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New and featured dishes!  November 22nd, 2011

Casa Della Pasta in McNary Dining Center has a new entrée: The Bene Vita Bowl.

It’s fresh, healthy and sustainable. The Bene Vita Bowl features plant-based ingredients such as beans, grains and vegetables. This hearty entrée is satisfying to most palates.

ALL the Bene Vita bowls are vegetarian and there are also gluten free and vegan options.

Stop by and try a sample at a tasting table event from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, in McNary Dining Hall.

Also, Casa Della Pasta will be featuring a Northwest Hazelnut Pesto Pasta from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 for lunch (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and dinner (5 to 7:30 p.m.).

Northwest Hazelnut Pesto Pasta is made with toasted Oregon hazelnuts, fresh parsley and blue cheese. This dish is the perfect blend of savory flavors that will leave you delightfully satisfied.

Stop by the tasting table and try it for yourself from 11 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29. 

Natasha Luff, Dietetic Intern, University Housing & Dining Services

End of Year Meal Plan Options  June 1st, 2011

As Spring Term draws to a close, there are some options for managing your meal plan.  Since the Orange Rewards plan carries over from year-to-year as long as you remain affiliated with OSU, it may be beneficial to save your Orange Rewards account and spend down your Meal Plan account.  If you are in a situation where you may have Dining Dollars left on your meal plan at the end of the term, you will have an opportunity to help others who do need food assistance. Read the rest of this entry »

You’re Invited: Soul Food Cafe  February 11th, 2011

On Wednesday, February 23rd from 5:00pm to 8:00pm UHDS will host “Soul Food Cafe:  A Journey through Culture and Cuisine” at McNary Dining Center. Soul Food Cafe celebrates Black History Month and is one of several “Journeys through Culture and Cuisine” that UHDS has hosted over the last few years. It will feature slow smoked Virginia ham, Southern Fried Chicken, Tofu Creole, Collard Greens, Fried Okra, Bananas Foster, and homemade New Orleans -Style Beignets.

Each of these cultural events is an outgrowth of our Diversity Initiative which is a multi-faceted approach to creating communities that are open, caring, and supportive of students from all cultures.  As a department, our Diversity Initiative is aspirational.  We know we have more work to do to create inclusive environments, but we are dedicated and committed to the journey and we ask the rest of the campus community to join us and support us as we travel on our journey.

Working with our campus partners brings great energy to these events and I appreciate everyone’s involvement.  Come join us for at McNary Dining Center for Soul Food Café and mellow out to the blues of the Ty Curtis Band.

Adjusting your Meal Plan to Meet your Needs  January 11th, 2011

What we eat and when we eat are very personal and each of us has unique dietary needs which means that no single meal plan is going to perfectly fit your situation.

So at the end of fall term some of us had large meal plan balances and some of us used up all of our Dining Dollars and added money to our Orange Rewards account to get through the end of fall term.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Taste of the Indian Ocean: Insight into Journey through Culture and Cuisine  November 1st, 2010

On Wednesday, November 17th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm UHDS will host “A Taste of the Indian Ocean:  A Journey through Culture and Cuisine at Marketplace West. A Taste of the Indian Ocean celebrates international week on campus and is one of several “Journeys through Culture and Cuisine” that UHDS has hosted over the last few years. It will feature foods from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and East Africa. 

Each of these cultural events is an outgrowth of our Diversity Initiative which is a multi-faceted approach to creating communities that are open, caring and supportive of students from all cultures.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Lore of the Freshman Fifteen  October 19th, 2010

While it’s true that college freshman gain some weight their first year, it is closer to 4 pounds rather than the “Freshman 15”.  And since this is based on an “average” many do not gain weight while some gain significantly more than 4 pounds.

So why do college freshman gain weight?  And what can be done to combat it? Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome from Dining  October 4th, 2010

As we are ending the second week of classes, I would like to formally welcome you or welcome you back to campus on behalf of the UHDS Dining staff.   We’ve been busy over the summer working on a variety of projects to help make your dining experiences in the dining centers and Bing’s Café great ones.  I’d like to share a few highlights of what is new for 2010-11. Read the rest of this entry »

UHDS: Encouraging Wellness  September 24th, 2010

Welcome to OSU and UHDS!    As UHDS’ Registered Dietitian, I would like to share that we are deeply committed to creating environments that encourage wellness.  In an effort to promote physical wellness, our goal in dining services is to make the healthy choice, the easy choice. Read the rest of this entry »

Tara Sanders–The Shake on Sodium  May 19th, 2010

The Shake on Sodium:

Myth or Fact: “I’m young and I don’t have high blood pressure therefore I don’t need to be concerned about my sodium intake.”

