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Students at Lake Forest College who live on campus have to purchase a meal plan, and the commuters and part-time students have the option of eating in the cafeteria as well. This results in a rather large proportion of the student body eating (or having to eat) in the caf.

Aramark says it caters to all diets and has various food options. The truth is that when you do sit down and eat, you may have difficulty choosing what to eat. Add onto that decision dietary restrictions or preferences and sometimes you’ll end up eating a bagel with peanut butter or cereal with soy milk for dinner.

The suggestions below, unfortunately, cannot fix the quality of the food we get, but they are an attempt to make students a bit happier, have slightly healthier/tastier diets, and get more enjoyment from eating in the caf.

Problem: Plain pasta or rice

Solution: Create a rice or pasta bowl. Take plain pasta or rice (from where the soup pots are), toss in vegetables, a dash of olive oil (both from the salad bar), and enjoy.

Problem: Raw vegetables

Solution: Steam your vegetables. Take mushrooms, spinach, peppers, or any other desired raw vegetable from the salad bar and place it in a bowl. Go to the hot drinks area, and pour hot water into the bowl. Then cover the bowl with a smaller dessert plate, and put it in the microwave for 1 to 3 minutes. Drain the water. You may want to use two bowls to avoid burning your fingers. Finally, add salt, pepper, and butter according to your taste. Voila!

Problem: Salty or heavily seasoned soup

Solution: Put yogurt in creamy soups. If a soup seems too salty or too heartily seasoned, and if its taste allows for yogurt, use a few spoons of plain yogurt to dilute the taste and add a few grams of protein to your meal.

Problem: Overly seasoned fish

Solution: Take a paper towel or eating utensil and scrape off the extra seasoning. Sprinkling lemon juice also helps.

Problem: Rice is too dry

Solution: Mix the rice into soup. When the rice is too dry and has been cooked terribly (which is more often than not), take a few ladles of soup and place on top of the rice. It makes it creamier and gives it at least some taste.

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