College dining halls are not known for serving the healthiest food.
Although, every year it seems like colleges and universities are aiming to serve more healthy options. I attended University of Dayton a few years ago and they had a decent variety of dining hall options.
Regardless, I would say the daily food options weren’t always the healthiest. Marycrest had the classic college food options of salad bar, pizza, chicken fingers, and the daily rotation. VWK had sushi, wraps, mexican, and Mongolian Grill. Lastly, Kennedy Union had a salad bar, Chinese, and other daily specials. KU had been recently updated to feature a hummus bar!! Lucky kids, I would have loved that. I missed cooking in college, just picking between food options got a bit boring. I always wanted to make something! Anything, even something as simple as a peanut butter & jelly sandwich!
Every other Thursday, Marycrest dining hall offered Chicken Bowls: creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn, fried popcorn chicken, shredded cheese and savory gravy. Now do you see why the food options weren’t always the healthiest?
Today, I’m recreating the Chicken Bowls! But I’m switching it up a bit…
- Instead of mashed potatoes I’m mixing sweet and russet potatoes
- The chicken is baked and breaded in cornflakes (not fried)
- The gravy is quick and a lighter alternative
I believe KFC has a similar item, called the Famous Bowl. I’ve never had it, but I bet it’s really similar.
Even if you think you don’t have time, you must make your own mashed potatoes and chicken! Don’t be tempted to buy the popcorn chicken in the store. The homemade is so much better and a bit healthier too! While your potatoes are boiling you can prep the chicken. In fact, the whole bowl comes together quickly and there’s minimal down time.
Mashed Potato and Cornflake Chicken Comfort Bowl
|Yield: 4 - 6 people|
Creamy mashed potatoes, corn, cornflake baked chicken, and light gravy comfort bowl
- MASHED POTATOES:
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, chopped roughly 1 inch pieces (mix of russet and sweet potatoes)
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2-3 cups cornflakes, crushed (amount needed depends on size of chicken pieces)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups water
- 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cups corn
- 2 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
- Prep the mashed potatoes: place potatoes in a large pot. Fill with water, covering potatoes. Bring to a boil. Simmer until fork tender.
- Prep the chicken: Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the cornflakes in a medium bowl. Bread the chicken - first dip in the butter, then cover in cornflakes. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 7-15 minutes (NOTE: cook time depends on size/thickness of chicken, watch closely!!)
- Make gravy: Over medium heat, in a small sauce pan, melt butter. Add the flour and seasonings, whisk and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the water and bouillon powder. Simmer until thick, about 5 minutes.
- Make mashed potatoes: Drain cooked potatoes. Return to pan. Add salt & pepper (to taste), 2 tablespoons butter, yogurt, and milk. Mash, mash, mash until fluffy.
- Assemble bowls: Dividing mixture between bowls, place mashed potatoes in bottom, then corn, chicken, drizzle with gravy and green onions.