Monday, December 30, 2013

The “Skinny” On Sugar

Sugar can be a natural component in food choices or an added ingredient improving the overall food product or recipe flavor, texture, and palatability.  Sugar adds calories but not necessarily vitamins/ minerals compared to other carbohydrate foods.  Sugar is categorized as a “simple” more refined carbohydrate. It is broken down into glucose faster and then absorbed quicker into the body.   If consuming 2,000 calories per day, one’s sugar intake would equate to about 20 teaspoons.  

Recommendations for added sugar consumption are:
  •  Women-no more than100 calories (6 tsp.) daily
  •  Men-no more than 150 calories (9 tsp.) daily
To attain those recent recommendations, modify your food and beverage choices by:
  •  reading labels for sugar, syrup, and carbohydrates ending in “ose” ingredients
  • reducing those extra condiments, toppings, and candies that quickly increase sugar, calorie totals
  •  researching websites that explain sugar reduction and/or modifying using natural or artificial sweeteners in home recipes
  •  increasing intake of fresh, whole fruits and vegetables with natural vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients
  •  increasing complex whole-grain carbohydrate foods, snack foods rich in fiber
  • reducing sweetened beverages except those that are calcium &  vitamin-D rich
  • drinking more water with zero calories, no added sugars
An added benefit to controlling your intake of “simple” carbohydrates (sugars) would be maintaining a normal weight as recommended by physicians and other health professionals and keeping active!

Friday, October 25, 2013

It’s Sustainability Week at KU

Creating meals for thousands upon thousands of students daily in 22 locations campus wide

KU Dining's rooftop garden on the 6th floor of the Kansas Union
This is the charge of KU Dining Services who, under the auspices of the KU Memorial Unions, is responsible for feeding the multitudes at KU. With increasing focus on sustainability-related issues and how to make a difference in day-to-day life, one of the widest reaching areas is food. Asking, “Where does it come from?” and “How is it disposed of?” are key issues for our campus and community.
KU Dining is quite mindful of its role and how much of an impact effective sustainable practices play in its operations and ultimately in campus life. Given the number of students, faculty, staff and visitors who dine on campus daily, sustainability opportunities abound, from recycling paper cups, wrappers, bags, and plastic bottles to repurposing post-consumer food waste.
KU Dining Services has taken a pro-active approach in reducing waste and promoting sustainability initiatives. Successful partnerships with campus organizations, local businesses and communities have poised KU Dining Services as a leader among peer institutions in this arena. KU Dining’s partners include KU Center for Sustainability, Rock Chalk Recycle, KU Biofuels Research, Daily Bread, Pur-O-Zone, Coca-Cola, Sysco, KC and Missouri Organics, to name a few.
Since embarking on its sustainability efforts, KU Dining has realized some impressive results:
  • In partnership with KU Recycling, the following massive amounts are kept out of the landfill annually:
    • 145 tons of cardboard
    • 6 tons of paper
    • 7 tons of steel cans
  • KU Dining Services donates over 150 gallons of used cooking oil each week to support KU Biofuels Research efforts
  • Tray-free service in residential dining centers reduced thousands of tons of consumer waste:
    • 37% reduction in food waste
    • 55% reduction in beverage waste
    • 20% reduction in paper waste
  • Partnering with Missouri Organics, over 500 tons of compostable materials are diverted from the landfill annually
  • KU Dining's Roof Top Garden has produced over 320 pounds of homegrown herbs, tomatoes, and peppers atop the Kansas Union
  • In partnership with Daily Bread, donated food is collected and distributed to local shelters and food banks
While these results are impressive, look for KU Dining to continue its pursuit toward a more sustainable KU!
See you at the U!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Exciting New Year!

Welcome to KU Dining Services!  It will be an exciting year for us and you too. There is a plethora of changes that you should check out.  “LIKE” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop of new exciting changes.  Here is a snapshot on some of the awesome changes and special events.
FUN UPCOMING EVENTS- mark your calendars!

RESIDENCE HALL DINING PLANS begin with dinner on August 23rd. Oliver Dining, North College Café, Mrs. E’s Dining Center and the Studio all open. Mrs. E’s Dining Center will blow you away with newly renovated serving stations and dining space. It will feature 11 different food concepts offering a wide variety of cuisines in a contemporary, warm and inviting ambience.  The dining experience will be breathtaking!

