All Your Dining Desires…at Commons: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Well at Andover

Chocolate Lover’s Ice Cream For all of you chocolate lovers, try incorporating a twist to your average chocolate fro-yo. Ingredients: Chocolate Frozen Yogurt, one Sugar Cone, one spoonful of Peanut Butter Recipe: Drop a spoonful of peanut butter into the bottom of a sugar cone and add a generous amount of chocolate fro-yo on top. Mix carefully; you don’t want your chocolate masterpiece to topple out of the cone. For a parfait-style dessert, try adding a layer of peanut butter in the middle of two layers of fro-yo. Insider’s Tip: If you happen to be creating this delicious dessert on a Wednesday ice cream night, mix in some extra thick chocolate syrup from the ice cream bar. Typically, the best chocolate sauce can be found in the Upper dining halls – it tends to be thicker than the syrup found in Lower Right and Lower Left. Three-Bean Salad Using only the resources the salad bar offers, create a scrumptious and nutritional snack or meal. Ingredients: Edamame Beans, Kidney Beans, Chickpeas, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe: Grab a bowl and pile it high with the three varieties of beans, drizzling a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette on top. For an extra crunch, feel free to add some croutons or iceberg lettuce to the mix. Insider’s Tip: In this case, too much olive oil is not a good thing. For a fresher taste, add less olive oil and more beans. Rice Pudding Looking for a filling after-lunch snack to take with you to class? Grab a plastic cup and spoon, a few ingredients, and get cooking! Ingredients: Cinnamon-Sugar, Milk, Sticky Rice, Raisins (optional) Recipe: Fill the cup 3/4 of the way to the top with sticky rice and drizzle milk on top of it. For some extra flavor, sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top and mix a few raisins in with the rice. Insider’s Tip: Have a little extra time to sit in Commons? Try making this snack in a bowl instead of a plastic cup and microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds. Trail Mix Commons has a wide variety of snacks that are great for adding to trail mix; you just have to find them. Ingredients: Banana Chips, Granola, Cheerios, Craisins, Chocolate Chips, Pretzels (found at the “Organically Yours” station) Recipe: It’s simple: throw all of the desired ingredients into a cup and you’re set. Bring your creation with you to class if you’re on the go and make your classmates jealous of your unique snack. Insider’s Tip: If you want to try something new, add some honey to your creation and use a spoon to eat the mix. If you want to be really creative, try molding the honey trail mix into bars. Pizza Remix Because we don’t have an Italian chef flipping and spinning pizza dough in the air, here’s a new way to satisfy pizza lovers. Ingredients: One English Muffin or Bagel, Pasta Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Extra toppings: Olives, Peppers, Chicken Chunks, Mushrooms Recipe: Lightly toast the English muffin or bagel in the toaster to make it slightly crispy. Spread a thin layer of red pasta sauce on top. Sprinkle on additional toppings, then generously sprinkle a layer of cheese over the toppings. This ensures that the taste of the toppings will be sealed inside the pizza. Microwave for approximately 30-40 seconds or until the cheese has completely melted. Sizzlin’ Stir-Fry As evidenced by the extremely long lines for customized stir-fry, the new stir-fry station is extremely successful. To make your wait worthwhile, try adding some additional ingredients. Ingredients: Spinach, Baby Corn, Mushrooms, Tofu, Bean Sprouts Recipe: Collect the various ingredients from the salad bar in a bowl. We prefer the sweet and sour sauce with a dash of soy sauce. You can fix the ratios to your liking. Iced Coffee For those of you who cannot handle the full, bitter taste of regular coffee, or want a refreshing icy, cold beverage, iced coffee is the way to go. Ingredients: Ice, Coffee, Milk, Sugar Recipe (on the go): Fill a cup with ice and then fill to the top with coffee. Adjust the flavor of the coffee with milk and sugar. Recipe (with more time): If you don’t want the flavor of the coffee to be watered down by the melted ice, you may need to take a longer time to cool the coffee down. Fill up a paper cup with coffee and grab an extra cup. Pour the coffee back and forth between the two cups to cool the coffee. Then follow the directions above. Taco Salad On taco days, there is a plethora of taco ingredients, so grab a salad bowl and scramble it all in. Ingredients: Ground Beef, Shells, Salsa, Rice, Lettuce, Chopped Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Cheese Recipe: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. The crunch factor really should be your focus in this recipe. Without enough shells, the result is a goopy, thick mixture of salsa and rice with taco chips scattered throughout it. Too much will only yield a dry, dusty tasting salad. You’re going to want about one taco shell, one handful of rice, two tablespoons of beef and a tablespoon of everything else per a serving. Insider’s Tip: Run it Taco Bell style and you just might come up with a taste to rival that nasty Chihuahua’s. Go with the sour cream and cheese neatly placed on top and two glasses of Hawaiian Punch on the side. Clean house with some frozen yogurt. You’ll be chanting “Yo quiero Taco Ensalada de Commons” before you know it. Or not. The Andover Buffalo-Chicken Sandwich What you’re trying to do is trick your tastebuds into thinking you’re eating buffalo wings and a club sandwich…at the same time. As fancy as that might sound, all you really need are a few simple ingredients. Ingredients: Bleu Cheese Dressing, Red Hot Sauce, Regular Sandwich Ingredients. Unfortunately, the most vital part to this meal is the chicken patty, which is generally only available during Wednesday lunches about once a month or so. This recipe should make it well worth the wait! Recipe: Try adding romaine lettuce, tomatoes and onions. About half a handful of lettuce, two slices of tomato and one onion ring should do. For the bleu cheese and red hot, it depends on your spice tolerance. If you’re a mild wings kind of person, don’t go with more than two drops. Like ’em hot? Load it on. The Red Hot doesn’t get much hotter after five drops or so. Insider’s Tip: While I’m sure you’d love to have the A.?B.?C.?S. during dinner, it is really a lunch thing. Specifically, it is a Wednesday lunch thing. Enjoy it along with some fries if they’re available. Beyond that, a glass of iced tea and some frozen yogurt should suffice. Tuna Casserole You haven’t tried tuna until you’ve tried this. Ingredients: Tuna Spread (you can find this at the salad and deli bars), Cheese, Noodles Recipe: Grab a bowl and scoop a couple spoonfuls of tuna in. Add some cheese from the salad bar and then cover that up with some noodles. Add one more layer of cheese to the top of the noodles and microwave the whole set for about two minutes on high. Top the casserole off with some sour cream, chopped tomatoes, onions and an olive or two. Insider’s Tip: Cheese is one of man’s greatest inventions. It can be the glue that holds the recipe together. Think second grade, when you hadn’t quite gotten over that appetite for paste. Be about as sparing with the cheese as you were back then with the glue-stick. For this recipe, less is more when it comes to the tuna, and about double the amount of tuna is appropriate for how much pasta is necessary. Remember that bit about the cheese. It can be a real flavor-saver. Also, a glass of pink lemonade will give a nice tang to the fish, but you’ll probably want a breath mint or two after you’re done.