How to Keep Dining Hall Meals Interesting

As the new semester begins, it’s exciting to be back on campus with friends, meeting new professors, and getting into the new classes. However, one thing I always miss is the food from home. At home, we might be used to delicious meals, restaurants, a full kitchen stocked with yummy snacks, and diners that are open 24/7. Eating in a dining hall almost every day can start to lose its appeal very quickly, which is why I think it’s important that everyone learn how to mix it up. 

1. Mix and match from different stations. At Wake Forest’s dining hall (and many others), there are specific stations. For example, the pasta bar, the grill, and the pizza bar. These stations serve pretty much the same sorts of foods every day, but if you get sick of the same thing over and over, it is so easy to mix the stations and come up with a killer meal. Pasta with grilled chicken and veggies from the salad bar? Easy!

2. Eggs. Since I’m an egg fanatic, I may have a slight bias, but the answer to most questions regarding meals can be answered with eggs. You can have eggs for each meal and have a different type. Fried, poached, omelets, scrambled, over easy, it doesn’t get better than eggs. You can put an egg on top of almost anything to create a delicious meal. You can even toast a bagel and make a breakfast sandwich! Aside from being super tasty, eggs are very healthy and filled with protein.

3. Different salads. When people think of salads, they think greens and veggies. Yes, you can make a healthy salad, but you can also be creative and turn a boring salad into a colorful plate, simply toss on some tuna, chicken, salmon, or steak. One of my favorite salads to make is a grilled shrimp salad with avocado and tomatoes. A salad doesn’t have to be sad! 

4. Try new things. This may seem like a given, but some people leave college never having tried so many of the different options in their dining halls. There is never any harm in trying new food. I would never know that I love falafel if I did not spontaneously try it one day for dinner in the dining hall. 

5. On-the-go. If you’re like me and do not always have the time to sit for a full meal, there are plenty of ways to create on the go meals. There may be options you are not aware of in the dining hall. For example, many dining halls offer smoothies, which are an easy and delicious way to get your fruits in for the day. Most dining halls will provide plastic cups and bowls, so grab a smoothie and a cup of yogurt, and you have your breakfast.