Dining Hall Remix

Hey there!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

This past weekend, I went home to attend a wedding, but had other fun throughout the weekend too!  Some of the highlights include:
– going to a new restaurant with the fam (they serve cavatelli- one of my favorite types of pasta!)
– successfully completing my 18-mile run
– attending the wedding!
– sleeping in

All weekends must come to an end, so I headed back to school today ready to attend my group project meetings.  And, as always, I headed back with a lot of food.  I will never turn down an offer for food.  Never.

Anyways, my mom gave me some sliced ham from The Honey Baked Ham Company.  If you haven’t had it, it’s delicious.  Sweet + Salty = YUM.  I haven’t gone grocery shopping for a while, so I decided to head over to a dining hall to “shop” for my sides. Unfortunately, they had run out of baked potatoes and baked sweet potatoes by the time I had gotten there.  With my starch ideas being gone, I had to look for a new side.  Rice with ham?  Nah.  Waffle fries with ham?  No.  Pasta with red sauce?  Nope (I’ve had pasta with red sauce the past four or five days).   I realized that in order to get a side dish filled with the carbs I wanted, I needed to start getting creative.  After a walk around of all the sections (Mexican, Asian, Healthy Options, Grill, Salad Station, Deli, and Pasta Bar), I decided to make my own pasta side.

Instead of using the pasta sauces given, I decided to make my own “mac & cheese” with: plain corkscrew pasta noodles, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder.  Ingenious?  Not really.  A traditional option at the pasta bar? No.  Here’s my final dinner plate including: my “mac & cheese”, steamed broccoli (also from the dining hall), tomatoes (thanks again, dining hall), and my sliced ham from home.

"mac & cheese"

I’ve found that at dining halls, you really need to start getting creative.  No matter how many options your dining hall has, you will probably get tired of some meals and learn to avoid others.

Not sure of how to “re-mix” some dining hall options?  Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Refreshing Wrap:
-1 Spinach Wrap, 2 Slices Turkey, 3 Slices Cucumber, Small Handful of Fresh Spinach, 3 Slices Tomatoes, 2 TB Guacamole, 2 TB Ranch Dressing.
Spread guacamole on the wrap.  Then add turkey, cucumbers, spinach, and tomatoes.  Finally, drizzle ranch dressing and then wrap it up!  If you have a panini press, press it down until it’s nice and heated 🙂

Buffalo Wrap
-1 Spinach Wrap, 1 Chicken Breast, 1/4 Cup Lettuce, 3 Slices Tomatoes, 3 Slices Pickles, Hot Sauce , Ranch Dressing (optional).
Dice the chicken breast, then put that and all other ingredients into wrap, add hot sauce (make it as spicy as you want!) and dip it into ranch dressing.

Chili Cheese Dog
– Pretty self explanatory. Combine chili, shredded cheese, and a hot dog.  But, what if your dining hall already has this?
Add: Jalapenos, fresh tomatoes, and substitute Pepper-jack Cheese for cheddar cheese.

Ham & Pineapple Sandwich– similar to a sandwich I had while in Germany, so tasty!
– 2 Slices Wheat Bread, Slices of Pineapple, 3 Slices of Ham, Provolone Cheese.
-Place Provolone Cheese on one slice of bread, followed by the pineapple, and finally by the ham and other slice of bread.  (Avoid putting the pineapple directly on the bread, as this will make it soggy.)  Then, put it in a panini press and enjoy!

PB Waffle– I made this for breakfast the other day, and I’ll be having something similar to this tomorrow for my birthday breakfast!
-Belgian Waffle (we have waffle stations- so if you have this too, make it there! Otherwise, you can use whatever waffles they may be serving, or use french toast or pancakes instead), 2 TB Peanut Butter, 1 Banana
-Slice the banana.  Spread the peanut butter on the waffle/pancake/french toast and then add the banana on top.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Garlic & Oil Pasta
– Whole wheat pasta, 10 Cherry tomatoes, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Olive Oil
-Super easy! Add the cherry tomatoes to the pasta, drizzle with olive oil (until the pasta has received a good drizzle-but it shouldn’t be floating!), and then finish with garlic powder and red pepper flakes to taste.  If you like cheese, add some Parmesan cheese as well!

Hope some of these recipes help you to change-up your normal dining hall meals!  (Or, give you ideas to make at home!)

Questions for you:
-How do you change your normal recipes to make them “new” again?

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