What TSLikes to eat: Senior staff’s best meals in isolation

A photo collage features four dishes: roasted root vegetables and chickpeas with yogurt dressing, matzo brei, baked cheese bread rolls, and a smoothie bowl with granola, pineapple, and a cup of coffee aside it.
TSL’s senior staff enjoy a diverse range of meals, from smoothie bowls to roasted root vegetables. (Senior Staff • The Student Life)

During the past few weeks, dining at home has taken the place of dining hall meals for many 5C students. As we all adjust to this new normal, TSL’s senior staff recounted the best meals they’ve had in quarantine so far, with favorites ranging from breakfast classics, like smoothie bowls and oatmeal, to homemade mug brownies and pão de queijo (better than the ones at Frank Dining Hall and Frary Dining Hall).

“My go-to snack (or light lunch when I’m feeling particularly lazy) has been apple slices dipped in peanut butter. Sprinkling a few chocolate chips into the peanut butter makes it even better! And so far, an apple a day has indeed kept the doctor away.” — Mady Colantes PO ’22, copy chief

“A smoothie bowl with a pourover on the side! I was feeling homesick for Malott’s Sunday brunch staple, so I made a mango, blueberry and banana smoothie with frozen fruit, chocolate chips and granola on top. A much needed break from my standard bowl of Lucky Charms.” — Maria Heeter SC ’22, news editor

Udon and vegetable stir fry. First, sauté your favorite vegetables in some oil. Once the vegetables are cooked through, throw in udon noodles along with soy sauce, a little bit of sake, a little bit of Mirin (Japanese cooking wine) and sugar. Get everything mixed in, and you’re done!” — Matthew Kim PO ’23, sports associate

Cereal! There are few things better than a bowl of cereal late at night — if you get the right kind, it’s easy enough to eat that it’s not a lot of work, but tough enough that you can release some of your excess frustration.” — Eamon Morris PZ ’22, opinions editor

“Sorry to all the In-N-Out lovers, but my favorite meal thus far was the little bacon burger from Five Guys with a side of cajun fries (don’t worry, I kept it super safe with no-contact delivery). Loaded up on almost all the toppings they offer — this burger was in fact not-so-little — and the result was the closest thing to bliss I could get in quarantine.” — Mabel Lui SC ’21, managing editor

“You can’t spell ‘my house’ without ‘my mom’s delicious split pea soup.’ For the record, I spell it ‘my mymom’sdelicioussplitpeasoup house.’” — Jasper Davidoff PO ’22, news editor

“For anyone observing Passover, matzo brei is a quick, customizable and tasty alternative when you’re getting bored of regular matzo. It’s basically French toast, but with matzo. Break matzo into 1-inch pieces, pour boiling water over the matzo to soften, then drain off the excess. Mix in beaten eggs to coat the matzo, then throw it in a pan until crisp. You can top it off any way you like. I prefer maple syrup, but it’s easy to get creative.” — Marc Rod PO ’20, managing editor

“Frank and Frary sometimes serve up pão de queijo, a Brazilian baked good that literally translates to ‘cheese bread.’ You can’t beat the real deal, though, fresh from the oven with a bit of butter. It’s not too hard to make, and you can freeze some pre-rolled dough to bake later when you’re feeling lazy — yum.” — Yasmin Elqutami PO ’22, life and style editor

Mug brownies! They don’t have eggs in them, so you can make them in the microwave. Since it involves the microwave, feel free to count it as a) cooking and b) something to make you feel productive for the day.” — Donnie Denome PZ ’20, opinions editor

Blueberry oatmeal. Adding a handful of blueberries to a pot of steel-cut oats about 10 minutes before it’s done cooking on the stovetop makes the berries explode, creating a great, sweet breakfast.” — Hank Snowdon CM ’21, editor-in-chief

Roasted root vegetables and chickpeas with yogurt dressing! It’s super simple and requires very few ingredients. Chop the vegetables (I like to use sweet potatoes, yams and carrots) and toss them in a mixture of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the veggies on a sheet pan and place in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. With ten minutes left to go in the oven, toss the chickpeas in the same olive oil mixture and add to the sheet pan. The yogurt dressing is just plain yogurt, lemon juice and a spice like cumin or coriander. I also like to add an egg on top! It’s yummy and looks way fancier than anything else I could pull off.” — Erika Schwerdfeger SC ’23, news associate

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