10 Food Hacks To Survive Your College Cafeteria
The cafeteria is often a place of sadness, so we put together a list of 10 food hacks to help you survive your meal plan. Limp pizza, sometimes under-cooked meat and overcooked pasta… when you live on a meal plan, you might be tempted to always eat the same stuff and get really bored of your food within the first couple of weeks.
Here is a list of 10 food hacks using only food available at your dining hall (If your school uses Sodexo, all of these are available to you) and create easy yummy recipes with what’s at your disposal.
1. A quick float
Use a few scoops of ice cream and then combine with your favorite soda (super easy and simple but not many people think of this) or you can take your ice cream and mash it between some of those weird cafeteria cookies that not many people eat. You can use vanilla + Fanta, chocolate + Coke, etc… a great food hack with unlimited combinations!
2. A Milkshake
I discovered this my freshman year when I had a craving for a good milkshake but since our campus doesn’t offer them- took matters into my own hands. Get a few scoops of your favorite ice cream or ice cream combination, add about a cup of milk and then stir vigorously till you get a nice smooth mixture. Not quite a milkshake but not quite ice cream.
3. Egg sandwiches
A co-worker of mine told me that he has an egg made and then toasts an English muffin (any bread is acceptable here) and then tops it with his desired ingredients. Since our campus has eggs available all the time, this is do-able at any time of day. A great hack when you’re in a rush or want a nice warm sandwich. You can add some deli meat and veggies like tomato or avocado from the salad bar.
4. Thai-style sauce
Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, and sriracha. It should be a pretty smooth texture and any peanut butter can work. It tastes great on chicken or beef, but can also be mixed with steamed veggies.
5. Amp up your pasta
I’m sure there’s a salad bar around and if your campus is anything like my campus- there’s always a pasta option that’s pretty plain. Sometimes the salad bar will have chicken, steamed veggies, and other fun things to add to your pasta to make it more delectable. you can combine peppers, onions and black olives for a pasta salad, or crumble walnut and blue cheese and heat it up in the microwaves. Get creative!
Before you add the batter to the waffle maker, put it in a separate bowl and add things like sprinkles, cinnamon, fruits, chocolate chips and other fun things. I normally just add some brown sugar and then top the waffle with strawberries whipped cream and syrup. I’d advise against using peanut butter though because of allergies (everyone is using the same waffle maker in the caf).
7. Burrito bowl, taco salad or breakfast burrito
Ask the sandwich station for a tortilla (they’re typically okay with doing this) and then add some chili if available (if not chop up a beef patty), top with cheese, white rice and beans from the salad bar and some lettuce. Skip the tortilla to make a salad, and add scramble eggs and hot sauce for a breakfast burrito.
8. A fruit parfait
This is simple beyond simple. Add a layer of yogurt (preferably one without anything in it), add a layer of fruit or granola, then another layer of yogurt. Do this until you’ve got your desired amount of parfait.
9. A”Shirley Temple”-esque drink
Combine ginger ale, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Combine in parts that fit your sweet tooth since not everyone’s tastes are the same. It’s not quite a Shirley Temple but it’s also not quite not a Shirley Temple. Does this make sense?
10. A kick butt chicken (or burger) concoction
Grab a chicken patty or burger from the buffet. A good amount of marinara sauce from the pasta station and combine with some hot sauce- add 2 slices of your choice of cheese and add that to the top and you’ve got yourself a great chikparm or burgparm.
Enjoy your cafeteria food and make do with what you got. Think outside of the cafeteria norm and don’t be afraid to break free. 😄
Nanette is a student at Le Moyne college studying criminology. Avid dreamer and elephant enthusiast. She enjoys hanging out with her pets and helping college students near and far