There is no doubt that trips to the college cafeteria become monotonous. Naturally, we start heading straight for our favorite food stations upon entry and suddenly it’s Thursday and we realize we’ve eaten pasta and chocolate brownie trifle every day since Monday—make that two Mondays ago. Well, I’ve got a big secret to share: the key to enjoying cafeteria food is creativity. Here at Albion College, Bon Appetit provides over 50 different options for fruits, vegetables, yogurts, toppings and seasonings so that students have the opportunity to customize the food they consume. It’s time to stop heading straight over to the the “Briton Hearth” pizza oven and get creative! Here are nine different easy-to-make recipes to help you to switch it up in Baldwin and spark your own culinary innovation:
Emily Walz, Clarklake sophomore, creates her own delicious breakfast food utilizing the waffle machine. This waffle is packed with healthy fruit and divine chocolate chips to make for the kind of breakfast worth getting out of bed for.
- 1/2 banana
- Handful of dried cranberries
- 1/2 apple
- Handful of chocolate chips (may have to request from kitchen)
- Maple Syrup
“Grab-and-Go Greek Granola Parfait”
The perfect breakfast for that four minute and thirty second slot in your schedule right before you make the sprint across campus to be on time for your 9:15. Trust me, we all do it.
- Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 Apple
- Tablespoon Peanut Butter
- Tablespoon Honey (stir into yogurt for a delightful and natural sweetener)
Lemon is so last year. Burst into spring (if Michigan ever gives us one) with a refreshing twist of cucumber. According to Livestrong.com, adding slices of cucumber to your water not only adds fresh flavor but Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Potassium.
- Ice Water
- Sliced Cucumber (found at salad bar)
“Cali’s Spring Salad”
Macallister Steffenhagen, Naples, Italy, sophomore, recently raved about the salad she came up with on her own one evening at Baldwin. The first word that came to mind when she thought about a name for her salad? Spring.
- Baby spinach
- Red Onion
- Pinto (Black) Beans
- Dried Cranberries
- Blue Cheese
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tip: Sweeten this salad up with raspberry vinaigrette instead!
“Beau’s Almond Butter Bliss”
Cami Beauregard, Birmingham sophomore, uses organic peanut and almond butter to create a quick, healthy and filling snack that will melt in your mouth between classes. According to Founder and CEO of Living Tree Community Foods, who makes the Almond Butter using organic almonds grown in California, “Almonds are loaded with healing properties. They contain Vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant to overall well-being.”
- 1/2 Apple
- 1/2 Banana
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon Organic Peanut Butter
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon Almond Butter
“Baldwin-original Gourmet Burger”
With a Baldwin food station that is constantly grilling, it’s about time we get creative with our burgers. Try toasting your bun in the toaster oven, throwing grilled vegetables in the mix or taking an extra minute to melt the cheese in the microwave (located for student use in the Keller) to get the most flavor out of your burger.
- Toasted Bun
- Beef Burger Patty
- Sliced Tomato
- Blue Cheese crumbles (melted in the microwave)
If you’re going to eat pasta, start thinking outside of the box—or maybe like an Italian. Baldwin provides a plethora of vegetables to choose from and a pasta primavera (colorful, fresh “spring-time” pasta) is easy to spice up with almost any kind of veggie. With a little bit of olive oil and Parmesean, your own pasta primavera is easy to concoct. (Try broccoli, mushroom and Parmesan cheese for my ultimate favorite!)
- Plain Pasta Noodles
- Baby spinach (will wilt into pasta with added olive oil)
- Chopped Cherry Tomatoes
- Handful of Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
Gluten Free? Try adding the rice noodles offered at the stir-fry station!
“Baldwin Burrito Bowl”
Who needs Qdoba when you could have Baldwin? There is nothing more obtainable in Baldwin than rice so try adding pork (as pictured) or any other meats available that day along with the Mexican toppings for—I am not exaggerating—a burrito bowl better than Qdoba’s. Because of Bon Appetit’s commitment to buying local and fresh ingredients, you can count on this dish to taste light yet scrumptious.
- Sliced Pork (or any meat you prefer)
- Cheddar Cheese
- Salsa (if Mexican toppings aren’t out, ask a Baldwin staff member for a small portion of them!)
- Sour Cream
*For a healthy alternative, sub Greek Yogurt for sour cream and Quinoa for rice.
“Zesty Lemon-pepper Chicken”
Why didn’t mom season spinach like this when we were kids? This is my go-to meal at Baldwin. With chicken and baby-spinach made readily available, there is nothing easier than whipping up this healthy and simple-to-make dinner. Toss the baby spinach in just enough olive oil to wilt the leaves, grind fresh salt and pepper over the spinach and chicken and squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice all over to make for this zesty and delectable dish!
- Grilled Chicken
- Baby Spinach
- Olive Oil
- Fresh-ground Salt and Pepper (grinders found above salad dressings at salad bar)
- Fresh-squeezed Lemon (Sliced lemon found near coffee station and soft-drink machine near Keller)
Photos by Alexa Hyman