Sizzle or swirl your way to these DIY dining hall hacks


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Campus is coming to life as we get back into the swing of a brand new semester. Whether you’re still in the midst of recovery from the conclusion of syllabus week, stressed about the rising prices of school textbooks or just happy to be back in Hub City, sooner or later you’ll probably find yourself bored (and hungry) at your local campus dining hall. 

Gone are the luxurious summer days of familiar home-cooked meals and walking down to a packed pantry full of snacks. But no worries—Inside Beat has you covered. We’ve prepared some simple but delicious do-it-yourself dining hall recipes that will add some variety to your routine and spice up your day! 

DIY Waffle Panini

Sandwiches are one of the easiest and most convenient options at the dining hall. However, with limited options at the deli line, we’ve come up with a solution that puts a little spin on the classic sandwich.

Introducing ... the waffle panini! We all know waffles are traditionally a staple of breakfast, but this recipe will satisfy your cravings at any given time of day. 

Use the waffle maker at the dining hall to start building your unique masterpiece. Split your waffle into two or four pieces, treat them like pieces of bread and add ingredients in between! 

For example, if you’re on a health kick, we recommend adding hummus, olive oil, spinach, tomato, onion, turkey and peppers for a tasty brunch option. On the other hand, if you’re in need of calories or, in other words, “gains,” try chipotle sauce or spicy mayo, lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon or salami. For a quick breakfast option, try a waffle panini complete with peanut butter, strawberries, bananas and chocolate syrup! 

When you’re finished with all the ingredients on the waffle, pop it in the panini press for the traditional flattened look of a real Italian panini. Or if you’re a fan of the fluffy waffle texture, bring it to the deli line to get toasted to a lighter crisp! 

DIY Ice Cream Soda

For an extra-fancy dessert, try creating your own ice cream soda. This recipe packs a lot of flavor and is easy to create. Fill a glass three-quarters of the way with your favorite bubbly drink, and top it off with a swirl of soft-serve frozen yogurt. Some of our favorite go-to combinations include Ginger ale with vanilla yogurt or Cherry Pepsi and chocolate yogurt. For even fancier options, try Fanta and vanilla for a creamsicle flavor or Sprite and strawberry yogurt for a strawberry-lemonade twist. 

Be creative with your toppings — we suggest marshmallows, sprinkles, almonds, crushed Butterfingers or any other selections of your choice. You can also just enjoy the refreshing, bubbly dessert by itself. It's the perfect way to relax after a long day of classes.

Even when the dining hall offers mundane options, you can enhance the experience with fun, new do-it-yourself recipes!


Natalie Lin

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