ROCK CHALK BLOCK PARTY is August 23rd at the Memorial Union from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Come have a of trend setting food items and tell us what you like at The Market on the 3rd floor.
The Hot Dog man and Café Spice will be do their magic up on the Memorial Union Plaza— come visit with them!

KU CUISINE CASH and BEAK EM BUCKS can be used in many of the dining locations beginning Monday August 26th, the first day of classes.  Did you know that you get 5% discount on Fridays when you use your KU Card?

Late night and still hungry?
 DOMINOES AND GLORY DAYS are set up for  pizza deliveries to McCollum, Ellsworth, Hashinger, Lewis, Templin, Oliver, GSP and Corbin residence halls  after  5 p.m. KU CUISINE CASH can be used for these transactions. Just take your KU ID downstairs to swipe the card.  For your convenience, KU CUISINE CASH also covers you for late night snacks at The Studio Cafe in Hashinger Hall, the Ozone in Oliver Hall and at Oread Express in North College Café.  All great places to catch up with friends.

THE MARKET’S EXTRAVAGANZA WEEK will be held Sept 3rd through Sept 6th.  On the 3rd floor of the Memorial Union you’ll find vibrant new Latin flavors at Serrano’s!  World Kitchen will tantalize your taste buds with inspiring new flavors. While there,  sign up for some prize giveaways this week and sample some new menu  items.

BACK TO BURGE is Sept 4th between 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.—yep that’s right, it will be at the Burge Union. It will be featuring inspiring new flavors at the Pulse.  Sign up for some prize giveaways this day and check out the new Tempo line at the Pulse.

RETRO GAMING NIGHT will be held during dinner on September 18th in Oliver Dining, North College Café and Mrs. E’s Dining Center.  We hope you enjoy the excitement and fun that surrounds this event.

ALL HALLOW’S EVE FOOD FESTIVAL will be held on October 30th at Oliver Dining Center.  Our vendors support bold new flavors and tastes and prize giveaways this evening during dinner time. It’s a great opportunity to let dining vendors know what you like and don’t like!

THE TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING meal will overwhelm the taste buds with savory, comforting flavors.  It is planned for dinner at Oliver Dining, North College Café and Mrs. E’s Dining Center locations on November 20th.  This event is a perennial favorite that everyone loves as we wind down for the Thanksgiving recess.

STOP DAY BRUNCH will be held on December 13th.  Oliver Dining, North College Café and Mrs. E’s Dining Center will provide a relaxing atmosphere and succulent prime rib as the semester comes to an end.

NEW FLAVORS AND FAVES  are featured this year!
Try out the new handcrafted Hoagies at Brellas in The Market, The Underground, Crimson Café and Ozone locations. The hoagies feature Kansas City’s Farm to Market Hoagie bun!
Yes, the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap, also available at Brellas—well , it is here to stay!

THE NEW TEMPO LINE available at Pulse locations across campus will provide for some healthy, natural menu options, some vegan, some gluten free, others just good eats!  Café Spice will be feature Indian, all natural foods with South Asian flair at The Underground I in Wescoe Hall. Experience a feast for the eyes as well as the soul.

*The $1.99 Fridge pack of Coke at The Market, The Underground, The Studio, North College Café and Ozone.  Did you know you can use your KU Cuisine cash for this purchase?  Sale starts August 23. 
*Were you one of students who went through New Student Orientation this summer and got to vote on the design for the ever popular “Hill Yes” T- shirt? Check out the winning design on the T-shirt when classes start and get the T-shirt free when you purchase three 20-oz. Coke products.  The T-shirts will be available in all the retail dining locations (The Market, The Underground, Crimson Café, The Studio, and Mortar and Pestle).

KU CUISINE FACULTY/STAFF DINING PLAN.  Eat anywhere on campus and save at least 10% on your meal every time you dine! Sign up on our website using your MasterCard, Visa or American Express: or contact Karen Cross sign up using cash or check:; 785.864.7274

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mrs. E’s Reno on Schedule

New look and new food choices coming this fall!

