Posts tagged ‘Dining Hall Eats’

Cottage Cheese and Veggies Sandwich

Whole Wheat English Muffin + Non-Fat Cottage Cheese + Sprouts + Cucumber Slices + Salt

You may be asking me, “What kind of combination is that? Bread, cottage cheese and vegetables!”

Just trust me, it’s delicious! I made this in the dining hall for the first time about a week ago. Inspired by the cucumber sandwiches commonly served with tea, I made this protein-packed open-face sandwich in hopes of enjoying a refreshing, filling lunch. In my opinion, this sandwich works well because of the combination of flavors and textures. The cottage cheese takes on and enhances the flavors of the refreshing cucumber and hearty whole wheat English muffin. The salt really magnifies the flavors. There is a nice mix and ‘opposites’ of flavors: chewy and grainy (bread), creamy and smooth (cottage cheese), and crunchy (cucumber).

It’s a super simple, quick sandwich to make, but I will write a recipe for you anyway.


Cottage Cheese and Veggies Sandwich


  • 1 Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • 1/3 – 1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Optional: Sprouts
  • Optional: Salt + Pepper

Feel free to sub the regular bread for the English muffin and other veggies (like spinach or lettuce) for the sprouts. This recipe also tastes great when you add hummus, guacamole, mustard, and/or any other condiments you like. As for the cottage cheese, I prefer fat-free, which is also the only kind offered in our dining halls.


Step 1: Toast bread.

Step 2: Top each side with 1/6-1/4 cup (or whatever makes you happy) of cottage cheese.

Step 3: Top with sprouts.

Step 4: Top with sliced cucumber.

Step 5: Sprinkle with salt.

Step 6: Eat and enjoy!

>> End Recipe <<

See! How simple was that? Super. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Cottage Cheese

As I mentioned, I created this sandwich in need of a protein-packed meal. Most of the protein is from the fat-free cottage cheese. I only recently started eating cottage cheese (after a year of trying to decide if I like it or not… Ya, I’m weird). I love cottage cheese! Not only is it packed with protein and other nutrients (see below for nutritional information), it’s also extremely versatile. It can be used in sweet and savory recipes. For example, mix 1 serving (1/2 cup) with 2-3 tsp peanut butter and 2-3 tsp jelly for an easy snack.

Here are the great nutritional stats for the fat-free kind (from Hood):

Hood Fat-Free Cottage Cheese

14 grams of protein, fat-free, low in sugar, and only 80 calories! Wonderful!!

(If you’re watching your sodium intake, please be aware that companies sometimes add extra salt to the fat-free kind to add to the flavor. )

Question: Do you like cottage cheese? If so, what is your favorite way to eat it?


February 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm 2 comments

Dining Hall Eats: Veggie Burger Salad

As a pescatarian (a vegetarian that eats fish), it is important I make sure I get enough protein, vitamins, etc, etc to keep myself full and healthy. Well, last semester, I found is difficult to do this. It’s not that BU’s dining halls don’t offer pescatarian options; it’s that those options are mostly not healthy. (Fried fish, fried tofu, you get the idea.) I did not make the conscious effort to make sure I always ate protein, and unfortunately, that messed with my body. Truth be told, I’ve had protein problems ever since I became a pescatarian.

Because I wasn’t eating enough protein, my sugar cravings were out of control and I was constantly snacking. My body often felt “off” and I gained weight despite working out. Well, I wanted this all to change.

One of my goals for 2011 was to make sure I ate enough protein and incorporate protein in all (or most, just to be realistic) my meals. So far, I’ve been pretty successful at keeping to this goal. I’ve been finding smart and sneaky ways to get enough protein. On days I eat a lots of protein, I’ve noticed an increase in my energy and a decrease in snack and sugary cravings. I believe it’s also helping me achieve my healthy, happy weight. 🙂

Not sure why protein is important or how much you should be getting? Read this article.

One of the meals I’ve made up over the weeks is the Veggie Patty Salad. Basically, I ask the “Grill Works” griller in the dining hall to make me a veggie burger without the bun. Then, I’d make a salad and combine the two. My dressing? Mustard + Ketchup.

Lettuce + spinach + sprouts + mushrooms

I love the look of the green and white veggies against the red place. Beautiful!

I love mushrooms! Recently, I read that they help fight cancer and boost the immune system. This is great news considering no one wants cancer and I live in a VERY cold place. I can use all the boosting I can get, and I pile mushrooms on top of anything (like pizza)!

Veggie burger patty

I love veggie burgers! This particular one is from one of the bigger dining halls on campus. I personally prefer the kind from the dining hall near my dorm, but both are still delicious!!

Veggie burgers have great nutritional stats. According to this article by EatingWell….

