Dining on an AU meal plan

Easy cafeteria recipes to try in TDR

Stir-fry, hamburgers, pasta, fried chicken and salad frequently star on the TDR menu. They sound delicious, but sometimes can't satisfy one's cravings. The chefs at TDR try to prepare an assortment of foods to meet the tastes of campus, but sometimes some students anguish over finding something to chow down on. For help at those desperate, hungry times, here are some yummy ideas on quick, easy-to-make TDR meals.

The best way to make a personalized entr?e is to peruse the stations and combine your favorite foods. There is usually something at each area to whet your appetite.

If you are not counting calories, try making your own cheese fries. Grab a plate of fries, load them with cheese and bacon, and microwave until melted.

For a quick and delicious chicken club, combine grilled chicken, bacon and cheese, pop it in the microwave until the cheese melts, and top with lettuce, tomato and some barbecue sauce on a bun.

Spruce up that plain burger with some mushrooms and blue cheese. If that doesn't make your mouth water, try some jack cheese, bacon and barbecue sauce on the bun to give it some flare.

For a Southwestern-style meal, try making your own quesadillas. Grab a tortilla from the bread stand and add your favorite toppings to half and microwave until warm. Some good ideas are grilled chicken, salsa, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream.

If Italian food is what you crave, then make yourself some chicken parmesan. All you need is some grilled chicken, then add marinara sauce, lots of cheese and microwave until the cheese bubbles. Grilled chicken will work fine, but if you are lucky and TDR has chicken fingers, use those instead.

If none of those recipes suit your fancy, take some advice from experienced TDR-goers around campus.

Junior Erica Santo Pietro said making your own sandwich is the best idea: "Don't limit yourself to the sandwich bar area. There is enough crazy stuff from both sides of TDR to make your sandwich," Pietro said. "I really like making a melt in the microwave. Just throw a piece of cheese on a sandwich and microwave until melted. It's always good."

Other tasty ideas for sandwiches include a wrap with your favorite foods or a good old BLT.

If the thought of making your own meal makes you nauseous instead of hungry, just go for the simple yet satisfying. Junior Anna Kline resorts back to breakfast when nothing else tempts her.

"I pour a bowl of cereal with some fruit. It's the perfect meal any time because fruit is nature's candy," Kline said.

Others prefer skipping dinner all together and going straight for dessert. "Frozen yogurt or ice cream on waffles with chocolate syrup is the best," sophomore Whitney Whitaker said.

Whether it's dessert first, a homemade chicken club, or Lucky Charms, the imaginative have no need to leave unsatisfied. All it takes to enjoy your meal is a little creativity and basic microwave knowledge. Creating your own masterpiece meal can be a great TDR experience. If all else fails, remember this simple recipe: grab a plate of food and a ketchup bottle; apply liberally.

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