It’s 9 am. You walk into your dreaded dining hall, scan the breakfast options and are faced with a familiar dilemma: the food is not up to your standards and you are HANGRY.
Everybody knows that if all else fails, eat cereal. But as someone who is constantly preaching their love for breakfast to friends and new acquaintances, it simply isn’t an option to settle for the classic Raisin Bran-banana combo. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we shouldn’t take that lightly.
As a second semester sophomore I find myself in an awkward in-between where I’m in my fourth semester of dining hall food, while many of my best friends enjoy their luxury of having a kitchenette. I envy the people that complain about their sink size in their miniature kitchen. I envy them because while they are piling on the dishes and re-using last night’s pan, I’m still complaining about the “eggs” sitting in water served at most dining halls.
…Clearly I’m bitter about the whole breakfast situation I’m in, but, like the #foodie I am, I learned to make-do with my dining hall’s offerings and compiled several must-know breakfast creations that you and I can always rely on when faced with this familiar breakfast dilemma. Here are nine of my favorite dining hall hacks.
1. Sophia’s Steel Cut Oatz
If you’re one of those people who can’t get past the consistency of steel-cut oats, this will change the game for you. It’ll also fill you up for a good portion of your day, hooray for good carbs. Just add cinnamon, vanilla almond milk, granola, craisins, blueberries and coconut shavings to prepared steel cut oats. Yum.
2. PB-Banana Toast
Have you ever noticed that dining halls have a suspicious surplus of bananas? Well, I have – and I’m not complaining. I use ’em whenever I can, like in this dope PB-Banana toast rendition. Just take two slices of bread, two packets of peanut butter, a banana, cinnamon, and honey. Make sure to try this out with cinnamon raison bread, too.
3. Loaded Peanut Butter Apple Slices
If you have the patience, this one’s for you. Check out the recipe here.
4. Not Yo’ Average Dining Hall Bagel-Bagel
Here at IC we are #blessed with Ithaca Bakery bagels every morning. I understand that not every school has that advantage, so we created this combo to make your average bagel worth the extra carbs. You’ll need: 1 bagel, some cream cheese, 2 tomato slices, and a couple onion slices.
5. Danny’s Saus-Egg-Cheese
Creds to my friend Danny for this one. He’s mastered the saus-egg-cheese game in the dining halls and I’m grateful for it. Open the bagel and add two eggs, mixed cheese, and sausage.
#SpoonTip: Order your eggs over hard with cheese and ask for the sausage on the side. You’ll thank me (Danny) later.
6. Fruit-Filled Parfait Waffles (or pancakes)
You can check out this recipe here. Gourmet dining hall breakfast FTW.
7. Cream Cheese French Toast with “Caramelized” Bananas
8. Avo-Toast (for beginners)
I don’t know about your dining hall, but mine does not supply avocados. With that being said, a friend of mine introduced me to the “guac” at the sandwich station…and it’ll do. They even toast my bread for me. You’ll need: two slices of toast, an avocado or your sandwich station’s guac, salt, and pepper (From here out your avo-toast can only become more creative, check out an example here).
9. Raisin Bran-Banana Combo
Fine, fine… this is definitely a go-to when you’re pressed for time and your resources are scarce. You’ll need: raisin bran, milk, and a banana.
I understand that not everybody is willing to wake up before their 10am for dining hall food, so, here is a list of 5 healthy breakfast hacks that you can make if you need those extra Zzzzs.