Making the most out of student meals

Students are not the most glamorous eaters. If not in the way we eat, but the actual meals we consume each and every day.

Graphic by Joshua Awolade
Graphic by Joshua Awolade

If you haven’t already noticed, students are not the most glamorous eaters. I’m not talking about the way in which we eat, but the actual meals we consume each and every day.

The average student’s diet consists mainly of quick, cheap and easy food that, even though delicious, can get boring after a while. These foods can include generic eats like pizza, Kraft Dinner, soup, pasta, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and so on.

The trouble is that we as students are so stuck in our instant meal ways that making an original culinary creation is usually out of the question.

However, there is a happy medium. It is possible to take boring student meals and add in some easy, yet delicious, ways to dress them up.

This way, you can still enjoy the food you’re comfortable making while switching it up just enough to make it interesting.

Kraft dinner is the student meal of all student meals. This macaroni and cheese dish is the example all your relatives use when they ask you if you have been eating healthy or are having too many bowls of golden noodles.

To spice up this residence life standard, you can boil a hot dog, slice it up and mix it in to the golden goodness; this will give it some more texture and hardiness, while reminding you of your childhood at the same time. You can also mix in some bacon crumble or cubed ham.

If you want to go even more radical than that, you can grab some bread, throw it in the toaster and crumble it on top. This may seem strange, but an extra crunch to the soft noodles is more than satisfying. Think of it as your KD’s very own croutons.

Soup is almost too easy to make. Whether it’s Mr. Noodles or a Campbell’s cup, soups of any variety can taste good but can get old quickly.

They get so bland after just one semester that sometimes it feels like the broth has turned into lukewarm bathwater.

To counteract the soup sadness, try putting in some hot sauce. Adding in a dash or two of Tabasco or Sriracha can transform your boring soup into the realest meal. You can also toss in some bread, basil or even your own vegetables to give it more of a boost.

Not drastic enough? Grab a bag of Tostitos and break off some pieces and drop them in the soup. This will help give it more texture and a hardier finish.

Grilled cheese can get dull pretty fast. Don’t let it get to the point where this bread and cheese combo becomes tasteless and it feels like you are eating paper.

If you’ve got the funds to get brie cheese, toss that in along with some apple slices for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Even easier than that though, is to toss some cold cuts in between those slices of bread and voila; the greatest grilled cheese.

With these suggestions in mind, it can be easy to add some excitement to even the simplest of dishes. While not limited to these options, exploring what is in your pantry already can also be a great place to find the inspiration to make your cheap meals taste much better.

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