Deece Hacks presents: a surprise for your whole palate

The Deece is much more than a dining hall. In fact, some may go ahead and consider each trip a considerably unique experience. Each visit is a bit unpredictable; rarely can you guarantee that there will be an open table or your favorite cereal will be there waiting for you, but that is what makes Vassar’s dining experience one of a kind—you never know what your next meal has in store.

However, if you’re a food freak like me, a substantial meal is crucial. Although a quick bowl of Lucky Charms sounds simple and satisfying, it has little chance of providing enough energy to make it through the day. At this point, I usually turn to the salad bar, which has definitely improved, but as I enter my third semester and notice that I am still eating the same meal for lunch and dinner, my taste buds can’t help but scream–something has got to change. This brings me to five recently tested and well-reviewed “deece hacks.” With a little time and patience, you will be pleas­antly surprised to uncover what some accessible deece ingredients can bring to the table.

Apple Compote

We all know the deece is well stocked in apples and saucepans, but did you know that combining the two could satisfy any healthy yet sweet crav­ing? Depending on your preference, hunt down a handful of red or green apples and remember to rid the core while cutting them into chunks. Place your apples in a well-heated saucepan with some water and stir them until this mix begins to bub­ble. Once the heat rises, reduce to a lower level and cover your apples until they have cooked down, but still maintain some type of consistency. Finally, top them off with some sugar, cinnamon or desired toppings and simmer for a final two to three minutes before serving. with or without va­nilla soft serve on the side.

Ingredients: 4-5 apples, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons sugar and/or cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon and optional ice cream à la mode.

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad

Why trek off campus when a satisfying, sub­stantial kale chicken Caesar salad awaits you at the Deece? The process is painless; start by stock­ing up with some kale at the stir-fry station, take a detour by the grill to request some chopped grilled chicken, walk over to the salad bar to com­bine some parmesan cheese, lemon and olive oil and voila: a respectable salad that you can enjoy without having to leave campus.

Ingredients: Kale, grilled chicken, extra virgin olive oil, lemon wedges and shaved parmesan cheese.

Stir-friend Broccoli Stalks and Flowers, Red Peppers, and Tofu

Just because “Meatless Monday” has a certain ring to it, doesn’t mean that you have to wait a full week to embrace your inner vegetarian. Impress your friends and those around you with a recipe that is flavorful, colorful, simple and accessible at the cost of a single meal swipe. Though the title sounds a bit complex, all you’ll need is some broc­coli, tofu, soy sauce, vegetable stock, garlic, ginger and red bell peppers, which luckily for you, can all be found within walking distance. Heat your skillet, throw in some olive oil/vegetable stock, sauté your broccoli/tofu, embellish it with sauces/ seasonings and allow your appetite to take over from there.

Ingredients: 1 bunch of broccoli, ¼ inch thick pieces of tofu, 1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce, veg­table stock, salt, pepper, garlic, minced ginger, red pepper flakes and 2-inch pieces of red bell pep­pers.

Rocky Mountain Toast

With one slice of bread, unsalted butter and a single egg, spice up your breakfast with the classic “egg in a hole.” All you’ll need is a spot at the stir-fry station to cook your egg into its own carb-cove, which can be made by cutting out a circle in the center of your toast. Over medium-high heat, watch your breakfast come to life by just grilling the egg and toast together for two-three minutes on each side. Depending on your preference, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and indulge over your over-easy egg before your friends even make it to the front of the omelet line.

Ingredients: 1 ¾ inch-thick slice bread, 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, salt and pepper.

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