Dinner suggestions to get you through exam season

I already know what you’re thinking.

There is not a single, justifiable reason to be more concerned about your post-exam dinner, than the exam itself. 

Now, I do not disagree that the exam takes priority over dinner. However, I still believe that dinner remains a central concern nonetheless. 

And think about it, the day of the exam. You have 24 hours, maybe 48. You have either completed it in the allotted three hours (or thereabouts) and have the whole evening ahead of you; or, you’re still working and the night is stretching out ahead of you in a kind of endlessness. In both cases, dinner is of a central concern. You are either looking for a comforting reward for all of your hard work or for a little something to help you keep going. In both cases, you can end up feeling as if you are running on fumes, and the task of even thinking about what to make can feel beyond impossible. 

Well, think no more. 

Here are four of my favorite dinners that strike the perfect balance between comforting, effortless, and quick. 

Vodka Pasta 

Now I know this is nothing new, and you’ve likely already heard of it, if not tried it. However, I think we can sometimes forget about it too easily, and it falls out of the dinner rotation. It takes less than twenty minutes from setting the water to boiling to when you are sitting down to eat it, and I never regret having made it. 

When it comes to the recipe, really most are good options and it is difficult to go wrong. However, I do like this one as it is easy to follow and quite basic. Feel free to add cherry tomatoes with the shallot. 

Grilled Cheese 

For this one, think toastie bar, minus the drinking and night-out element that they involve. If there is one thing that college toastie bars prove, it is that sometimes nothing tastes better than grilled cheese, and even if you are not going out, it is still worth the simple pleasure of a toastie. The options are endless, though I can be partial to a classic grilled cheese. 

Frozen Pizza 

Why not get a takeaway? Think again. I know this one might not seem all too exciting, but trust me, you can make it better. I love to get a basic frozen pizza in my weekly grocery shop and then a couple of different options to use as toppings to make it slightly more interesting. For the base, really it does not matter what you go for as you will be changing the pizza anyway, but I do tend to indulge in the Tesco Finest options as the crust tends to be nicer. Bake as usual, but add some extra bits and pieces like rocket, pesto, mozzarella, hot honey, or even garlic mayo to make it more satisfying. 

Chicken Fajita Tray Bake 

Out of the four recipes here, this is the one with the most potential to fulfill the ideal of minimum effort, and maximum reward. 

  • Slice your chicken and spread across a sheet pan with pepper, onion (or shallot), and any other veg you might want in a fajita (ex. cherry tomatoes) 
  • Pour olive oil over the sheet pan and season with taco seasoning, or a mix of cumin, paprika, oregano, chili flakes, salt, and pepper 
  • Bake at 200C for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through 
  • When it is finished, serve in tortillas with whatever other sides you want (ex. Avocado, salsa, cheese)


Featured Image: MikeGz on Pexels 

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