“If something goes wrong, stay calm”

Freshmen special 2019


It was only a year ago that he started to live by himself and took his first steps in the kitchen. Meanwhile Cas Renders, second-year student of Psychology, has been declared the winner of UM’s Next Top Chef, a cooking competition organised by catering company Albron. He created a recipe especially for this first-years’ edition for new cooks. Easy, tasty and cheap.

Tortilla with spinach and feta cheese

For: 2 people

Preparation time: approximately 30 minutes



  • 2 potatoes
  • 200 grams spinach
  • 75 grams feta cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 6 medium-sized eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


  • A frying pan (“preferably one with a lid, but I don't have one myself either. So I use a sheet of aluminium foil”)
  • A spatula
  • Chopping board + knife
  • A bowl


  • Wash and peel the potatoes and chop them into blocks of approximately half a centimetre. Be careful: if you chop them bigger, then they won't cook well enough.
  • Chop the red onion in semi-circles and the garlic into tiny pieces.
  • Put some olive oil in a pan and fry the red onion and garlic on a medium-high heat.
  • Add the potato blocks to fry.
  • Add the spinach little by little while stirring the mixture so that the spinach shrinks.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and crumble the feta cheese through the eggs.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan and place the lid on the pan.
  • Cook the tortilla approximately 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Shake the pan every now and again to prevent it from sticking and turn down the heat if necessary.
  • You can take leftovers to the uni the following day as lunch.

Cas's tips:

  • “You are better off making too much than too little. At the beginning, I was afraid that I would have too much left over, but you will always use it. You could also freeze it. Handy if you ever find yourself not in the mood for cooking. Do take it out of the freezer the evening before.”
  • “Start off simple. Pasta for example, is very easy to cook. If you buy a fresh pasta sauce to go with it as well as a bag of mixed vegetables, you will have very little work and still have a fresh and healthy meal. I also like to make Mexican wraps. With some avocado and sour cream, you can put something really delicious on the table, without too much effort.”
  • “One-pot meals are ideal. It saves on washing up and you don't need to multitask. You can find a lot on the Albert Heijn supermarket’s website. You can also use search terms such as ‘snel’ (quick) or ‘vegetarisch’ (vegetarian). They don't have really long lists of ingredients, most students also don't have all kinds of fresh herbs at home. I also like to look at YouTube videos; they will show you immediately how things need to be prepared. ”
  • “Divide up the tasks. Have a roommate do the shopping and get another roommate to wash the dishes.”
  • “If something goes wrong, stay calm. Nobody is perfect. Make the best out of the situation. You can cut off a burned edge. Chefs do that too.”
“If something goes wrong, stay calm”
Cas Renders with his dish
Author: Cleo Freriks
Joey Roberts
Tags: freshmen,students,cooking

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