The extensive renovation of KU’s largest residential dining location, Ekdahl Dining Center, is progressing well. Though the timeline is very tight, the project is on schedule. It is at the point where the changes and daily transformations are dramatically impressive and fast paced. The project spans all of the areas our guests will experience, from the newly redesigned entrance off  Engel Road  into a grand hallway featuring a large video wall set to display beautiful campus scenes and activities. 

Above the new cashier stations you’ll see an electronic flat screen menu board displaying that days numerous menu offerings. You then enter the food court, with its warm yet contemporary look, complete with ceramic tile flooring and walls. We have expanded from seven to now eleven different food concepts providing our guests with an array of options from classic favorites to cultural delights.

Each new concept is a streamlined station designed for improved traffic flow and speedy service. Nearly every part of the existing facility is undergoing a complete overhaul, with new food selections and special attention given to ensuring variety and quality for today’s college students’ ever-changing and sophisticated palettes. They will encounter updated décor, contemporary finishes, enhanced menus and new service styles.

The dining room layout has been improved as well, allowing students multiple seating options with new dining tables and chairs, carpeting and lighting with easy access for guests to move through the area more quickly and efficiently. The half wall partitions have all come down and have been replaced with open railings in order to better expose the breathtaking panoramic view of campus!
All of these changes give Mrs. E’s a bright, airy and open feeling in a warm and inviting dining atmosphere. A place you want to be! We are all very excited about this project and are looking forward to welcoming our students this fall.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The KYou Zone: New to KU Dining!

Through the years, KU Dining Services has provided individualized services to help meet the needs of students requiring special dietary accommodations due to medical and/or religious justifications. With this in mind, we are proud to announce the addition of the KYou Zone- a new concept as part of the Ekdahl Dining Center (Mrs. E’s) food court and dining room renovation project scheduled to re-open in mid-August. Some of the changes to Mrs. E’s include an expansion to 11 food concepts offering a wider variety of cuisines, updated decor, warm contemporary finishes, enhanced menus and new service styles!

The KYou Zone has been distinctively designed to meet the storage, preparation and service needs of our residents and more easily assist them in their specific dietary requirements. This concept of the food court will be operated and equipped as an “Allergy Friendly” area to aid students with varied food allergies and intolerances as well as those with specialty food requirements, some of which include gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and Kosher, to name a few. We will of course continue to meet with and offer individualized dietary services to any resident based on his or her physician’s documented dietary recommendations. In order to get the best use of this space, we will regularly offer foods with a vegan focus - menu items that can provide an additional selection for those who choose meatless meals with alternate protein sources, while adhering to the gluten free and dairy free needs of those served from the KYou Zone. In planning this kosher dining pilot program, the KU Dining staff has worked in conjunction with Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel and a focus group of Jewish students at the University of Kansas. Their insights and suggestions have proven beneficial as we work through the necessary processes in order to make this a successful venture for all parties involved. The idea is to begin small and grow the program based on customer satisfaction. We plan to offer a kosher meal on Monday evenings at Mrs. E’s to see how well patronized this added service style becomes. If we find this to be a successful venture and one that is widely supported, we could then increase the kosher menu offerings throughout the week. It’s important to note that KU Dining offers special dietary services at all of our residential and retail dining locations across campus as does KU Catering and our Impromptu restaurant. We realize we have a growing population on university campus’ that, for various reasons, require specialty foods and/or food preparation and through on-going staff training and improved marketing of this service, we will continue to meet the needs of our customers.
One of our Allerygy Safe Zones located at North College Cafe
Feel free to visit our website at for more detailed information outlining our procedures to assist students with special dietary needs.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New look and new eats for Mrs. E’s

There’s every good reason to hold on to your KU Dining Plan!

