Bits and Bites: Dining Services brings the cozy

Friday, November 11, 2022 Bits and Bites: Dining Services brings the cozy

Tomato soup with basil and rye bread on a table.

written by Ellyn McCarter, registered dietitian and nutrition manager for dining services

Brr! It’s cold, and the temperature keeps dropping. That means it’s time to pull out the oversized coat, sweaters, and get some cozy foods from University Dining Services.

This time of year, soups and stews are some of my favorite dishes. Nothing warms me up faster than a bowl of hot chili, and there are few things more Midwestern than pairing your chili with a cinnamon roll. Growing up, on cold Saturdays, the neighbor across the street always made a large batch of cinnamon rolls while my mom made a vat of chili. We’d split the bounty and enjoy our weekend with family.

This classic combo is thought to have originated through the school lunch program. It was served to students to use up the agricultural commodities provided by the program. This dish is packed with delicious nutrients from the chili and sweet satisfaction from the cinnamon roll; the question is not whether these two go together but rather, the proper way to eat it. Do you dunk the cinnamon roll in the chili or eat one and then the other? Personally, I do a bit of both. If you’re looking for this combo on campus, check out the Selleck Café in the Selleck Food Court. You can order through the Transact Mobile ordering app.

Husker Heros offers soups of the day [...]. The current rotation includes chicken noodle, potato, vegetable, broccoli cheese, chicken tortilla, tomato bisque, and chili.

Okay, maybe I’m a little passionate about chili and cinnamon rolls, but you’ve got to admit that a soup and sandwich combo is a classic no matter where you’re from. Husker Heros offers soups of the day to go with whatever delicious sandwich you order. The current rotation includes chicken noodle, potato, vegetable, broccoli cheese, chicken tortilla, tomato bisque, and chili. When ordering on the mobile app, look under the customization tab to select your soup choice.

As the Dining Services dietitian, I should probably give some details on how to balance your meal when choosing a hearty soup or stew. My most straightforward suggestion is to return to those MyPlate ideas. Make half your meal fruits and vegetables, half of your grains should be whole grains, and look for low-fat or fat-free dairy options. Roasted fall vegetables are a perfect side dish to a hearty bowl of soup. It continues the cozy theme and increases the nutrients in your meal. Always be mindful of your portion size. Seconds and leftovers are both amazing things.

Every day the dining halls provide a variety of cozy and nutritious selections that could satisfy any palate. If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, we likely have options for you, too. If you haven’t tried it yet Moxie’s Gluten-Free Café has hot noodle bowls every day; make sure you add the hoisin sauce. Finally, nothing tastes more like fall than the pumpkin chili with black beans on the Harper 8+ line. Not only is it scrumptious but it’s also vegan and free of the top nine allergens. You can check the ingredients of this and our other offerings at

If you have questions on how to increase variety in your eating patterns through Dining Services contact me, the Dining Services registered dietitian, at

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