Renovated cafeteria offers modern design, healthy food options

Renovated cafeteria offers modern design, healthy food options Picture

Co-Lin’s Henley Cafeteria received a major face lift over the summer. The renovation process began in May and wrapped up just before the first day of the fall semester.

The dining hall received a fresh coat of paint and six new wall-mounted, flat screen TV’s. The bulk of the renovations occurred in the serving area and kitchen. The cafeteria now offers new meal stations including Farm to Table, featuring foods prepared with locally sourced ingredients. At Farm to Table, choices range from catfish po’boys to collard greens to homemade potato salad to pork chops with a special peach mustard sauce. The Pizza station offers whole-wheat crust pizza and flat bread options in a variety of assorted topping. Vallejo’s Mexican fare features burritos, tamales, taco salads, tacos and more. A staff favorite, the Rotisserie includes slow-cooked meats and fresh, roasted vegetables. Breakfast now includes french vanilla and strawberry yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit. Other new additions include homemade pickles and side salads at the Deli station, and homemade croutons, tortilla strips and specialty salads at the Salad Bar. For dessert, homemade classics like apple cobbler go great with vanilla or chocolate ice cream that’s gluten free, lactose free, and low fat.

In addition to new healthy food options, the serving area itself received a completely new design including flooring, lighting, serving stations, and even new plates and utensils. The kitchen boasts new all-digital equipment.

A large TV monitor hangs above each station displaying Be Well information. Be Well provides consumers with the calories in each menu option, giving them the ability to make informed decisions. Be Well options are recipes that are trans-fat free, minimally processed ingredients, and mindful of sodium and portion size.  Additionally, Be Well recipes meet at least three of these five requirements: plant-based, healthy fat, lean or plant-based protein, limited added sugar, high fiber or probiotic diet. A kiosk in the lobby also provides nutritional information including food allergens.

Another change for the cafeteria comes with introducing an “all you can eat” format. Guests dining in the cafeteria can return to any station for a second, or third, helping. Dining Services Director Diana Mezzanares says the cafeteria is busier than ever.

“We’ve received such positive feedback on the renovations and all the new food options,” said Mezzanares. “Our dining services staff has worked very hard this summer preparing to provide new and healthy options for our Co-Lin family. The hard work has paid off.”

The renovations were partially funded by a grant received from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. 

Photo & copy by Scarlett Hart