5 things to eat when you’re sick of cafeteria food

I’ll be the first to admit that having food prepared for you is great. You have more time, and exert less effort. However, the food in the cafeteria at UVic can be repetitive and frankly, not that great.

I got tired of cafeteria food fast in my first year, and ended up making food out of my dorm room sometimes. Second semester, I don’t think I ever ate breakfast in the cafeteria. The plus side of eating out of your dorm a lot is you know what’s in the food and there will be lots of money left on your CarryForward Account to spend on lunches at the other food places on campus next year!

VG’s (Village Greens, the vegetarian/vegan cafeteria) was a large part of the reason why I’m vegetarian now. It has better tasting food than Caps and the Commons, so I started going there instead, and I sort of forgot about meat.

You’ll need to go grocery shopping to make these foods. The food store in Cadboro Commons is expensive and doesn’t have fresh food, so I would advise going off campus. I always went to the Thrifty Foods on the corner of Shelbourne and McKenzie, a few minutes away on the 26 bus route. Use your UVic bookstore bag as a reusable shopping bag!

As far as equipment goes, I had a sink and microwave in the common room and a kettle, toaster, and mini fridge in my room. I also had a bowl, cutlery, mugs, and jam jars (Tupperware would be good too).

So, here are the foods I ate out of my dorm room last year:

1. Oatmeal

Yes, it may sound boring, but you can eat a meal without leaving your dorm room. Plus, oats are very nutritious!

Just boil water, dump it on the oats to cover, and add sugar, milk, nuts, cinnamon, chocolate, or anything else you can think of. Or, alternatively, cover with cold milk or water, leave it in your mini fridge overnight, and you have overnight oats to take to class in the morning!

In second semester of my first year you could guaranteed find me eating oatmeal out of a jam jar in my first class every day.

2. Sweet potatoes or yams

Did you know you can microwave sweet potatoes? It takes about 6-8 minutes, turning halfway through, and you practically have a meal.

Take some salt and pepper packets from the cafeteria to flavour it, but it’s delicious without!

Don’t forget to stab it all the way around with a fork so it doesn’t explode in the microwave.

3. Toast

Now, I know toasters aren’t technically allowed in dorms, but shh, don’t tell your CL.

After I used my next door neighbour’s toaster every day for the first week,  they gave in and graciously let me have it for the rest of the year. I gave it back in April.

Toast some bread, slap on some almond or peanut butter, jam, honey, or nutella, and there’s breakfast!

4. Fruit

Eating fruit will make you feel alive after eating chicken strips at 10:30pm at Caps the night before.

I will always remember the week last February when I ate 15 mangoes in  7 days. They were $1 each at Thrifty’s, ok!

Apples, pears, bananas, and kiwis are also great choices. Dried fruit is also super good. I had dried plums first semester that I dried myself from my parent’s plum tree and bought dried mango as a treat sometimes.

5. Hummus

When you’re at the grocery store, pick up a package of hummus and carrot sticks or pita bread. Beans! They’re good for you.

In conclusion, here’s a grocery list. Happy “cooking!”

  • oats
  • honey or sugar or jam
  • milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • cocoa powder
  • sweet potatoes
  • bread
  • almond butter
  • fruit
  • dried fruit
  • hummus
  • veggies or pita bread

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