July 22, 2018 | ° F

Fresh food alternatives available at dining halls

Photo by Sabrina Szteinbaum |

The apricot and grilled chicken salad, topped with celery and onions, can be eaten on its own or on bread.

It isn’t very convenient for us students to incorporate fruits and vegetables into our daily diets away at college. Often on the run, with the temptation of take-out or the other greasy fast food options available around here, what’s the incentive to choose something fresh?

Here’s why — With 70 percent of college students gaining an average of 12 pounds by graduation, making healthier choices once in a while could keep you fit and trim for your future.


Option number one for this week, incorporates grilled chicken and apricots for an apricot chicken salad, great eaten on its own or between bread.

Photo: Sabrina Szteinbaum

This light red bean salad can be prepared by mixing beans with cucumbers, spinach, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Start by combining Greek yogurt and a little bit of mayonnaise. Finely chop celery and onions, then cut dried apricots into small pieces. You can also add raisins or other available dried fruit.

Cut grilled chicken into strips and again in half. Combine the chicken with the Greek yogurt mixture and mix in the apricots, raisins, celery and onions. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Though not a carnivore myself, my friends who accompanied me to the dining hall had only positive things to say about the sweet and savory salad.

To get even more creative, you could make this chicken salad sandwich into a modern-day grilled cheese by adding in American or Provolone cheese and throwing it on the Panini press.

The chicken salad would also make a great filling for lettuce wraps.


Option number two is a light and refreshing red bean salad. This salad would be a great cleanse after a few days of midterm stress eating.

First off, fill a bowl with red beans (or any bean type of your choice). Take cucumbers from the salad bar and cut them into four quarters. Chop spinach and add both to the beans.

In another bowl, season olive oil with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Dress the salad with the mixture.

Sprinkle feta cheese over the top.

Variations of this salad could include using white beans or chickpeas and adding tomatoes, celery and olives.

Next time you find yourself relying on fast food as fuel, think twice about the healthier options offered at the dining hall.  

By Sabrina Szteinbaum

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