Along with the unveiling of a significant renovation, Mrs. E’s Dining Facility will also be sporting a new look and new food concepts in the fall. New concepts, all geared to the tastes of today’s students, pump variety and excitement into the offerings of this well-loved KU establishment. Here they are:
: Daz-E Hill Grill
Offering student favorites: charbroiled chicken, gourmet burgers, grilled cheese, Rubens, fries, onion rings and more!
: KYou Zone
This concept is designed to cater specifically to our students with specific dietary needs including gluten free, vegetarian, Kosher, Halal, and more. This space will be operated and equipped as an “allergy awareness area to aid those students with varied food allergies or specialty food requirements.
: SmokEy’s
Our version of Kansas City BBQ, featuring a variety of smoked meats--pulled pork, brisket, turkey—and favorite BBQ sides like baked beans, homemade slaw, fresh veggies and cornbread muffins.
: Lenoir’s Classics
When away from home, comfort foods remain a college student preference. Meatloaf, Chicken Dijon, beef stroganoff, pot roast, hot turkey sandwiches, roasted potatoes, rice blends, fresh steamed vegetables and so much more!
: Al DentE
Here you will find all things noodles and more: pastas, rice, quinoa, ramen, along with savory and sweet sauces and fresh toppings.
: Global CuisinE
Taste the world at your table; ethnic dishes ranging from; Asian, Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Thai, to name a few!
: ThE Cutting Board
Our delicatessen with made to order sandwiches from a variety of lean meats, veggie toppings, sliced cheeses on fresh rolls/breads and a Panini of the day—served cold or toasted.
: Copper OvEn
Serving freshly prepared and baked in our stone hearth copper oven—specialty pizzas, breadsticks, flatbreads, calzones and Stromboli.
: Great GreEns
Our colossal salad and soup bar billed with fresh lettuces and a wide variety of vegetable toppings and salad dressing. One side features our made-to-order Sizzlin’ Salads, chicken Caesar, sautéed veggies, Cajun grilled ship are a few of the favorites.
: Delights
The dessert destination, a perfect end to any meal selection offering fresh fruits and a variety of delectable treats including frozen yogurt, cookies, cakes, pies and more.
Dining Services begins the renovation right after commencement for an unveiling awaiting students in the fall.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Top 10 Reasons to Book Your Commencement Party at the KU Union

We’ve got it all!

Commencement time is reason to celebrate!  Why not do in style at the KU Union?

Taking a cue from David Letterman, here we have it—the top 10 reasons you should host your commencement party at the KU Union this year:

10.  The glorious KU Campus:  A great and symbolic setting.  Some of your best days were likely spent on this campus.  Why not culminate a great college career at the heart of it all?

9.  Great food.  Variety abounds, all freshly prepared and gorgeously displayed.  Our executive chef and her team deliver a top-notch dining experience.

8.  Pre-set, well-priced catering packages.  In our Commencement-Friendly Ordering Guide, you’ll find options for pleasing just about anyone.   See for yourself:

7.  We can easily accommodate special dietary needs.  Gluten free?  Lactose intolerant?  Vegetarian?  Vegan?  We’ll design a special menu to suit your tastes and meet your needs. 

6.  Room rent is free for all commencement events.  And again, options are plentiful.  We have rooms that accommodate small intimate gatherings as well as large facilities accommodating hundreds.

5.  Easy access from the stadium.  We are right across the street from the Stadium.  It’s no more than a five-minute walk to our facility.

4.  Easy FREE parking!  Park in our Union garage and the you’ll walk right into the second floor of our Union.  There’s no need to fight the downtown madness.

3.  No waiting in line at a local restaurant.  Ever try to seat a large group during a busy weekend?  And without a reservation, you don’t stand a chance at getting seated together.

2.  Live streams of the graduation ceremony!
  The air-conditioned comfort of Woodruff Auditorium here in the Union live streams the ceremony, giving any guests with limited mobility a great place to watch the festivities.

1.  We make the party-planning process easy and painless.  We’re pros.  Experts.  We got this.  Call Whitney Fox at 785-864-2444 to start planning today!

Monday, April 1, 2013


New Entry Lays the Groundwork for What’s to Come

Incoming KU freshmen as well as returning students will come back in the fall to a shiny new Mrs. E’s, with not only an updated look, but updated food options as well.

But this semester, students are getting a glimpse of the changes to come.  The new entry way for Mrs. E’s has now been installed.  The brushed aluminum sign, punched with a repeating pattern of our iconic Jayhawk, boldly welcomes dining guests into the facility.

We plan to use this Dining Blog as a forum to keep readers up to date on the Mrs. E’s renovation.  Stay tuned for updates as the project progresses!

