Food That’s Worth Paying For: A Review of Priya Krishna’s 'Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks'

Anahita Padmanabhan ’14 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It is rare to find students who genuinely enjoy dining hall food, especially when the school is ranked on lists for worst dining halls in the country. Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks, written by Priya Krishna and published by Storey Publishing in 2014, attempts to provide students with easy to create meals using ingredients typically found at dining halls. The book is organized with graphics to make it easy to pick meals out and lists exactly what is needed in order to create food that appeals to students.
Krishna, a Darthmouth student, created this book after writing articles for her paper about the food served at her dining hall. She was tired of eating the same food and so she decided she would create new recipes using ingredients found at her dining hall and eventually she wrote this book. Krishna visited other schools besides her own in order to create a complete understanding of what each dining hall serves and what the students have at their disposal. Krishna has taken care to pick out meals that students can create efficiently and still not miss out on taste and health.
The book provides recipes ranging from snacks and desserts to sandwiches and salads and even covers drinks. Krishna gives a guide for every meal of the day and has something for everyone to try. The book lays out the ingredients that are needed and what tools a student might need in order to create the meals. The recipes are simple to follow and quick to make.
The Salad Pizza for example, is probably one of the simplest meals in the book, but not by much. It combines two basic things that all dining halls have, and two things pretty much every single person enjoys eating, salad and pizza. But what the Salad Pizza highlights best is the flexibility of the recipes in Krishna’s book. The choice of pizza, while cheese is recommended, is totally up to the student to decide. Most colleges have salad bars, so the choice of what is in the salad is also up to the student. Every student can experiment with the recipe and in the end still have a filling meal that tastes good, and takes no more than two minutes to make.
The biggest downfall with the recipes is that some of the ingredients are not found everywhere, especially here at Emerson. Often times, students might need to take the ingredients to go in order to microwave the food since the dining hall does not provide that service. Regardless, Dining Hall Hacks is the cookbook students have been looking for. Not only do students have good food, but they also have a launching pad to hopefully spark the creativity, that is defining to Emerson students, in order to create something great to eat. If all else fails, get some milk, add ice cream, Oreo pieces, and mix it all together to enjoy a cookies and cream milkshake that makes everything better!

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