We all need a change in our cafeteria meals every once in a while, and although we all have our own hacks and creations, I’ve made a list of some of my personal favorites.

Hot Sauce

If you haven’t figured out that the strange, unbranded hot sauce in the ketchup-looking bottle is the most versatile ingredient in the caf, you are missing out big time. This hot sauce will make anything you eat taste like a spicy buffalo wing, which is always what you want. Put it on your fries, your panini press concoctions, your pasta, your tater tots or anything else. It can help you mix up every meal. If you think it might be a good addition, it probably will be.

Rice Bowls

Feeling kinda healthy today? A rice bowl might do the trick. Start by getting a big bowl of rice from the bowls line and adding vegetables – I like to use edamame, carrots, peas, salsa from tortilla line or the steamed veggies by the pizza. You can also add some chicken, beans or meat from grill or tortilla. Next add some soy sauce, Tabasco, chipotle aioli or whatever you are in the mood for.

Paninin Press, Always

This is the easiest way to make anything taste significantly better. Of course, grilled cheeses are good, but try making a quesadilla from the tortilla line or just pressing your burrito. You can also put your burgers in the press (turkey burgers with pepper jack are my favorite). For breakfast try a bagel, egg, bacon and cheese sandwich with hot sauce in the panini press. Peanut butter and jelly? Panini press. Sandwich? Panini press. Biscuit with honey and butter? Panini press. If you can put it inside bread you can put it in the panini press.

DIY Cage Drinks

Are you out of Cage dollars? Well, don’t fear, because you can make some pretty good drinks in the caf. My personal favorite is a hot chocolate cold press. Start with a lot of ice and chocolate milk, then add some coffee for a pretty decent drink  (even though I guess this is kind of a cold chocolate hot press, it evens out.) Another drink I like to make is a DIY London Fog. Start with some Earl Grey tea in hot water and add some milk. It’s not the same, but it’s still pretty good.

Pasta Hacks

A good way to boost your pasta dish is simply adding parmesan, cheddar, hot veggies, chicken or ground beef. But, you can take it a step farther by mixing the marinara and alfredo or adding some tabasco or hot sauce. Also, keep an eye out for when they offer the chipotle cream sauce, it’s to die for.

Yogurt

You can do a lot with the yogurts here besides just adding some granola. You can add honey, peanut butter, Chex, jelly, cinnamon and more to make an awesome snack or healthy dessert. Another good hack I learned from my friend Meredith Enersen ’21 is Chex cereal with peanut butter and jelly (skip the milk) for a crunchy deconstructed peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat with a spoon.

I hope you can draw some inspiration from these caf hacks I picked up from friends and random cravings.

leikvo1@stolaf.edu