The perfect Gen Z meal

Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012
Finished meal
ALL IN: Max's grilled vegetable salad.

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Kia Ora, I am a "Gen Z" student in Dunedin and when I read the article about people my own age not knowing how to cook, I was shocked! I personally love cooking and even though I study fulltime and have a part-time job, I will most nights make the time to cook.


Main ingredient Mixed Vegetables
Type of dish Quick and easy
Course Main course
Cooking time <30 min
Serves/makes 2 - 3
Special options Vegetarian

I understand that most people my age won't get the same thrill out of this as I do, but I cannot see how people can afford to eat out so much - both in a monetary sense and in a health sense!

I think for most people it is just intimidating, and eating out just seems a lot easier. However, this isn't the case: I believe home cooking is so rewarding on many levels and want to encourage people to give it a go.

So, this is my easiest, tastiest, Gen Z student meal - my "all-in grilled veg salad". It is cheap, fast and super-yum, and you will feel a boost instantly!

Serves three (or two really hungry) people, costs less than $15 and is on the table in 10 minutes, start to finish. The ingredients are flexible, I've specified what I normally use, but its all up to you.

1 bunch asparagus
2 courgettes
1 capsicum (pepper, any colour)
1 lemon
Some green salad leaves (I like baby spinach, but some rocket, cos, or whatever, just bear in mind it might wilt a little)
1 cup of couscous (more if you really want to bulk it out)
1 tin chickpeas
Vegetable oil (I like olive oil)
Salt and pepper

(So sorry if that list seems long, but trust me, assembling these ingredients is the hardest part.)


1. Turn on the electric grill, sandwich press, barbecue or oven grill - just something to grill the vegies. Also put the jug on - you will want about 800ml in there.

2. Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends, take the seeds out of the capsicum and take the ends off the courgettes. Chop all these into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl (mine tend to get quite large because, well, by now I am anticipating eating sooo much I just want to get it on the plate). Also cut the lemons into wedges and throw into the bowl as well. Pour some oil over, enough to coat, then salt and pepper. Toss in chickpeas.

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3. Now put the couscous in a separate bowl, cover with just-boiled water, cling-wrap the bowl and let it cook. The couscous will absorb the hot water and steam - this is all you will need to do to cook it.

4. Next, throw all the veg on to the grill or whatever you are using. Now all you have to do is stand back and watch it cook... Let them cook till just soft, and try to let some of them blacken and get all charred.

5. When you think these are cooked, uncover the couscous and lay out your plates. Throw the salad leaves liberally over the couscous then pile on the grilled vegies. Drizzle a little more oil over the top. Stir it all together gently.

I also like to top it with feta and sunflower and pumpkin seeds but these are not needed. Also, I dare you to eat the lemon slices - if they have cooked through and been charred, they will be amazing!

I hope you enjoy this meal, but more so enjoy cooking it!

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