By Lilo Noort

If you’re like me, one of your favourite things to do is eat. For me, this love has blossomed into trying to find the ‘hidden secrets’ of the caf. I tried to mix-and-match food from different stations, and found what works and tastes best to me. So, with the help of my roommates and close friends, I set out to find how I could put my own twist on all the amazing treats the caf has to offer.


One of my favourite foods, without a doubt, is bruschetta. I think the combination of crisp tomato, salt, oil and balsamic vinegar, on top of crunchy bread is heavenly! I figured out how to recreate this using the salad bar and bakery. All you need to do is toast bread, I went with white because I found that’s what tastes best. Then I added pieces of tomato and drizzled on olive oil and balsamic vinegar from the salad bar. After that, I sprinkled on some salt, pepper and hot sauce. Then I added the juice from one lemon wedge (also from the salad bar), to balance the tart taste of the tomatoes and hot sauce. If you’re not a fan of spicy, you can leave the hot sauce out, but I found it adds a nice kick. Personally, this was my favourite hack because it involved two of my favourite things, vegetables and carbs!

 Stations Used:

  • Toast – The Bakery
  • Tomatoes, balsamic, Olive Oil – The Salad Bar
  • Salt, Pepper, Hot Sauce – The Condiment Section

Iced coffee

I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to function without my coffee. However, most of the time I’m too impatient to wait for a hot cup to cool so I can drink it. That’s why I usually gravitate towards the iced version. In the caf, you can recreate this amazing treat in a few simple steps. First, fill a cup halfway with ice and sprinkle either sugar or honey on top. You can opt out of the sweetener if you prefer your coffee without it, but I enjoy my coffee sweet, so I added a large drizzle of honey.

Next, all you have to do is pour black coffee on top of the ice and stir! Once everything is mixed, add milk and enjoy! I really like having the option of iced coffee in the morning, because it’s easier to drink, and fun to make.

Stations Used:

  • Ice – Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines
  • Coffee, Honey, Sugar, Milk – The Coffee and Hot Drink Station

Grilled Cheese

When I was a kid, my mom always made me grilled cheese sandwiches when I got home from school. Now that I’m older and moved out, I don’t have her making me my favourite treat anymore. But, I did figure out how to get my ‘homesick’ meal on campus. All you need to do is go to the deli and ask for a grilled cheese on normal bread. I went with whole wheat, all three types of cheeses and chipotle sauce. This was mainly to put a spin on a classic, but also because I can’t get enough of the chipotle sandwich sauce! Grilled cheese is one of my staple foods especially when I’m looking for something easy to eat. I like how the caf has many different types of bread and sauce at the deli, so I can have a different type of grilled cheese every time!

Stations Used:

  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich  – The Deli

Chocolate “Wow Butter ” Oatmeal

One of my favourite things to eat in the morning is oatmeal. I love how it tastes, and how it fills me up until lunch. However, sometimes plain oatmeal can get a little boring. I’ve learned to add cocoa and Wow Butter on my oatmeal to give it some extra flavor! This combination makes your oatmeal taste just like all your favourite Halloween candy, but it’s much healthier.

Stations Used:

  • Oatmeal –  The Grill
  • Wow Butter – The Bakery
  • Cocoa Powder – The Coffee and Hot Drink Station

Deviled Eggs

The best part of the holidays at my house was the hor d’oeuvres my dad would make for our guests. As the holidays (and exams) quickly approach, I can’t stop thinking about all the amazing food I’ll get to eat. Thankfully the caf has everything I need to have all my holiday treats early.

All you need to do to make deviled eggs is hard boiled eggs, mayo, spices and hot sauce (optional). To put your eggs together you’ll need to cut open your egg, carefully scoop out the yolk and mix it on the side of your plate with the mayo, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Once it’s all combined, you can put the mixture back into your egg white, and enjoy! I usually only have this on weekends, or when I don’t have early classes, but whenever I do it makes my day.

Stations Used:

  • Eggs –  The Breakfast Bar (Boiled eggs can also be found at the salad bar)
  • Mayo, Hot Sauce, Salt, Pepper – The Condiment Section

Charcuterie board

The best part about the caf is the endless amount of options for things to eat. Whenever I want a snack or light meal, I almost always make myself a charcuterie board. Basically what this entails is hummus, veggies, olives, bread, and crackers or chips all eaten together. Today I decided to make one with my favourite veggies, hummus, olives, cold cuts and chips. I like this because it’s a healthy snack but is also really fun to eat. Plus, if you’re eating with your friends, your plate will definitely be more photogenic than theirs!

Stations Used:

  • Vegetables, Hummus, Olives, Bread – The Salad Bar
  • Chips, Cold Cuts – The Deli

Ice Cream Sundae

I got this genius idea from my roommate who worked at Dairy Queen. All you need to do is fill a bowl with soft-serve, and top it with whatever you like! I went with brownies, cocoa and cookies from the bakery section, but any toppings you pick would be great too. Another option could be adding cocoa and cereal or chopped fruit. The best part about this hack? Your topping combinations are endless.

Stations Used:

  • Ice Cream, Brownies, Cookies – The Bakery

Tims Breakfast Sandwich

Other than oatmeal, my favourite breakfast would have to be Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwiches. However, eating too many of those aren’t too good for my wallet. Luckily, the caf has a fix for that as well. All you need to do is toast an English muffin, and ask for an over medium egg at the “eggs your way” station. I like getting my eggs in that style because I enjoy the yolk slightly runny. If you prefer your eggs less runny, go for over-hard, or if you like it runnier opt for over-easy. Then spread butter on your English muffin, and put your egg on top! I also like to put a slice of tomato on mine, because it makes the sandwich slightly more filling. Then if you like meat with your breakfast, you can add on some of the various breakfast meats that are offered. My personal favourite are the sausage patties!

Stations Used:

  • Breakfast Meat – The Breakfast Bar
  • Eggs – The “Eggs Your Way” Station
  • Tomato – The Condiment Station
  • English Muffin – The Bakery

Those are my top hacks for the dining hall! I definitely think that with a little bit of creativity, you can transform the amazing food on campus, into something even better. Although I love eating my hacks at least once a week, I want to know what all of your hacks are. So if you’ve found a ‘caf secret’ that I didn’t mention, post a picture and tag me or send to me!

Instagram: @carletonfoodie

Twitter: @carletonfoodie

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 in ,
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