Getting creative in Café Mac

By Proma Sen

Café Mac is an essential part of every Macalester student’s college experience, if only for being a social hub and an hour and a half long homework break. Cafeteria food is also essential to the college experience, transforming diverse cuisines and textures into something essentially edible. Working their way through the myriad of food options, students can often let their creativity flow in some wild, exciting and sometimes hard to comprehend ways-those crazy recipes students make up to make eating a little more exciting.Let’s begin with the perfect salad. Toppings most definitely play an important role. The list of toppings last week varied from blue cheese crumbles and craisins to diced bananas to pears and walnuts with cottage cheese and peas on the side. What makes the salad extra special is the perfect toss. I’m sure most of you know this one, but if you don’t, take the leafy part of salad with dressing of choice in a bowl from the cereal counter, then take another bowl and add to it whatever else you like from the salad bar, overturn this bowl onto the other bowl, hold together and SHAKE!

If you’re looking for some main course inspiration, I’d suggest joining a facebook group called “Creative Endeavors at Café Mac” where I found some delicious options. Some of the most interesting recipes from the group were:

Pizza bagels! Unfortunately, you can only make this delicious creation at lunch, due to the absence of bagels from dinner. The idea is to toast a bagel, get some marinara sauce from the pasta station and shredded cheese from the salad bar (and any other toppings like vegetables, grilled chicken, etc.). Put it all on the bagel and microwave until the cheese is completely melted, and thus tasty.

Do-It-Yourself sandwiches: One option is to toast the bread, melt cheese on it, spread on some Caesar dressing, and top it with some lettuce and ham. Another suggestion was melting pepper jack cheese on a grilled chicken breast, adding vegetables and Thousand Island dressing to finish it up.
MacGriddle breakfast sandwich: Nice and simple-over hard eggs and bacon on French toast!
Quesadillas: Ask for a plain tortilla at the north side of south. Then go to the salad bar and get shredded cheese. A minute in the microwave, preferably in a bowl, and it’s ready to eat.

Interesting veggie burger: For those of you a little more adventurous, the other day I saw someone eating a veggie burger patty with brown rice, tomatoes and ranch dressing.

After your shaken salad and main course, do not ignore the endless desert possibilities. One of my friends ends every dinner with a concoction of plain yogurt, coconut and peanuts from south side, a little bit of granola and diced bananas.a rather healthy option for those interested! My roommate, on the other hand, prefers old-fashioned Oreos, peanut butter and twist fro-yo. Personally, I like a cup of vanilla fro-yo with a tablespoon of Ethiopian coffee, with chocolate chips to provide a bit of crunch.

Don’t forget drink concoctions. For peach iced tea, mix half citrus peach and half iced tea. The citrus peach alternative is two parts orange juice, one part citrus peach and one part lemonade/Sprite. Vanilla soda combines three-fifths vanilla ice cream and the rest orange soda. A Mac alumni’s favorite drink mix is one-third lemonade, two-thirds Sprite and a few button taps of iced tea for color and a tinge of flavor.

This list of recipes doesn’t even come to close to compiling everything a Macalester student has ever come up with or could come up with. Still, I hope it at least gets you thinking about the possibilities to make Café Mac food taste a little bit more like home. Be’s worth it!