Student Life Hack: The No Pan Meal

Because you don't want to risk your roommate leaving a passive aggressive sticky note on a pan that you've "left to soak" for a week.

If there's one thing you learn while being a student, it's how to cut every corner and pinch every penny. Grocery shopping in your parents' fridge, re-purposing thrift store finds, making one bottle of wine serve 10 people and calling it sangria. These are just some of the all-important life hacks that students have mastered. One of my proudest accomplishments as a student was the no-pan meal, a significant step above the classic 1-pan meal that still requires you to scrub something afterwards. And who can be bothered to do that, especially when your kitchen is without a dishwasher.

This recipe is free from peanuts, nuts, dairy, egg, wheat, oats, soy, fish. Vegan

1 sweet potato
1 beet
1 clove of garlic
about 2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional, to taste). We use Super Seeds because they are allergen-free
half a handful of either snipped green onions (just snip them with a kitchen knife), chives, or parsley
salt and pepper to taste
roughly 1 tbsp of olive oil
a splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar


Set your oven to 375F.

Individually wrap the beet and sweet potato in aluminum foil, tucking the garlic clove in next to the potato before mummifying. Place them on the middle rack of the oven and leave to bake for 45 minutes. Once you remove them from the oven allow to come to room temperature before handling.

Once they've cooled open up the foil. Have a large soup bowl ready, this is the bowl you will eat out of. Squeeze the garlic into the bowl. Slice the potato in half and peel the skin off (it should just come off in one piece). Toss it in the bowl and then give it a rough chop into big chunks with your knife. Hold the beet under cold running water and massage lightly. The skin will slide right off and the water will prevent the red pigment from staining your hands pink. Slice roughly, straight into the bowl. Snip up the green onion or herbs and toss it in along with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over at the end. Simply toss away the aluminum foil - its work is done. 

Enjoy with a cup of coffee while you prepare for an all-nighter. As you watch your roommate struggle to scour the crock pot enjoy the calming knowledge that once you go no-pan, there's no going back.