The Daily Illini

How to beat the dining hall blues

It%E2%80%99s+time+to+take+your+sandwich+game+up+a+notch%21+Mixing+up+your+food+and+trying+new+combinations+is+a+good+way+to+change+the+monotony+of+your+dining+hall+experience.+Here+is+a+caprese+sandwich+that+is+topped+with+shredded+cheddar+and+mozzarella.+In+the+background+a+Boston+cream+pie+dessert%21
Back to Article
Back to Article

How to beat the dining hall blues

It’s time to take your sandwich game up a notch! Mixing up your food and trying new combinations is a good way to change the monotony of your dining hall experience. Here is a caprese sandwich that is topped with shredded cheddar and mozzarella. In the background a Boston cream pie dessert!

It’s time to take your sandwich game up a notch! Mixing up your food and trying new combinations is a good way to change the monotony of your dining hall experience. Here is a caprese sandwich that is topped with shredded cheddar and mozzarella. In the background a Boston cream pie dessert!

Nimisha Singh

It’s time to take your sandwich game up a notch! Mixing up your food and trying new combinations is a good way to change the monotony of your dining hall experience. Here is a caprese sandwich that is topped with shredded cheddar and mozzarella. In the background a Boston cream pie dessert!

Nimisha Singh

Nimisha Singh

It’s time to take your sandwich game up a notch! Mixing up your food and trying new combinations is a good way to change the monotony of your dining hall experience. Here is a caprese sandwich that is topped with shredded cheddar and mozzarella. In the background a Boston cream pie dessert!

By Melissa Niemiec, Staff Writer

I remember the days as a blissful freshman, boasting to my siblings about how my dining hall food was actually pretty good and getting excited about eating the interesting cultural dishes that my mother would never cook at home. Then, I discovered dining hall meals are on a rotation.

At first you’re in denial saying, “I can just go to the specialty restaurants,” and, “I really like this butterfly shrimp, so I don’t mind eating it every single Sunday.” But, now it’s spring semester and I bet you’re stopping at Bangkok Thai, guilty that you’re wasting money on a meal, but not able to choke down the same chicken you’ve been eating all fall semester.

Luckily with a little creativity, you can make your stomach and your wallet happy.

Turn a sad salad into a super one

The protein at most dining hall salad bars is usually shabby at best, but who says you have to only make a salad at the salad bar? Spice up that unappetizing pile of veggies with some cut up chicken or pork swiped from other sections of the dining space. Also, since salad bars tend to only offer cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and other basic toppings, you can also borrow some seasoned veggies, like broccoli or cabbage, from the other side of the dining hall to add a little flavor.

Make everything a sandwich

This is an especially good move for breakfast when eggs, some kind of meat and potatoes are the items served every day. The sandwich fixings are out at all times of day in most dining halls, so it’s very easy to create new flavors by stacking them up in a delicious ‘wich. You can bring unlikely flavors together by adding a sauce, sticking them between two buns and digging in. Don’t be afraid to get a little wacky!

Try new things

This one is simple, but students are often hesitant to do it.

There is always that one item served at the dining hall you’ve never eaten because you’re convinced it’s too weird or that you wouldn’t like it at all. Maybe it’s from the vegan section, or possibly it’s ethnically different from what you usually eat. Maybe you ate your mother’s ravioli once and 5-year-old you decided thou shalt never eat ravioli again.

If you’re bored of your routine, branch out and try something new. You might just find your favorite meal.

Take a cooking class at the ARC

The ARC’s instructional kitchen has cooking classes for $10 almost every Wednesday from 5:30-7 p.m.  Though this isn’t free, it teaches you a skill and is generally a fun thing you can do with your friends. It is a demonstration, so in the class you’re only having samples, but you are encouraged to bring containers to take food home with you.

If you’re interested in a class, call the ARC at least three days in advance to let them know you’re coming. Instead of going out with your friends for dinner and a movie, take a cooking class together so you can eat and learn a new skill at the same time.

Melissa is a sophomore in LAS.

[email protected]

 

Leave a Comment
The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871