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Dining Hall Dish

Cornelius Rogers | Monday, March 23, 2009

Seeing as I am new to this scene – no pun intended – I would like to point out that I am not the most creative person when it comes to dining hall dishes. What does make me qualified to write here? I like food. A lot. But if you are one of the many readers who find yourself dissatisfied with your dining experience, please write in. The dining hall dish is only as good as you allow it to be. Without further ado…

The Little Pesto that Could

Like to make your own pizza at North? Find the pizza sauce too salty? Find the barbeque sauce an abomination to Italian culture? If you answered yes to these questions, then you were one of the many people who enjoyed the pesto sauce served in North Dining Hall last semester. I am talking of course about the original pesto. The real pesto. The Pokemon Red and Blue of pesto, not some cheap spin-off. This pesto sauce contained two of pesto’s key ingredients: crushed basil leaves and pine nuts. As a warning to all those with allergies, a sign was displayed saying, “pesto sauce contains nuts.” This system worked fine. For a while. Until an undisclosed incident involving an allergic reaction temporarily banned this beloved pesto.But the pesto could not remain in exile forever. Recently, the pesto made its return to the dining hall, although without one of its core ingredients. This new pesto contained no nuts of any kind. Needless to say, it did not have as much flavor as its predecessor. It was described as tasting like “watered-down” pesto or “Pesto-Light.” Eventually this message reached the ears of some head honchos and a newer pesto was brought in, the one being served currently. This pesto does contain nuts, but surprisingly is not the same as the original. It tastes a little more diluted, but is still a good option for pesto lovers. Good toppings with this new pesto are pineapple or pepperoni. This pesto sauce is not too heavy on the calories. So yes, you can still eat it and fit into your overpriced American Eagle jeans. For true die-hard pesto fans, comment cards are your hope of salvation. In summation, venture out and try the new pesto sauce and let the dining hall staff know what you think. Anything less would be nuts.

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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

Michelle Fordice | Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, but I’m sure much of the Notre Dame student body is still recovering. What do you need after a long day and night of celebrating our Irish heritage? Some good food. Hopefully these recipes might help settle your stomach.

This week’s recipes:

Chicken and Blue Cheese PitaThis recipe has plenty of good strong flavors to it. Don’t be afraid to layer on that blue cheese, it’s what makes it sing. You can try adding other vegetables, like red onion, to your taste as well. 1. Pick up a chicken breast and cut it up. (You can also use the chicken from the Mexican bar if you want to skip the cutting; the sauce that is going to be added later is likely strong enough to overwhelm any marinade or seasoning.)2. Pick up lettuce, diced tomatoes and as many pitas as necessary. 3. Fill a bowl with a dab of ranch dressing, a good amount of hot sauce and blue cheese. (If you aren’t a blue cheese fan, cheddar is a good substitute.)4. Heat the bowl in the microwave until the cheese melts and you can mix it into a sauce. 5. Toss the chicken, tomatoes and lettuce with the sauce.Stuff mixture into pitas.

Ants on a LogFor me, these are a vivid memory of Girl Scouts. More specifically, the hiking trip where our leader gave the chaperoning moms the wrong trail markers to follow and by the time we got back from wandering lost in a field, the only thing we had time to eat before the park closed were these tasty bites. So whether you’ve just survived a hike with a passel of Brownies or a long day in class, these will make you feel better. 1. Pick up celery sticks, peanut butter and raisins. 2. Spread peanut butter onto the celery. 3. Stick raisins into peanut butter in a line – like ants on a log! Release your inner child.

Quick TipRemember to mix up not only your meal, but your drink too. Alice Ciciora submitted this drink mixture, which she named Grapealadeite. Simply mix lemonade with a little bit of grape juice and Sprite.

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 | Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lent brings certain challenges to the student who frequents the Notre Dame dining hall. What to do on those meatless Fridays? You have two choices: Embrace it or work around it. This week’s column is geared towards giving you tips about what to make on Fridays for the next couple of weeks (without simply abandoning the dining hall for Subway). Never fear, the Dining Hall Dish is here to help.

1. Know your proteins. Without the obvious choice – meat – you may be looking for another option. Other foods high in protein are: fish, and especially tuna, eggs, nuts and seeds (try peanut butter or adding seeds and nuts to your salads), beans (try tofu or the various beans available at the salad and Mexican bars), cheese and yogurt.

2. Think up new ways to serve the above protein-packed items with these ideas:

Mash up black beans and mix with olive oil in order to make a great spread to add to your sandwich.

Take a sweet or a baked potato and add a mixture of black beans, tomatoes and a little bit of sour cream and cheese. For an even quicker meal, just pour a little chili over a baked potato.

Don’t stick with plain tuna, kick it up. Try taking either the salad bar tuna or the sandwich bar tuna spread and mixing in ingredients like olives and even corn. Then layer on cheese and spinach and give it a good toast in the Panini maker to make it into a great tuna melt. If you’re not a tuna fan, you can take the same idea and apply it to egg salad.

Instead of adding meatballs to your spaghetti, look for other options. Try adding in some cooked vegetables and extra cheese to make it a little heartier.

3. Make an excellent salad. Salad is so much more than just a bunch of green stuff. Try out all of those things on the salad bar and load it up with lots of flavor and vitamins.

4. Take advantage of the new things in the dining hall. The North pizza bar usually offers pesto sauce more often, both dining halls try out sushi and usually crab meats appears at the stir fry bar (You can even request it to use in other things. It would make a great addition to a salad or pasta). Keep an eye out and you might find something really worth the try.

5. Deal. It might be annoying sometimes, but hey, it’s only one day a week. Listen to your mom’s good advice and eat your vegetables instead.

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

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