. Serve immediately.


Easy Salad Dressing 

Laziness scale= *** (Lookin’ good, Sparky)

White wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper & salt to taste
Pinch of sugar
Sprinkle of mixed dried herbs (if on hand)

Notes: Ratio of Vinegar to Olive Oil should be 3:1. Can use balsamic vinegar, but balsamic discolours vegetables very fast so white wine is better. If you’re not cooking the oil, always use Extra Virgin olive oil, which is a little more expensive but less likely to make you sick if you eat it raw.


1. Measure out vinegar and olive oil into a bowl. Crush then chop garlic, however large and as much as you like, add to the jar. Mix vigorously.

2. Add one to two spoonfuls of mustard, freshly grated pepper if available (and dried if not, but freshly grated is more fragrant) and herbs also if available. Mix.

3. Add salt to taste and a pinch (literally a pinch) of sugar.

4. Work out that arm and mix until emulsified (i.e. combined and slightly gross looking)

5. Alternatively, measure everything into a clean jar, cover the jar and shake until emulsified.

6. Drizzle over salad immediately before serving to prevent salad from becoming soggy.


Gratinéed Portobello Mushrooms (serves 4)

Laziness Scale= ** (Hats off, hard worker)

4 Portobello mushrooms
1 packet pizza cheese
1 small tub sour cream
3 pods garlic, finely chopped
2 or more rashers bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Notes: First of all, never wash mushrooms. Wipe them with a damp cloth but don’t put them under the tap because they’ll absorb a lot of water. Also, always cook them on high heat so that they retain their moisture and don’t shrivel up. Thirdly, butter alone in a pan will burn so always melt butter with olive oil.


1. Melt butter with olive oil in a frying pan. Sautee garlic and bacon until bacon is cooked through. Remove both and set aside in a separate bowl for later.

2. Place portobellos gill-side down in the remainder of the oil in the pan, flipping when they start to flatten. Leave to cook on the other side for another five minutes, then remove to heat-proof dish.

3. Place the mushrooms gill-side up to form a bowl, then distribute bacon and garlic into each. Add a little bit of salt (careful, because your cheese is also salty) and grate black pepper over the mix.

4. Add a generous tablespoon of sour cream, then sprinkle with enough cheese to cover the sour cream. Grill for fifteen minutes or until cheese browns, or microwave until the cheese melts (preferably grill).

5. Serve immediately while hot.


Chilli con Carne (Serves 4)

Laziness scale= * (You could be a chef) 

500g minced beef
2 pods garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 beef stock cube
300ml hot water
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 can (400g) red kidney beans
2 tablespoons tomato purée
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Chillis, cored and sliced, (optional)

Notes: If you don’t want to make this with beef, minced lamb is also a good substitute. Always add a little bit of sugar to anything you cook that has a tomato base, because sugar tends to bring out the flavour. Any chemists on hand to explain why?


1. Put a large pot over medium heat. Add your olive oil and, when it’s hot, stir in the onions until they’re soft and translucent. Then, add the red peppers and garlic as well as the chilli powder, cumin and paprika. Stir lightly for another five minutes until the peppers begin to soften and the herb powders release their fragrance.

2. Throw in the beef (this is the part that requires a lot of work). Turn your heat up and keep stirring, breaking any lumps that form. You want to keep frying the beef until it cooks evenly and is brown and crumbly.

3. In a separate pot, crumble the stock cube (if you’re making lamb, substitute with a lamb stock cube) into the hot water and add this to your mince. Add your canned chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and stir well.

4. Bring it to a boil. Stir to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of your pot and burns, and when it boils cover the pot and turn down the heat. It should simmer and bubble gently. Leave it like this for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it starts to dry out too much and starts to look too thick, add a little more water, but not too much. It should be slightly thicker than your average spaghetti bolognaise.

5. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, then stir them into your chilli. Bring the entire thing to a boil again and leave it to evaporate with the lid off, stirring and adding more water if it’s too dry. After this, add a generous pinch of sugar (bearing in mind the size of your pot) and salt and pepper. Taste it and continue adding salt, pepper or sugar (though be careful of your sugar) until the taste is satisfactory.

6. Leave your chilli to stand or serve immediately, it doesn’t really matter. If left for awhile, simply bring it back to a simmer before serving to ensure that it’s nice and hot.

Lyn Mak & Kero Ong

"Zeal without knowledge is fire without light." - Thomas Fuller, 17th century historian


  • November 3, 2012


    Could you put more of the “you could do this in your sleep” recipes? Thanks!

  • November 4, 2012

    T Sen

    I have bookmarked this article so I can come back later and read it again. It’s extremely interesting, & very well-researched 🙂 well done!

  • November 5, 2012

    K. Ong

    It’s mostly well-researched because we’ve made these ourselves before 😉 More recipes to come! With more comments from the chefs in the next batch, ahaha