University of Colorado sophomores Faulkner Griffin and Bryn Morales began experimenting with their dining hall food as freshmen after about three months of eating the same old stuff.

Like all freshmen living in the dorms, the girls were stuck with a meal plan and almost no cash to support an off-campus diet. The duo began using the community kitchen in Sewell Hall -- a closet-sized room with only a stove and a sink -- to reinvent their mundane meals.

"We weren't getting the nutrition or the taste we wanted from the dining halls so we decided to get creative," Griffin said.

After a few trial runs, the girls created a blog, dormet.blogspot.com , to share their tips and cooking experiences with other freshmen starved for some variety.

This fall, the girls are sophomores living off-campus in an apartment with a larger kitchen and culinary supplies donated by their parents. But they will continue to cook up nutritious and creative dishes and update their blog, hoping to provide students both on- and off-campus with some relief from the boring basics, Griffin said.

Here are a few of Griffin's favorite recipes to get you started.

Oatmeal options

Start with a bowl of oatmeal.

Add half-and-half, honey, cranberries, raisins and bananas or any other fruit and the cayenne and vanilla you carry around in your pocket, no joke spices are a good investment.

You can also add more fiber and fat to keep you going until lunch.


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Just add a banana, an apple and an orange. Slice with the Swiss army knife you should always have on hand. Toss with yogurt, honey, and cinnamon, another necessary investment.

Salad and grilled PB&J

Start with lettuce, spinach and mixed greens. Throw in some carrots and avocado and toss. Stir in anything but Ranch. Believe it or not, Colorado, there are other kinds of dressing.

Faulkner Griffin, who writes a dorm food blog at dormet.blogspot.com, takes a bacon, pesto, tomato and mozzarella pizza from the oven in Boulder.
Faulkner Griffin, who writes a dorm food blog at dormet.blogspot.com, takes a bacon, pesto, tomato and mozzarella pizza from the oven in Boulder. ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )

Mix goat cheese, walnuts, and cranberries. You'll find these at the Persian station (of the dining hall). You have to get the cranberries from oatmeal stations at breakfast though. Toss the greens with the goat cheese mix.

Then make a PB&J and grab two Boulder Ice Creams of choice, I suggest chocolate and coconut.

Grill the PB&J with butter you took from the sandwich bar. Make a milkshake with your ice cream and the milk that should always be in your fridge. If you don't have a blender, use a fork -- it's good for your arms.

Salad, sandwich and a milkshake, how balanced!

Latin egg bake

You'll need: handfuls of black beans, corn, kidney beans, mushrooms and green peppers, about four slices bread -- any is fine, but white or sourdough works best -- guacamole and eight eggs (these you should always have in your fridge -- skip buying chasers and coffee with your munch money and pick these up from Farrand).

You also need a splash of milk (again, keep this in a water bottle fresh daily in your fridge, you need it for lots of things), spices -- your choice, like chili powder or paprika, but Cholula, Tabasco, or those red pizza chili flakes are fine -- and salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions:

1. Lightly press bread in bottom of a buttered pot or pan that can go in the oven. (Anything oven-safe will work, but shallow is best.)

2. Mix eggs and milk and pour into the pot.

3. Add your mixed veggies. Make sure they're spread evenly. If you're comfortable eating meat from the dining hall, you can do that too.

4. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Add a good sprinkle of goat cheese (or your choice of shredded dining hall cheese) and leave in about five more minutes until it's all cooked. It will rise significantly, so be prepared.

Feeds: Four hungry athletes. You can easily cut the recipe, but egg bake freezes or refrigerates nicely.