Posted on | March 29, 2010 | 3 Comments
As I’ve complained about Rider University’s dining hall on quite a few occasions, I thought it might be nice to update with some good news about Daly’s Dining Hall. Sure, I tend to eat a mountain of french fries each day (though they’re not definitely gluten free), but there are some good things, hidden gems that make everything just a little bit easier. And I wouldn’t know about any of them if it weren’t for my good friend, Keri (Visit her new food blog at http://keribop.wordpress.com/). Every day, when the girls and I are sitting around a table with our pathetic plates of food (I’m not the only one with trouble finding something to eat), Keri shows up with a giant plate that is always some variation of this:
Amazing, isn’t it? All of us stare in awe of the mountain of suddenly appetizing looking food piled on her plate. You see, Keri is our resident health nut. She eats well, she gets up early to exercise…Why can’t I be more like her? I eat french fries everyday and I’m out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs in the Fine Arts building. I don’t have the will power to wake up super early to go to the gym before class and I eat a little bag of Doritos almost every night while doing homework. But I realized, though not everything on her plate was gluten free, I could still replicate it in some fashion. Then I would be one step closer to being a healthier person just like Keri!
So, one day when I was alone at Daly’s, I went up to our vegetarian section which has a bar of random ingredients. I took some spinach leaves, tomatoes, mozzarella and finally…hummus! I had never tried hummus before but it was something that Keri raved about. It’s also something that my sister, Molly, who is also extremely conscious of healthy eating, loves quite a bit. She’s quite possessive over her hummus! I never had chickpeas either, so I really had no idea what I was in for. But boy was I surprised. I added some mushrooms on the side, some feta cheese and sliced turkey to my plate and sat down. The mushrooms were a little…eh. I was craving those little mushrooms that I usually get from Wegman’s. The tomatoes were also a bit dry and flavorless, but this is a college dining hall so we can forgive them for their produce a bit. But then I took some spinach leaves, a mozzarella ball, some turkey, hummus and feta cheese and the combination of all of these elements was so perfect that I nearly cried. I get very emotional over good food (especially when I’m by myself). This is a new and improved shot of what I call my “Keri plate.”
Whenever I decide to make my Keri Plate, I try to add something new to the bunch. I’ve had success and failure with this and sometimes the spinach and cheese are a little dry after probably sitting out all day (thank you Daly’s). Some days I’m not in the mood for my Keri Plate and opt for a mountain of fries. But I’m happy that I have something other than fries to eat all the time. It’s definitely nice to have some variation in my life!
I’ll add that another good thing about Daly’s is the fruit selection they have out for breakfast. Well, technically it’s lunch on the weekends but they serve us breakfast food until one in the afternoon so all of the party-goers with hangovers can have a healthy start to their day. I always get some assortment of fruit for breakfast because it is one of the only things Daly’s does right. Fresh cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes and pineapple make for a glorious breakfast. It makes my stomach happy and allows me to concentrate well for the rest of the day.
This isn’t the best picture, but it really does taste good! Hooray for fruit! I’ve always been more of a fruit person than a vegetable person. In fact, I’ve only recently gotten into eating vegetables (again, thanks to Keri). So I’m doing alright as I am right now. Every once in a while I feel ill from unavoidable cross-contamination, but it’s getting better. Only a month and a week or two left before I’m home for the summer and completely gluten free for the rest of my life. I never purposefully cheat my g-free diet, but dining halls mean unsafe plates and silverware and pots and pans. So now that I know I’ll have a kitchen next year, you will all have a happier, healthier and more G-Free Miel. But for now, I’m doing the best I can!