You learn a lot of things your freshman year at Duke – how many people can squeeze into a taxi, exactly how many minutes before class you need to leave your dorm and how to navigate the campus amid the ever-changing construction. But if there’s one thing that Duke students are really, really good at, it’s complaining about the freshman dining plan, whether in person or on YikYak. If you find yourself walking into Marketplace and having no idea what to eat, keep reading. If you eat the same grilled chicken and salad, or burger and fries every night, keep reading. Below are a few ideas to transform your Marketplace experience and make you excited about eating there again.
On the rare, exciting days when Marketplace has hummus, carpe diem. Toast a slice of bread, preferably whole wheat to add some fiber, and spread that blessed hummus on top. The combination of the whole wheat bread and the protein in the hummus will keep you full for a while. Slice up some cucumbers from the salad bar to place on top of the hummus. Drizzle with olive oil, found next to the salad dressings, and add pepper at the table for a crisp and refreshing meal. If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, add some grilled chicken and make it a sandwich.
If there’s one thing us Northerners miss down here in the South, it’s a good breakfast sandwich from your favorite deli. Even though it isn’t quite the same, this breakfast sandwich is a good substitute at the dining hall. Put any combination of your favorite breakfast sandwich toppings on a toasted bagel. My favorite is a plain toasted bagel with hashbrowns, eggs, bacon and hot sauce (found next to the silverware). Beware – there won’t usually be cheese at weekday breakfast, but if you’re hankering for a breakfast sandwich at brunch on the weekends, you can take some cheddar cheese from the salad bar.
Peanut Butter-Banana Toast
For a light meal when you’re just going to Marketplace to be with friends, or for that one last bit of food to supplement your smorgasbord of a dinner, try this peanut butter-banana toast. Toast a piece of white or whole wheat bread and spread some peanut butter on top. Slice up a banana to top it off and enjoy!
By now, you probably know there’s a waffle maker. But why make boring, plain waffles when you can make blueberry ones? Take some blueberries from the fruit or yogurt bar over to the waffle station. Pour in your cup of batter, and then sprinkle some blueberries in. Let your waffle cook and top with maple syrup, more fruit or whipped cream – or all of the above! If you want to try a different mix-in, check out the pancake station and see if there are chocolate chips, or slice up some strawberries and mix those into your batter instead.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Peanut butter and jelly is an elementary school classic, but did you realize you could make it at Marketplace at breakfast or dinner? There’s always bread, jelly, and peanut butter available, so simply make the sandwich and enjoy the familiar taste of a good ol’ PB&J.
There are made-to-order wraps available at Marketplace lunch, but what if you want one come dinnertime? If you thought you were out of luck, think again. Slice some grilled chicken (or any other protein available), add some lettuce and veggies from the salad bar, pick a dressing and wrap it all up in a tortilla from the gluten-free fridge. Despite being gluten-free, these tortillas are just like any other. However, they are kept in the fridge, so it wouldn’t hurt to microwave the tortilla for a few seconds before rolling it to prevent it from breaking. Didn’t realize there was a microwave at Marketplace? Don’t know where to find it? It’s in the stir-fry-side dining area, towards the back of the little room. To make your creation even more interesting, you can even add some fruit, like in this orange infused grilled chicken wrap.
Looking for something sweet to finish off your meal, but nothing at the dessert section looks good? Want to stay mildly healthy? Slice up a banana and spread some peanut butter on each slice. Get a small amount of the topping of your choice from the fro-yo bar and dip your banana slices, peanut butter side down, into the topping and enjoy.
Fro-Yo Cookie Sandwich
You love Marketplace cookies, and you love the fro-yo (now that the machine is fixed). Why not put the two together? Take a cookie and swirl some chocolate or vanilla frozen yogurt on the flat side. Sandwich it with another cookie and enjoy your very own fro-yo cookie sandwich!
If you’d like to read more for inspiration, check out these ideas from other Spoon campuses: