Students and alumni dish their dining hall hacks

Students have discovered some hacks for eating at the dining halls on campus, like making ice cream sandwiches. Grace Fortier | Photographer

By Mariah Bennett | Staff Writer

At Baylor, freshman students are required to choose a traditional meal plan membership, according to Baylor’s housing and dining webpage. While there are a variety of plan options, all involve going to a Baylor dining hall. Fortunately, there are ways to enhance your dining hall meals, snacks and desserts through hacks and tips from former dining hall attendees.

McKinney alumna Chantal Canales said that most of her former dining hall hacks related to desserts. Canales said she had a weekly tradition involving getting ice cream every Friday at The Penland Crosslands.

“I would get a scoop of whatever the flavor of the day was and then two chocolate chip cookies and get an ice cream sandwich,” Canales said “It was the best part of my week honestly.”

Canales said the ice cream sandwich recipe was applicable at 1845 at Memorial.

“Memorial has the better ice cream for sure,” Canales said “Those cookies and that gelato, I would do anything for that right now.”

Besides desserts, there are also ways for students to modify their food in general.

Austin sophomore Kelsey Runte modified her dining hall food on Taco Tuesdays. But another way students can modify their food, specifically at Penland, is to modify the ingredients from the Deli and Produce station by making lettuce wraps using a lettuce leaf, another vegetable like a tomato, a protein, and sriracha sauce.

Runte however, a non-meat eater, said she would consider the wrap using tofu, but that it wasn’t for her.

“I didn’t know people did that,” Runte said “Lettuce wraps are always interesting because without the meat, it’s a weird mix of vegetables”

However, Runte also said that it was a smart idea to microwave vegetables from the salad bar in order to ‘steam’ the vegetables. Runte said she also enjoyed steamed vegetables with melted cheese, which can be made with dining hall food by microwaving both cheese and a plate of vegetables, like broccoli.

“I’ve had that before, I do like it.” Runte said “Broccoli especially, so good.”

Canales said that another dining hall hack she followed was creating a taco salad by using ingredients from the Tex-Mex bar and the salad bar.

“There’s taco meat, cheese and guacamole … making your own taco salad with ingredients from the salad bar,” Canales said.

Besides modifying food, there are general hacks when eating at a dining hall. Dallas junior Nelley Sobh attended dining halls as a freshman. While eating at Penland, she discovered a treat involving dessert and Dr Pepper hour.

“Whenever they had a lot of extra Dr Pepper ice cream they’d bring it to Penland,” Sobh said “If you had a dining pass you could go in and get some Dr Pepper ice cream.”

Besides meals and desserts, dining halls offer a range of snack hacks for after your meal. Lancaster, Calif. sophomore Margaret Welch used this to her advantage when she ate in the dining halls as a freshman.

“I would basically go shopping there,” Welch said “Fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, just take as many as you can and eat them later.”

Runte said that a tip to maximize your dining hall experiences overall is just to take a breather, survey the area and discover what you like and dislike.

“Try new things,” Runte said. “That’s how I got one of my favorite meals from the dining hall.”