Why Cafeteria Food was the Best

Has anyone else got a case of the Monday’s today?

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m feeling like the biggest struggle-face in the world right now.  And it’s on days like today that I miss the good old college days of eating in the cafeteria <– never thought I’d say that.  Ha!

While cafeteria food was never all that delicious, it was hot and (usually) fresh, with the added bonus of requiring little to no brain power or physical energy to procure my evening meal.

The Beauty of the Caf

Even with my knees wrapped up in ice bags, after practice I could easily stumble the 100 yards from the training room, say hello to every Bruin’s favorite cashier on campus (Miss Tanya) as I swipe my meal card, grab a tray, and pray to God that they have chicken fingers tonight.

Ah yes….  That was the life….

Now though, life looks a little different.  Scratch that.  Life looks A LOT different.

A Wake Up Call

Once you leave college, that’s it.  No more cafeteria.  No more coddling.  You’re dropped into the real world where you have to do EVERYTHING for yourself now, and it can be a brutal fall from what you thought was reality.

One of those reality checks is doing all your own cooking, and if you’re like me, you’re the only one you’re cooking for – what I’m discovering to be both a blessing and a curse.

– A blessing because I don’t have to worry about other mouthes to feed.  Just mine.  And the cat’s.  But she doesn’t really count.

– A curse because when I’m tired and cranky and just want the day to END ALREADY (kinda like today), then fast food suddenly becomes the best idea ever!

But not really.  I know it isn’t a good idea, but my glucose deprived brain and general shitty mood try to convince the health-conscious part of me otherwise.

So how does a girl get herself home without stopping at the drive thru?  Well I have two methods that have worked pretty well for me recently.

Let Someone Else Do the Work 

One option – get your butt to the Whole Foods salad bar.  It’s like your college dorm’s cafeteria but way better (pretty sure WF people would be insulted if they read that but whatevs – you get the picture).

You have the option to create a delicious salad from the massive salad bar, or you can choose from their pre-prepared hot foods.  It’s a win no matter what you go with!

Make a “Semi-Homemade” Meal

My other option is to whip up something real quick at home with only a few ingredients.

[By the way, if you're cooking for a family, then this is probably the better option since the Whole Foods salad bar can get a bit pricey for more than 2 people.]

This chicken stuffed sweet potato is tweaked based on a few different recipes, so you may not find this exact version on the internet anywhere.  However, you’ll find similar stuff from Dr. Oz and PaleOMG.

It’s also perfect for a day where you’ve got a case of the Monday’s cause most of the main ingredients are ready to use (rotisserie chicken, pre-washed spinach, and you can even buy pre-chopped peppers!).

Simple.  Delicious.  Almost as easy as cafeteria food.  :)

<3 Lauren

Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, roughly the same size
  • 2 c shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 bags pre-washed spinach (can use 1 bunch instead)
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, to taste
  • 1 bell pepper, any color & cut into thin strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave following these awesome directions.  Allow to cool, and cut each potato in half.

While potatoes are cooking, heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the peppers and saute for a few minutes until they soften.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.

Season the shredded chicken with TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute and combine with the spinach and peppers mix.

Slightly mash the insides of each potato half and top with the chicken and veggie mixture.  Serve up immediately and enjoy!