There is no doubt anymore that the year is more than well underway. Shopping period is officially over, work is starting to become unignorable, and midterms are on the horizon. With this increasing demand for my productive attention, it’s natural that my mind finds more time to drift to non-academic matters, namely, my grumbling stomach.
It’s in this realm of thought that I recently discovered the unique position I’m in this year, that being what I like to call “Meal Plan Limbo.” My personal definition of this condition is as follows: “The state of being actively enrolled in an annual Brown University meal plan while simultaneously having access to a personal kitchen. Often associated with distaste for university dining options as well as irritation caused by a lack of sufficient time or supplies to cook every meal. See: culinary confusion, gastronomic frustration.”
While this circumstance may cause the occasional bout of anxiety, it has also effectively gotten my culinary juices flowing. With limited access to groceries, four roommates, and food that disappears in a half a second, I’ve been forced to get pretty crafty in my snack and meal choices. Here are some of the desperate, unusual, but delicious—I promise—combinations that my roommates and I have devised in the past few days. Whether they’re enjoyed at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m. is up to you—it’s all about how adventurous you’re feeling with your taste buds. Check them out after the jump.
1) The Nutty Mexican: Tortilla Chips + Almond Butter. I know, not your conventional “chips and dip,” but it functions off of the classic sweet-and-savory principle. Realistically almond butter goes well with everything (think: apples, bananas, Ezekiel bread, tortillas, Raisinettes, pita, cereal).
2) Prune-y Poseidon Trail Mix: Cheddar Goldfish Crackers + Raisins. Another sweet and salty combination, but this time texture is a major factor too. Don’t be afraid to pack this delightful combo in a Zip-Loc for your annoying long walk from Barus and Holley to List.
3) The Grandma Special: Leftover noodle kugel. Yes, I know this one doesn’t sound too tempting, but there’s definitely something to be said about the particular appeal of any kind of leftovers. For those of you unfamiliar with this delicacy, it’s a noodle-based casserole eaten on many Jewish holidays that’s carb-y, sweet, salty, and delicious. Just another benefit of having friends with relatives close by: home-cooked delights in your fridge.
4) Faux-Lean Crunch: Go Lean Crunch + Frozen Chocolate Chips. A handful of this crunchy combo will no doubt satisfy your study sweet tooth. Since one of its ingredients is cereal, however, you could also justify it as a breakfast snack. One of the most versatile combinations.
5) The Ratty Special: Plain yogurt from the salad bar + Mini M&Ms + sunflower seeds and/or Craisins: So I know some of you might be cringing (again), but in a plastic to-go cup from the Ratty, this multi-layered snack always satisfies. The distinct textures compliment each other nicely, and if you’ve already tried anything listed above, you know I’m not lying about the magic of anything savory-and-sweet.
Whether you’re on meal plan, living off campus, or anywhere in between, I hope you’re ready not to be afraid of the foreign places your culinary cravings can take you. Snack away, and make sure to share your ideas below! All of us in Limbo Land will be forever grateful.