Recipes for Homestay Hosts – January
HFS London homestay hosts can choose from three board options to offer their international student guests while they stay with them: self-catering, B&B or half board. Half board is the most involved; and comprises of a continental breakfast (unless you have the time and energy to introduce your guest to the Full English, of course!) and a cooked dinner. However, of course, we’re all busy, and it’s not always easy to find the time to create a homemade meal every night.
You shouldn’t need to make a separate dish for your guest/s but instead just to stretch out what you’re already making to include an extra portion. The following are our top ideas for easy, quick and (duh!) delicious homemade meals to make up for your family and your student guest. Give them a go and let us know which is your favourite!
No Fuss Shepherd’s Pie
A British classic! This takes just 15 mins to prep and an hour to cook, so you can pop it in the oven and get on with everything else you need to do. Mix up chopped onions, chopped carrots, lamb mince (or veggie if you need to), tomato puree and a splash of Worcestershire sauce, pour into a tray. Make up mashed potato, top with it and leave to bake. Easy, wholesome and delicious.
Let people pick and choose their own fillings – just make things up and pop them in bowls! Grill off some chicken and season as necessary, then put out amongst any salads, sauces, wraps, cheese and vegetable additions that you think will fit. Your family and guest can mix and match flavours to make up their ideal fajita. These are easily made veggie or even vegan: just don’t put meat in.
One Pan Spaghetti
Cook of spaghetti and add in passata, any spices and chopped (pitted) olives. Stir in any ingredients you have that fit; sliced chorizo, cooked veg, grated cheese, herbs.
Pre-prepped Prawn and Pineapple Rice
Cook your rice ahead of time to be well prepared for this easy dish. Once cooked, just run it under cold water to cool, pop in a freezer bag and freeze for up to a month.
Stir fry a couple of teaspoons of oil along with some chopped onions and add in the rice. Add in peas, bamboo shoots and prawns alongside pineapple chunks and season as necessary. Delicious!
Frying Pan Pizza
You don’t even need to turn your oven on for this great pizza. Make up a dough and let it rise while you work on finding up your favourite toppings. Stretch it out to the shape of your frying pan and wipe it down with some oil across the surface. Put a tablespoon of oil in the pan and lift the dough into it. Cook over a low-medium heat until the edges start to look dry and set, then flip. Add on your toppings and enjoy in minutes.
Sweet Potato Salad
Whether its Veganuary or just a regular old January for you, some students will be saying no to meat and/or dairy products. Whilst HFS will inform you about any special dietary requirements made by the student prior to the booking, it might be a good idea to have a few recipes under your belt should one come along. This recipe is so delicious it works with all audiences. Rinse, scrub and chop some sweet potatoes. Pop them in the oven along with onions rings and garlic cloves. Season well with a handful of dill and bake for 35 minutes. Mix them in with your favourite salad ingredients and you have yourself a quick, light dinner.
What to expect for first time hosts
You will be advised in advance if your student guest has any dietary requirements, but don’t panic: the HFS London team will be on-hand to help advise and support you if this is the case. Consider just switching up some of your ingredients to accommodate a veggie or vegan – frozen meat-free mince is usually cheaper than the real stuff and there’s a great variety of dairy-free cheeses and milks now available in supermarkets. It really shouldn’t impact your cooking too much and you may even find you enjoy some of your new choices!
Watch this space for more and more tips for homestay hosts