Couscous salad

It's quick, it's easy and it's no fuss. Pour ¾ of a cup of boiling water over half a cup of couscous (with a splash of olive oil) and let it absorb, covered, in a small bowl. Chop up a tomato, a cucumber, a few sprigs of coriander, mix it in with your couscous once it’s cooled, add some salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. And there it is – you've got yourself a delicious, healthy, fun, and quick salad. No need for a stovetop, microwave, or even a fridge. You will need a kettle, though. If you want to perk things up a bit more, you can also add some chopped spring or red onion, dried cranberries or toasted pumpkin seeds. Yum! – Maryam

Eggs, sunny-side up

Credit: shutterstock.com
Credit: shutterstock.com

Don’t laugh, but my all-time favorite is a яичница with tomatoes – an egg dish somewhere in between an omelette and scrambled eggs. Speed, flavor and ease of making – it checks off all my must-have boxes. I used to skip class for the privilege of making it for breakfast. You heat up the pan, add a drop of oil, dice up the juiciest tomato you can find and pour it into the hissing pan. Let it mellow a little and turn brown around the edges, sprinkle with salt and whatever herbs you have hanging around. Swirl with a spatula, pour over a couple of eggs and cover with a lid for a few minutes. Done. Don’t burn yourself if you’re eating it straight out of the pan… – Anna

Mason jar muesli

Credit: Alisha Hieb, unsplash.com
Credit: Alisha Hieb, unsplash.com

This one is extremely simple, but you know what? Starbucks calls it a parfait, so I will go ahead and consider it fancy. You will need some cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. Put it in a small bowl and top it with whatever fruit you like – I usually opt for a banana with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s delicious just like that, but to make it more crunchy and nutritious in hope of making it keep me full over more than just one class, I normally add some muesli or a mixture of different nuts and seeds to this parfait wannabe. You can also make this meal portable by putting it in a little mason jar to snack on in between lectures. And there you have it – a perfect dessert that is ready in under 5 minutes. Enjoy! – Catherine

Avocado toast

Credit: unsophisticook.com
Credit: unsophisticook.com

Though avocado is not exactly everyone’s idea of ‘student food’, I just can’t not share my fave super-quick meal recipe. All you need is a ripe avo (I usually opt for the Haas variety – these are a bit more pricey, but they’re really worth it, and you can usually get them at a discount in one grocery store or another), some (preferably fancy, of course) bread and a pop of crunchy sea salt (any salt will do, actually). Just gently mash the avocado with a fork, spread it over the bread and top it with flaky sea salt, and you get a speedy and delicious breakfast packed with healthy fats and fiber to keep you full. – Anastasiia L.

Still not sure if a budding chef’s career is for you? There’s always the all-time Russian student classics like pelmeni or shaverma – or the offerings at ITMO’s stolovaya, a fun place to fuel up and catch up on school news.

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