Presidential Court and other dining halls may offer dozens of options for residents at UT; however, what happens when the dining halls close and students run out of dining dollars, or it's simply too cold to make the trek across campus?
Students have to turn to the next best thing: shelling out their own personal money, or eating food from their dorm room.
The diets of many freshmen have changed since living in on-campus housing. In addition to getting acquainted with the meal plan/Dining Dollars system, freshman also have to learn how to feed themselves accordingly while inside the dorm rooms.
"I feel like I eat a lot less protein and eat more pasta and starches," Sarah Kim, freshman in marketing, said about her adjustment from living at home to living in the dorms. "I eat mostly easy food or junk food. Anything that I can just grab and eat because I'm really not capable of doing anything else."
The most popular food items eaten by freshman living in Humes Hall were mostly snack foods such as crackers, goldfish and chips. The other favorites consisted of microwavable foods such as ramen noodles, canned soup or popcorn.
Bethany Walker, sophmore in management and RA in Humes Hall, said she felt as if her diet was lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables.
"Its hard to keep fruit in my room because it goes bad before I can eat most of it," Walker said. "Even bread doesn't keep very long."
Online resources such as pinterest, coedmagazine.com, and getreadyforcollegenow.com offer solutions to the problems associated with students and poor dining. One site advises students to keep frozen fruits and vegetables in the freezer as opposed to greasy Bagel Bites or Hot Pockets. Lean Cuisine or other frozen meals that have more veggies andproteins in them are also another alternative.
"Planning would help if you're looking for more variety," Walker said.
Another idea from these websites is crafting a makeshift potato bowl. The ingredients necessary are microwavable potatoes, a can or corn, a can of green beans, frozen chicken tenders and some shredded cheese. The first step is to microwave the chicken halfway, with the next step followed by microwaving the potatoes halfway as well. Drain the corn and beans and then add them to the potatoes and chicken tenders. Continue microwaving until the potatoes are fully cooked. After the potato bowl is done cooking, sprinkle cheese on top and allow the dish a few minutes to cool.
Adding leftover chicken from home or a restaurant to ramen noodles instantly creates a new culinary creation that will save students from the everyday "chicken flavor" that comes in the packaging. Additionally, students can also microwave frozen vegetables and add these to ramen noodles or the pasta of their choice for a new ramen experience.