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Dining Hall Dish

Observer Scene | Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It’s getting cold outside. If we didn’t need to eat, I’m sure a lot of us might pick staying inside over braving the snowdrifts to get to North and South. Alas, we must persevere. Here are two entrées that might make the journey to your favorite dining hall feel a little more worth it.

This week’s recipes:

Meatball Sub

The dining hall puts out meatballs for pasta quite often, so why not put them to use in this classic, warm and gooey sandwich? It is great served with a salad. Thanks to Megan Cefferillo for inspiring this recipe.

Pick up a long roll and two slices of provolone cheese.

If you are in South, sprinkle parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning from the spice rack onto the inside of both sides of bread. Place a slice of provolone cheese on top of that on each side. Lay the bread flat and run it though the toaster by the Panini presses. If you are in North, toast the bread, then sprinkle parmesan cheese onto the insides of both sides of bread and cover with provolone. Zap it in the microwave for the cheese to melt.

Head to the pasta bar and add a layer of meatballs. Top with marinara sauce. 

Ranch Dressing and Chicken Pasta

This dish is apparently a tradition of the Notre Dame Hockey team before each game. Now, before you run away from the odd idea of using ranch dressing on top of pasta, give the idea a try. Of course, you may feel like you need to play a hockey game by the time you finish eating it! Serve it with a garden style salad with a light vinegar based dressing. Thanks to Chris Hall for inspiring this recipe.

Fill a bowl with short pasta.

Cut up a chicken breast and mix it into the pasta.

Drizzle ranch dressing over the pasta and chicken and mix.

Heat in the microwave for less than a minute to warm up the dressing.

Sprinkle on some black pepper.

Want some variations? Before you heat the dish, try mixing in broccoli and sliced mushrooms. If you want to give it a bit of a kick, add in a little hot sauce along with the ranch dressing.

Quick Tip

Figure out which section of the dining hall you visit the least and head in that direction. Haven’t made a waffle since the novelty wore off? Have one for dinner. Skip over the offerings of the Mexican bar most days? Make yourself a good taco salad. Varying your routine will prevent you from tiring of the dining hall too quickly.

Have your own dining hall recipe? We would love to feature it! E-mail mfordice@nd.edu.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Dining Hall Dish

Observer Scene | Thursday, November 13, 2008

This week is about using one flavor to pull together a bunch of vegetables – the first recipe uses hummus and the second takes advantage of bleu cheese. You always know those vegetables are good for you, but after awhile forcing yourself to munch on plain vegetables make you feel like a rabbit. These recipes will hopefully give them a new zip, without compromising too much on their healthy nature.

This week’s recipes:

Hummus Wrap

Hummus is the key to this wrap. It takes the vegetables you might usually toss into a wrap and gives them a unifying flavor. As an added bonus, the hummus itself is pretty healthy too, much more so than the other potential option of salad dressing.

Pick up a wrap tortilla of your choice.

Spread a good layer of hummus over the center of the wrap.

Fill with black beans, edamame, bell peppers, mushroom, spinach, feta cheese and red onion. (Or whatever other vegetables you like! Die hard meat eater? Shred some grilled chicken and include that as well.)

Squeeze some lemon over the top.

Fold together and stick in the Panini press until the tortilla is crispy and browned. Don’t skimp on the heat; wraps are always better when they are heated all the way through.

Bleu Cheese and Bacon Salad

Bleu cheese is a strong cheese that takes a bit of getting used to for most people, but it is entirely worth it. Flavorful and distinct, it makes for a great dressing. In this salad, you’ll pour the dressing over the salad while it is still hot, giving it a different vibe. Combined with the bacon and egg, this salad can definitely stand as a meal unto itself.

Fill your plate with romaine lettuce, red onion and crumbled hard boiled egg (slice up whole hard boiled eggs from the sandwich bar if the crumbled version isn’t available.)

Crumbled some bacon over the top.

Fill a bowl with a couple of scoops of bleu cheese. Fill the bowl until it just passes the level of the bleu cheese with half olive oil and half balsamic vinegar.

Heat the blue cheese mixture in the microwave until the blue cheese is just about melted. Stir together.

Pour the dressing over the salad.

Dash on some black pepper.

Quick Tip

Have a cup of tea! Most people don’t take advantage of the hot water and tea bags the dining hall provides, and as it gets colder it’s nice to have an alternative to the heavier hot chocolate and coffee. Try sweetening and flavoring with honey, sugar, or orange and lemon wedges.

Have your own dining hall recipe? We would love to feature it! E-mail mfordice@nd.edu.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Dining Hall Dish

Observer Scene | Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grilled cheese … who doesn’t love it? A childhood memory and one of the first meals a lot of people learn how to make, it holds a special place in a lot of our hearts.

The dining hall gives us the great classic version – gooey, buttery, cheddar cheese and white bread – most every day. This column gives you a selection of ways to put a twist on an old classic. Made using the Panini press, they loose the butter but keep all the good insides, making them healthier options (Want that golden brown goodness back? Butter them up and stick ’em in a pan at home.) I think grilled cheese sandwiches are best served with tomato soup, an option the dining hall has most days, but they are good with a handful of chips and a pickle or a salad too. Don’t forget the glass of milk to really take you back!

This week’s recipes:

Bacon, Tomato and Apple Grilled Cheese  

The savory bacon and cheddar balance out the sweet tomatoes and apples in this sandwich, filling it with tons of flavor.   

1. Pick up apple slices (or slice an apple yourself).

2. Pick up two slices of wheat bread.

3. Layer on two slices of cheddar cheese, tomatoes, the apples and bacon (two slices, ripped in half so that there is a full layer should be enough).

4. Grill in the Panini press until the cheese melts and the bread browns.

Swiss and Spinach Grilled Cheese

Most people think cheddar when they think grilled cheese, but don’t forget the other options! This sandwich takes advantage of Swiss cheese, tosses in some pickles to give it a zing and uses dense dark bread and vegetables like spinach and bell peppers to make it really hearty. 

1. Pick up two slices of dark bread.

2. Spread one side with Dijon mustard.

3. Layer with two slices of Swiss cheese, spinach, bell peppers and pickles.

4. Grill in the Panini press until the cheese melts and the bread browns.

Want an even easier option? Try ham and cheddar (sometimes the dining hall does this one for you) or mozzarella or provolone and tomato. If you’re really having a lazy day, you can take one of the dining hall’s pre-made grilled cheese sandwiches, pull it apart, and toss in tomatoes or lettuce.

Quick Tip

Make a quick fruit salad. Slice up pieces of whole fruit and toss it in with whatever other fruit is available in the dining hall. Use yogurt or honey and lemon as a dressing.

Have your own dining hall recipe? We would love to feature it! E-mail mfordice@nd.edu.