Oberlin Blogs

Dining Hall Hacks

November 11, 2016

Sarah Dalgleish ’20

As far as dining hall food goes, Oberlin has food that is, I believe, leaps and bounds better than average. And I'm not just saying that. There are tons of options, it's super easy to eat healthy, there are always vegetarian and vegan selections, and the wonderfulness that is fresh, cheesy Stevie breadsticks deserves a blog post all its own.

All in all, we have it really good here. That being said, the question still remains as to how to eat so many meals at the same place without getting bored of the food. Luckily, my friends and I have found ways to get creative and invent our own gourmet masterpieces using only ingredients in the cafeteria. I present to you our secret, most coveted dining hall hacks.

First, some practical advice

There are two main dining halls on campus: Stevenson (Stevie) and Dascomb. They both have rotating stations of food every day that feature different food from around the world, more of a "comfort food" option, and vegan and vegetarian meals. Both also always have a grill station, a sandwich station, an awesome salad bar, and pizza. It's easy to mix it up day to day because of all the options, but when you just aren't feeling any of the food, never fear, there are even more choices!

You can...

  • Visit a co-op with a friend who's in one
  • Head to DeCafe for a smoothie or some deli treats
  • Eat at Lord Saunders (I haven't tried it yet, but I hear the mac and cheese and chicken are delicious)
  • Stop by Science Cart for some food on the run

Or, you can try some real life Oberlin students' tried and true dining hall creations below.

The Mix and Matches

For the Sunday Morning Hash at Stevie brunch, you will need

  • Hash Browns or breakfast potatoes
  • Bacon
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Steamed veggies if desired

Crumble the bacon, chop up the veggies with a dining hall knife, and mix all the ingredients together on a plate. Sauce liberally with ketchup or hot sauce. Don't think about the homework you've been putting off all weekend.

For the Every Station in Stevie Pasta you will need

  • Plain noodles from the pasta station
  • A hamburger or turkey patty from the grill station or tofu from the salad bar
  • Pesto from the sandwich station (can be substituted by marinara sauce from the pasta station)
  • Steamed veggies from the vegetarian station
  • Parmesan cheese from the pizza station

Cut up the meat/tofu and vegetables and mix with the pesto and pasta. Almost every food group in a single dish! Don't forget a breadstick.

For the Trek back to South Campus Trail Mix you will need

  • A cup
  • Pretzels from the sandwich station
  • Sunflower seeds*
  • Goldfish*
  • Raisins and or craisins*

Place all ingredients in the cup and mix thoroughly

*can be found at the salad bar

Ice, Ice, Baby

For the Cure for a Bad Day, you will need

  • 2 cookies of the flavor of your choice
  • Soft serve ice cream from Stevie

Place one cookie below the soft serve ice cream machine and carefully spread ice cream evenly over it. Top with the other cookie to make a sandwich. If it's a particularly bad day, roll the sides of the sandwich in rainbow sprinkles for some color (colorful food is healthy, right?) and an extra sugar boost.

For the Mudd(y) Buddy, you will need

  • A cup or mug
  • Soft serve ice cream
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chocolate syrup

Add all ingredients to the cup and stir thoroughly to distribute them evenly through ice cream. This is my personal favorite dining hall hack.

Sandwiches that seem gross but are actually delicious

For the Panini and Jelly, you will need

  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Two slices of bread
  • The panini press

Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Place it in the panini press for a warm, gooey, toasty treat. Trust me, it will change your life.

For the 4th Meal* Mac and Cheese Monster you will need

  • Mac and cheese
  • Two slices of bread
  • The panini press

I know what you're thinking... and yes. Spread the mac and cheese evenly over one piece of bread and place the other on top to make a mac and cheese sandwich. Place in the panini press to complete the grilled cheese transformation. Full disclosure, I haven't actually tried this one, but I saw someone else do it and was intrigued. If you decide to brave it, let me know your results.

*4th meal is served at Dascomb on Sunday through Thursday from 10-11:30 PM. Every night has a fun theme for food, there's music and lights, and basically it's the best study break ever.

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