It's sad to say the most intimidating part of studying abroad was the thought of having to cook edible food for 5 months. I'm proud to say that I've been cooking each week and have not burned anything- yet! For the past month that I've been in Newcastle, I've been collecting photos for this post that I'm so excited to share with you. This has meant taking my Nikon with me on my weekly trips to the market, a place I only wish we had in the States!
Let me introduce you to Grainger Market, where healthy cooking is easy and cheap! I literally eat nothing but the freshest fruits and vegetables every day without breaking the bank (unlike in the U.S.). The real trick is eating in, not out, and saving yourself an incredible sum of money.
Please take a moment to laugh at the picture I took as butcher posed,
oh, and the pig head to the right...
Grainger Market has been around for almost 2 centuries (since 1835) and has 14 entrances in the center of the city, if that gives you an idea of its size. Grainger isn't the only market in Newcastle but is the local's favorite with awesome hours, 9:00 to 17:30, open every day but Sunday. Vendors come in with all you can imagine: fresh produce, handmade clothes, fabrics, gourmet cheese, and lush home decor- all for a reasonable price. Worst case scenario, if the price-tag doesn't match your pocket-book, you can always try to haggle! ;) Just make sure you have your quid (slang for UK currency) because not many booths take card.
The best deal you can get is buying a whole bunch of discounted vegetables! I was offered a big box of mushrooms that could fill up 3-4 fridge drawers for only 1 pound! The only downside to this is you have to eat those veggies within the next couple days or they'll go bad... that's why you bring a couple of your mates with you.
Even after splitting the mushrooms with my flatmates and cooking enough for a colony I still had to throw some out! But when they're 1q I can't complain. After stocking up with goodies from Grainger, I walk back to my flat with my loaded backpack and get to cooking straight away! I always do my meal prep at the beginning of each week and cook a lot of meat and vegetables all at once! This way each weekend I'm free to travel about as I wish without wasting any food. I switch out my proteins each week- chicken, salmon, shrimp, or pork- and always add a large variety of veggies. To name just a few: mushroom, sweet pepper, radish, spinach, onion, tomato, carrots, potatoes and celery.
I've found myself adding penne pasta and low-fat Bolognese
tomato sauce to most everything I make! Tomato I swear is that one ingredient that compliments all the rest of the flavors and brings flavorful and filling. I'm not the most talented at multi-tasking but cooking everything at once is really all there is to it besides washing and chopping. That's what's so great about fresh food is there's no step by step hassle, it's all natural- just cook it!
Despite me dreading cooking at first, I'm honestly throughly enjoying it! It helps that I don't have 2 jobs like I do at home where I can actually relax and cook on my own time- and it's affordable and healthy. I'll be sharing more delish dishes as I experiment (that word scares me) throughout the semester.
View more photos of Grainger Market in My Gallery