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Dorm Room Dining

CHRIS CODUTO / Arizona Daily Wildcat
From left to right: Yuma residents Mark Siner, Nikki Best, Jason Stanhill and Melissa Eddy..
By Kristina Dunham
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday September 3, 2003

For college students, living in 12-by-16-foot box can make mealtime a little bit difficult.

For many students, meals involve a trip to the Student Union Memorial Center or a walk down East University Boulevard, and most often they entail something that is consumable but not entirely healthy.

There is an alternative for residence hall-dwellers, however: Dorm-room dining.

Believe it or not, it is possible to store a few staple items in that fridge that seems like it can barely hold a gallon of milk, and choosing these items can allow for a healthier menu.

Pesto Pasta

You need:

1 jar classico pasta
1 small jar pesto
dried onions
Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta in water until soft.
Drain, add pesto and onions.
Top with Parmesan cheese and serve with bread and a salad
÷ Carol Smith,
Culinary Concepts

There are also several small grocery items that students can store anywhere in their rooms and use to build their own. Some of those key consumables, said Carol Smith of Culinary Concepts, a cooking school at 2930 N. Swan Road, are high-protein foods.

Such items include canned tuna, peanut butter, canned beans and soups.

"What you're looking for is protein that gives you energy, that doesn't require refrigeration," Smith said.

With a package of hamburger meat and some canned beans, students can whip up some chili, like Yuma resident Josh Romero.

Romero said he also adds some special ingredients to his chili, including ginger and sugar, that give it an extra special taste. He said that even though he uses sugar, most of those who try his chili don't even realize it.

The longer it simmers, the better it gets

- Josh Romero,
referring to his chili


Chili is a good source of necessary sodium, amino acids and carbohydrates, Smith said.

Another thing experts said students should consider is not what they eat, but when.

According nutritional sciences associate professor Ralph Price, the timing of meals can affect a student's productivity.

"It's true, the old adage: ÎBreakfast is the most important meal of the day,'" he said.

He said that when students do not eat breakfast, they can wind up craving carbohydrates later in the day.

However, even something as small as a PowerBar can cure those cravings.

"Now, that doesn't mean a Krispy Kreme though," he added.

Late-night dining is also something students should be wary of, Price said, as students are less likely to expend the calories they consume after 6 p.m.

But for many students, taste is just as important as, if not more so than, healthiness, and favorite flavors or attractive take-out menus often prevail.

Media arts sophomore Lindsay Krause said she's barely even seen the kitchen in her residence hall, Kaibab-Huachuca.

On weeknights, she said, she has picked up food from the union and brought it back, and on the weekends, she goes out to eat with friends.

Vegetarian Burritos

You need:

Refried beans
Cheese (vegan)

Pile ingredients on top of tortillas in desired amounts.


÷ Yuma Hall residents!

Her fridge now contains birthday cake, milk, leftover soda and a lot of leftovers from to-go meals.

She said if she could make anything though, it would be her own stir-fry concoction of chicken, vegetables and Teriyaki sauce.

It seems everybody in the dorms has his or her favorite snack.

"Hot chocolate is so important," said Nikki Best, an pre-business sophomore and Yuma resident, who said her fridge contains tortillas, cheese and yogurt.

Smith said cheese is also a good item for students to keep on hand.

Best also likes cherry yogurt with granola, another thing Smith said is good because it is both convenient and healthy.


You need:
Chili beans
Hamburger meat
Green chilis
Other chilis, as desired
Garlic Ginger
Onions Sugar

Cook meat, let simmer.
Stir everything together on stovetop

÷ Josh Romero,
astronomy and physics senior

English sophomore Melissa Eddy likes her yogurt with honey bunches of oats stirred in.

But the astronomy and physics sophomore, whose fridge contains milk, mayonaise and mustard, said she is also really grateful what she calls McDonald's "salad system." She particularly likes the chicken caesar salad.

While some students might think that fast food is all bad, Price said that it's really more about "variety and moderation."

He said a fast food meal is not necessarily bad for a person, unless that is all he or she eats for an entire year, in which case, it could have negative ramifications.

"Try not just to go over to the student union and get one meal, the same meal, every day. Try to diversify."

In what students define as their own staples, there is some diversity, ranging from tortillas to ketchup, apples to honey and rice to Kraft EasyMac.

"Everyone should have a rice cooker," said ecology and evolutionary biology senior Jason Stanhill, who said students should also "buy fresh fruit off campus (and) keep it in your fridge."

EasyMac is also a favorite for hall residents because it can be cooked in the microwave.

Microwaves can be used to cook nearly anything, ranging from muffins to spaghetti, as well.

But for those who still think four minutes of cooking is too long, there is one final alternative.

"You just pick up the phone and call Dominoes," Stanhill said.

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Dorm Room Dining


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