Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beyond the 'Wa: Dining Hall Dining

It’s been about six months of dining hall food and I hear people becoming bored with the same old tricolor tortellini and pizza. To ward off such a jaded attitude toward food, I explored some alternatives—namely, cooking for yourself in the dining hall. This is nothing fancy, but using a creative combination of ingredients enhances the epicurean palate.

Here’s a day at Forbes:

Early in the morning, I’m thrilled to find the strawberry bowls brimming with strawberries. Today’s breakfast is thus a yogurt parfait—experiment with different cereals, fruits, and top it off with a drizzle of honey- a light, filling start to the day.

Today for lunch there’s southwest salad: black beans, corn, red peppers, and tomatoes. It’s calling to be stuffed in a pita with some cottage cheese. The cool cottage cheese balances the zesty mixture with a bit of chili powder and jalapeno pepper and the whole mixture is rounded out by the whole wheat pita. Interesting varieties include stuffing in with salad bar delights—salsa, green peppers, chicken, or tuna complement this well.

At dinner, I create an open-faced sandwich, but this can always be topped off with another piece of bread. I spread the creamy, garlicky hummus on whole grain toast and top it with black beans, green peppers, and craisins. This is delicious. The hearty hummus, black beans, and whole grain bread make this surprisingly filling. The green peppers give it a nice crunch and the craisins add a tangy touch. Again, experiment with those salad bar toppings. Carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, eggs, chicken, and tuna all make good toppings. With so many choices, who’s complaining?


090909 said...

I also think the dining halls get a bad rap. At least at Mathey/Rocky, you have the hamburger/chicken grill, the pasta bar, veggie options with an entree and steamed vegetable, a meat option with another vegetable side, a full salad bar, 2 soup options, and another set of daily salad options, not to mention all kinds of cereal and bread. If you can't assemble a decent meal out of that you're doing something wrong.

Anonymous said...

You have a disgusting palate. The "creamy" hummus served in dining halls is an abomination to the name, is hardly "garlicky" and is downright sinful to claim "hearty." Your inability to appreciate the inner truths of hummus underlines your acceptance of the falseness, the downright mockery that is the Dining Hall contraption. Blended peas does not a hummus make.

Your defense of the Dining Hall does not, in fact, raise it above the levels of the Wa, which also serves disastrous hummus. Your breakfast "parfait" is a sham, considering that the half-diseased yogurt they serve is always inappropriately sweetened, the breakfast cereals have been there for months (especially the grainy, crunchy variety that best contrasts to a parfaits texture), and your drizzle of honey is confectionery crap that mocks the nature of the bees that produce the real ethereal elixir. Furthermore, the "southwest salad" is hardly southwest, hardly a salad, though it is entirely disgusting. So, you know, good job picking that to base your meal on.

Finally... Craisins, with Hummus? Covered in Bell Peppers? I rest my case.