MYTH!  According to the American Heart Association, a high sodium diet can contribute to high blood pressure…at any age.  Particularly vulnerable are those who are “salt sensitive” and have a tendency to retain water after a high sodium meal.  When we retain water we put extra stress on our heart and kidneys and over time, this puts individuals at higher risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Currently, 1 in 3  Americans adults over 20 suffer from hypertension.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. (There is about 2,400 mg in a teaspoon of salt.)

Some studies estimate that up to 75% of American’s sodium intake comes from packaged convenience foods and from dining out.  Looking for ways to keep your sodium intake “in check” while eating in the UHDS dining centers?  Consider these strategies:

1)Check the sodium content of your favorite options on the on line menus:

2)If you typically eat three meals/day try to eat less than 800mg of sodium per meal.

3)Add little or no salt to your plate.

4)Fill half of your plate with whole foods that are naturally low in sodium such as whole fresh fruits and fresh raw or steamed vegetables.

5) Consider your portion size particularly with high sodium foods like pizza or deli lunch meat.  Instead of a whole ham sandwich, consider a half sandwich and pair it with a side salad and fresh fruit.

6) Be aware of additional sources of sodium found in sauces, soy sauce and salad dressings.

7) Snacks like chips, granola bars and crackers can pack a lot of sodium; instead, while you are in the dining center, grab a fresh crisp apple or baby carrots to snack on later.

Be Well,


Tara Sanders

Registered Dietitian

Oregon State University

University Housing and Dining

Office: 541-737-3915

Cell: 541-602-9736

Rich Turnbull–Dining Hours and Operating Expenses  May 7th, 2010

To the residents of the UHDS community.

I have received a number of questions this year about our decision to reduce the hours of operation in the dining centers this year.  I first want to acknowledge that we understand the challenge limiting hours can create for students who have very full schedules with classes, athletics, jobs or other time commitments. It can also simply be inconvenient for those students who prefer to eat whenever they want to eat. Having said that, we felt it was important to share more of the story about some very difficult decisions we had to make this year with regard to our overall budget.

It is important for folks to know that University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) is a self-funded auxiliary organization whose primary source of revenue is from the sale of room and meal contracts. The department does not receive funds from the university nor from the State of Oregon to support the operation. As an auxiliary, UHDS is mandated to contribute annually into building and equipment reserve accounts in order to fund major renovations needed to keep each of the residence halls, cooperative houses and family housing apartments up to current standards.  In addition, many of our facilities were built in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s and have needed significant renovation and infrastructure upgrades.  Those expenses in addition to rising operating expenses have created pressure to increase room and meal rates.

For further context, the primary operating expenses of UHDS are food, labor and capital improvement expenses.  As you would guess, the longer the dining facilities are open, the more the food and labor costs will increase.  Since most of our dining income is fixed given how the room and board is billed, there is not a positive correlation between the number residents utilizing the dining center and the income that brings to the department. Although we can always look for and find creative solutions to work more efficiently and effectively, it many times comes down to the simple equation of income and expense. As such, to meet the increasing expenses, we have a choice of either increasing the overall rates to the students or reducing some of the major expenses which in turn translates into a reduction in some services.

Because this was ultimately going to effect the residents, we wanted to gain input from the students before the decision was made. In a meeting with student resident leaders of the Residence Hall Association last spring, the student representatives clearly articulated that holding room and meal rates as low as possible was a top priority. In order to help minimize the increase in rates to students, UHDS made the decision to reduce some areas of service instead of passing on the full brunt of the additional expense to residential students.  As part of this decision, a number of positions were eliminated and hours of operation were reduced.  Closing dining operations at 10:00pm instead of 1:00am allowed UHDS to save enough money to replace roofs on two residence halls and replace the furniture in another.

Many residents are probably already aware of what dining options are open after 7pm but students are encouraged to check out the following website for current hours: What you will find there is that 10 of the 17 UHDS restaurant or convenience store operations are open past 7:00pm.  And while again we acknowledge that these hours might not meet everyone’s dining expectations, we felt it was important to share that the folks at UHDS are working hard to be good stewards of your room and meal dollars.

~Rich Turnbull, Associate Director of Housing & Dining Services