Channeling Ina: Rut-busting dining hall hacks

It’s the time of the semester where we’ve all realized that the dining halls operate on a six-week rotating schedule, and while we all like our routine as much as Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, sometimes it’s good to give your taste buds something different. Even on our busiest days, it is worth it to spend an extra five minutes on a fun meal. Try some of these ideas and treat yourselves, Jumbos.

Banana Split Breakfast: Start with a ripe banana in half lengthwise on a plate. Top with a scoop of Greek yogurt, peanut butter, coconut and granola.

Peanut Butter French Toast: Spread peanut butter between two slices of French toast. Heat briefly in the microwave until the peanut butter has melted, then top with fruit and syrup.

Soundbites-style Breakfast Bowl: Start with a bottom layer of breakfast potatoes, then add in scrambled eggs, cheese and hot sauce. Serve with more hot sauce on the side and wash down with hot coffee.

Peanut Sauce: Equal parts soy sauce and natural peanut butter, a dash of Sriracha, a splash of vinegar or lemon juice and a little hot water. Stir together until smooth, then drizzle on brown rice and vegetables with your choice of protein. Make a big bowl when the dining halls serve pad Thai and share with friends.

Carrot Salad: A bowl of shredded carrots dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Toss in a handful of feta cheese for good measure. Use as a filling for wraps or eat alongside falafel and tahini sauce.

Pesto Pasta: A bowl of plain pasta, a spoonful of pesto, a few vegetables and a scoop of chickpeas. Microwave until hot and top with Parmesan cheese before digging in to carbohydrate bliss.

Grain Bowl: A few scoops of brown rice or quinoa tossed in olive oil, lemon juice and salt, a spoonful of beans, a scoop of feta and a few Kalamata olives. Top with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil if you’re feeling fancy.

Hummus Platter: A dollop of hummus, a drizzle of olive oil and a couple of dashes or either oregano or lemon pepper. Use as a dip for pita bread or raw vegetables.

Apple Snack: Slice up an apple and dress with lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a touch of honey. Eat alongside a cup of tea for a nice afternoon snack.

Fairy Toast: A slice of buttered toast topped with a substantial layer of sprinkles. Enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate to feel like a Dutch schoolchild.

Affogato: Soft-serve or regular vanilla ice cream topped with a quarter cup of hot coffee. Pretend you’re sitting in an Italian café and not killing time before your next midterm.

Fancy Seltzer: Add grapefruit, orange or apple juice to a three-quarter full glass of seltzer water. Pop a lemon wedge into the glass for an even more refreshing beverage.