“While veggie burgers may not provide the iron, zinc and vitamin B12 found in beef, they fortunately also lack the high fat (over a third of it saturated), high cholesterol and calories found in a typical 3-ounce beef burger. Veggie burgers offer fiber, a variety of trace minerals and plant phytochemicals. Because most are soy-based, they also deliver high-quality protein.” Read the article for more info.

If you eat store-bought ones, make sure you choose protein-filled ones. According to the article, try to look for veggie burgers with at least 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and contained under 350 mg of sodium. The same article also has 4 veggie burger suggestions in case you want some suggestions.

Since I don’t know the exact nutrition contents of the veggie burgers I eat in the dining halls, I may start packing my own (bought from a grocery store) to make sure I’m getting a lot of protein and know exactly what is going into what I’m eating.

Juicy sliced tomatoes from the burger toppings bar

I cut up the burger patty and tomatoes to make them eater to eat and to add to the salad.

My salad “dressing” consisted of a mix of mustard and ketchup. Not only are they low in calories, both have many health benefits. (Click for a link: mustard benefits and ketchup benefits)

Put it all together on a fork and you have something delicious! I love the combination and it keeps me full for hours thanks to the protein from the veggie burger and from the fiber and volume from the veggies.

This totally contradicts my point, but it’s so true it’s funny and I felt like sharing.

Hahaha, Toothpaste for Dinner

Question: What is your favorite way to incorporate protein (or any other important nutrient) into your meals?

Comment below!

February 4, 2011 at 7:51 pm 2 comments

Dining Hall Eats: Oatmeal Introduction

This morning’s breakfast consisted of a hearty bowl of oatmeal from the dining hall. Although oatmeal can be quite delicious on it’s own, eating it plain can get boring after a while. Here, I will show you how I took this plain bowl of oatmeal from the dining hall…

…and turned it into a fun, tasty breakfast with full staying power.

First, I want to mention that I’m not currently at my own college (BU). I’m visiting my friend, Katie, at her college, so these photos are from my breakfast at Katie’s. (BU has very similar options.) This bowl of oatmeal was super hearty, grainy and full of flavor. Way better then BU’s oatmeal actually! Plus, I love this bowl. But, I digress…

The toppings I’m about to talk about are offered at most dining halls. They are not anything fancy, but when you put them all together or in combinations, the yumminess may surprise you.

Peanut Butter and Cottage Cheese:

PB is so amazing in oatmeal. It’s healthy and has amazing staying power. Seriously, it’s amazing how much longer I stay full when I add a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Also shown in the above photo is an awkward view of cottage cheese. Both cottage cheese and yogurt make fun mix-ins in oatmeal. For one, they are a great way to add protein, calcium and other health benefits to your oatmeal. I like how they make a bowl of oatmeal creamy and fluffy. I prefer the low-fat or non-fat varieties, which are luckily offered at BU. Even adding just a splash of milk can help give oatmeal a creamy taste.


I was inspired to add muffin crumbles to my oatmeal from reading Kath’s blog, Kath Eats Real Food. Usually, I just take the muffin top and crumble that on top of oatmeal. However, at Katie’s, they have mini muffins. Just look how cute this vegan carrot muffin looks in my hand…

I ended up crumbling the entire mini-muffin and putting it on my oatmeal.


When I make oatmeal at home or in my dorm, I usually mix banana slices into the oatmeal before cooking. (I’ll do a post on this soon!) When eating pre-made oatmeal in a dining hall or at a restaurant, I will often add banana slices or some other fruit on top. I love the combination of the banana and peanut butter in oatmeal. Delish! Apple slices, blueberries, strawberries and many other fruits also make great add-ins.


Although I didn’t add any this morning, a sprinkle of cereal is also tasty in oatmeal. It gives a normally creamy, soft bowl of oatmeal some crunch. I prefer granola or some other whole grain cereal.


I was so, so excited about my food that I forgot to take a photo of the end product. Fail…  Just to give you an idea of what it looked like, I ended with this combo:

~ 3/4 cup pre-made oatmeal + 1/4 banana in slices + 1 mini vegan carrot muffin in crumbles+ 2 tsp PB

Delicious! Just looking at all the photos of the ingredients makes me drool. The muffin was definitely the star of this breakfast due to it’s addition of flavor and texture.

In the future, I will post more photos of my dining hall oatmeal creations as well as my in-dorm ones. Also, these tips are also useful for eating a a restaurants as you can often ask your waiter for many of these options on the side. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to oatmeal toppings. I hope I’ve inspired you to get creative with your oatmeal and maybe even start eating it in your dining hall (or at a restaurant for breakfast). For more inspiration, check out Kath’s Tribute to Oatmeal, which is loaded with drool-on-your-keyboard-worthy photos.

Question: What’s your favorite oatmeal add-in or combinations of add-ins?

January 29, 2011 at 10:53 am 4 comments

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