Eating in a College Cafeteria

8 Feb

Happy Friday! We hope you have all have fun plans for this weekend! We’re crossing our fingers that the snow does not ruin them! We just hate when the snow ruins fun plans. This weekend is going to be pretty low-key. Saturday we have a lunch date at Devon’s Seafood with our parents to celebrate accepting our bid’s to Phi Sigma Sigma! Devon’s has the best seafood ever so we are definitely excited. On Sunday we decided to meal prep for the upcoming week since we are just so busy lately. Our meal prep for sunday includes making homemade sun butter, a big batch of minestrone soup, baked falafel, hard boiled eggs, and lentil vegetable burgers! If all goes well expect a couple of new recipes next week!

Lets face it, although cooking all our meals at home can sometimes be a pain, we’re beyond thankful we don’t live on a college campus. Why might that be? Well besides having the flexibility to choose when we’re on or off campus, we also don’t have to eat in the campus cafeteria. Compared to our last college (University of Scranton) LVC’s selection is slim. Their salad bar is kinda pathetic, and their steamed vegetables are either cold or nonexistent. When we eat on campus with our sorority sisters once a week we try to get creative to think of something to make in the cafe for dinner. Here’s some of our tips, recent eats to better navigate your way through your college cafeteria. and to hoping your college or work cafeteria has a better selection than ours. That’s why we choose to stick with no meal plan, pack and plan meals ahead of time, and rarely eat on campus. It saves so much money in the long run too. Meal plans are $$$$$.

Here is a list of our usual salad bar go-to’s depending on what is available that day. We’ve come to realize you cannot rely on the cafeteria to have anything!
1. Mixed Greens
2. Grape Tomatoes
3. Shredded Carrots
4. Cucumber Slices
5. Peppers
6. Cottage Cheese
7. Fresh Fruit (apple, orange, grapes, etc) cut up on top
8. Hummus
9. Sliced Turkey from the carving station or the deli line
10. Dressing on the side or fresh lemon squeezed on top
11. Raisins, Dried Cranberries
12. Beans

To make a healthy salad we usually start with mixed greens and top them with our favorite vegetables, some sort of protein, cottage cheese, hummus, and either dried cranberries or raisins. Adding hummus and cottage cheese to a salad means you do not really need a dressing. Most salad bars do not have lighter dressing options so this is a quick fix to give basic greens some flavor. If you absolutely must use dressing pour the dressing in a separate bowl and dip your fork in before you take a bite. This way you are not loading your salad with tons of dressing you don’t need but still getting the flavor in every bite!

Sometimes we just are not in the mood for a salad though. Some other ideas for healthy meals can be found at the deli station. Most cafeterias have some type of deli and if you make the right choices you can have a healthy sandwich. First, start with a multigrain bread any time you get a sandwich. Then ask for lettuce, tomato, onion, meat of choice (ask for only 2 slices), and cheese. You can also opt for no meat and then take it over to the salad bar and add hummus yourself.

It is always important to not forget about serving sizes. It is easy to become overwhelmed in the cafe and end up with more on your plate then you need. Here is a photo teaching you tips on how to use your hands for portion control. It’s pretty simple to understand and great to keep in the back of your mind to check how much food is actually on your plate.

The other helpful tip we learned last year at Scranton was that you can customize anything to your preference. Sandwich wise, the bacon ranch turkey avocado special at the deli can easily be made into an avocado and veggie sandwich or turkey and avocado sandwich. You do not have to get everything on your sandwich just because it is advertised that way.

Finally, the only good thing about most college cafeterias are that they are usually stocked with tons of fresh fruit. A piece of fresh fruit is the perfect addition to a sandwich to complete a meal. Also make sure to grab a couple bananas, oranges, and apples to keep in your room for the next time you need a healthy snack!

Honestly, the big thing we want to stress to you is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want. We use to feel bad asking for changes. Now we’ve realized that it’s their job to make you happy! You pay enough for it anyways!

Our recent cafeteria salad. For cafeteria food it wasn’t too bad!



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