As much as the hardworking staff at Leonard try to bring variety into our diets, cafeteria food can still get a little monotonous.

You should never have to settle when it comes to food. If food at Lenny starts to bore you, take it upon yourself to get creative. Try out these clever hacks to add colour to your plate and excitement to your tongue:

1. Shirley Temple

dining hall

Photo by Joyce Li

You may have seen this coral beverage in the cafeteria and wondered where it came from. This Shirley-Temple-esque drink is a concoction consisting of orange juice, cranberry juice and ginger ale. Feel free to tweak the ratio to hit your sweet spot.

If you’re looking for more soda-based creations, try your hand at reproducing this mint and lemon soda in the cafeteria. This soda recipe is perfect for spring.

2. Salad… A Lot of Salad

dining hall

Photo by Mackenzie Barth

Every day, countless lettuce leaves perish uneaten on the cafeteria trays because the salad bowls are far too small. The solution? Just grab a bigger plate.

Although the stack of plates near the burgers and fries are meant for the main course, you can always use those plates for a healthier alternative.

3. Sriracha + Anything (in this case, pizza)

dining hall

Photo Courtesy of Nick Ut/Associated Press

Cheese pizza is a college staple, but here at Queen’s, we like to go above and beyond. Upgrade your ordinary pizza with a generous drizzle of sriracha, and you have an entirely new cheesy, spicy, sexy experience for the taste buds.

4. Root Beer Float

dining hall

Photo by Joyce Li

Root beer is nice and all, but you have the potential to turn your average glass of root beer into a royal treat Cinderella-style.

A scoop of ice cream can upgrade your root beer into its superior cousin: the root beer float. Just make sure to leave enough room for the ice cream to prevent an edible volcano from erupting.

If you want to turn things up a notch, check out how to make cafeteria root beer floats more sophisticated through the adult root beer float recipe.

5. Ice Cream Sandwich

dining hall

Photo by Joyce Li

This one’s a true classic. School can be stressful, so if you’re going to eat your feelings you might as well do it with some pizzazz.

Grab two cookies of your choice from the dessert table and then ask the ice cream server to drop your favourite flavour onto your cookie. Squash the second cookie on top, and voila. You have an ice cream sandwich.

Help yourself to more Spoon hacks: