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The Sweet Life of Matt and Cody: Making the most of your dining hall experience

It was a cold September day at the Braiden Dining Hall. We had just gotten out of class and went to grab a late lunch. The only thing being served was sandwiches, salads and soups while the main lunch station was preparing for dinner.

After getting a sandwich we headed over to the salad and soup station to squeeze some veggies in our diet. The frigid day made the prospect of a cold, snappy salad unappetizing and the soups were all broth at this point. We had a revolutionary idea: mix them together!


We each made our salads and after we poured broth over them and covered our soup-salad bowls with another bowl to steam the veggies. We ate our flatbreads while the soup steamed. By the time we finished our sandwiches the soup-salad was ready to eat.

That cold September day ignited a new campaign for us: the mixing of dining hall meals. Here are some of our favorite combos:

Chicken Queso soup with spinach, bell peppers and mushrooms. (Photo Credits: Matt Lawrence)

The Soup-Salad

The dish that started it all is also the most versatile of the bunch. Any salad can go with any soup that your hall is serving, but there are pairings that go well with each other.

Any tomato or beef based soup can be enhanced by adding mushrooms, beans, noodles and even bell peppers.

Cream based soups go well with spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Extra veggies create interesting textures combinations, as well as adding extra fiber, vitamin, and minerals to any soup.

Feel free to mix and match according to your tastes or the soups of the day!


Yogurt, strawberries, melon and colossal crunch cereal. (Photo Credits: Matt Lawrence)

This popular dessert can be made with ease and also totes as much versatility as a soup-salad.


The base of the parfait can be yogurt or ice cream depending on how indulgent you are feeling. On top of the base sprinkle granola, nuts or even smashed cereal!

Then you can finish it off with whatever fruit suits your fancy: bananas, apples and strawberries will all do the trick. If you are feeling particularly daring, you can also try some jello or a layer of peanut butter.


Upgraded Waffles

Waffle with banana, almonds and honey. (Photo Credits: Matt Lawrence)

Waffles can be topped with more than just maple syrup. There are other great options like the classic banana waffle. All you do is take your waffle and top it with banana slices, pecans and some maple syrup. If syrup isn’t your thing, honey is a great substitute.

If you have a sweet tooth you can take your waffle over to the ice cream machine and spread some on top. From here you can add fruits, nuts, or even cereal. You can even combine the banana waffle and ice cream waffle to make a sinful treat!

Experiment with a savory waffle. Toss shredded cheese and bacon bits from the salad bar into the waffle batter before cooking. Open the waffle iron to a cheesy, salty-sweet aroma.

Not every dining hall is fortunate enough to have a waffle maker, but if you have the opportunity to use one, you should make the most out of it.

These are not the only combos out there. Depending on what your dining hall is serving and how creative you are the list of potential combinations can keep your taste buds satisfied for the rest of the school year.

Collegian Foodies Matt Lawrence and Cody Moore can be reached at or on Twitter at @LawrenceFoods and @codymoorecsu

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