Monday, March 18, 2013

March is National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, so a nod to the folks at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics seems in order. Here’s a reprint of their excellent article for incorporating healthy eating into your lifestyle, no matter how busy you are. For more details on eating right for good health, visit their website at

Eating right is essential to keeping your body running at its best. During National Nutrition Month®, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds you to build an eating plan with your unique lifestyle and nutritional needs in mind. So whether you're a vegetarian, student, athlete, busy parent or a jet-setting executive, it’s important to "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day."

"There's no one-size-fits-all way to eat that's right for everyone," says registered dietitian and Academy spokesperson Jim White. "In reality if the diet doesn't fit with your lifestyle and unique needs, it won't work in the long-term and can even leave you missing out on the nutrition you need to get you through the day."

"Americans have flexibility in making choices to create a healthy eating pattern that meets nutrient needs and stays within calorie limits."

White offers the following tips to eat right for your lifestyle:

Career. Busy work days and business travel can lead to on-the-fly meals.

• For desktop dining, keep single-serve packages of crackers, fruit, peanut butter, low-sodium soup or canned tuna in your desk.
• Always on the go? Tuck portable, nonperishable foods in a purse, briefcase or backpack for a meal on the run. Try granola bars, peanut butter and crackers, fresh fruit, trail mix or single-serve packages of whole-grain cereal or crackers.

Athletes. Whether you are a competitive athlete or just enjoy working out, what you eat will affect your performance.
• Your body needs fuel to function, so eat a light breakfast or snack before you exercise. Try low-fat yogurt, graham crackers with peanut butter, a banana or cereal with low-fat milk.
• Before, during and after exercise, replace fluids with plenty of water or a sports drink, if you prefer.

Student. The student lifestyle can be fast-paced and low-budget. Students can eat right on a budget with some savvy food shopping tips. Stock smart snacks that combine protein and carbohydrates to fuel you like:
 • Apples with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, hard-boiled eggs and fruit, banana and yogurt, almonds with low-fat cheese or whole-grain cereal. These also double as a quick grab-and-go breakfast to wake up your brain and muscles for the day’s activities. • At the cafeteria, salad bars are a great choice, just go easy on the cheese, bacon, creamy dressings and other high-calorie add-ons. Follow the MyPlate guidelines and make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

Families. Caring for family, whether children, elderly parents or both, can be a handful. However, family meals allow parents to be role models to promote healthy eating. And, just because a meal is made quickly doesn’t mean it can’t be nutritious.
• Keep things simple. Build a collection of recipes for quick and easy family favorites. Choose ingredients that you can use from more than one meal. For example, cook extra grilled chicken for chicken salad or fajitas the next day. • Ask for help. Get the kids involved making a salad, setting the table or other simple tasks.

Vegetarian. A vegetarian diet can include just as many tasty varieties of foods as one including meat.
For example, nutrient-rich beans are recommended for everyone. Enjoy vegetarian chili, a hummus-filled pita sandwich or veggie burger. Many popular items are or can be vegetarian – pasta primavera, veggie pizza and tofu-vegetable stir-fry. "Whatever your lifestyle, set yourself up for success by working with a registered dietitian to develop a personalized eating plan that fits your unique nutritional needs and tastes," says White. As part of this public education campaign, the Academy’s National Nutrition Month website includes a variety of helpful tips, games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition around the "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day" theme.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A New Look for Mrs. E’s

 Things won’t quiet down at Mrs. E’s after the Spring Session ends in May.  The day after commencement, Mrs. E’s will close her doors in anticipation of an extensive renovation—one that allows for better traffic flow, more dining options, and a beautiful new seating area for all her guests.   

The food court area of the existing facility will experience a complete overhaul, with new food selections, including dining concepts:    noodle bar, ethnic favorites, brick oven pizza, classic comfort food, deli selections, grilled items, deserts and more... In selecting the new concepts, special attention was given to ensuring variety and quality for today’s students’ changing palettes. 

The layout of the dining facility will change as well, allowing guests to move through the area more quickly and efficiently.  The popular salad bar will be relocated to further into the food court, allowing students easy access.  Attractive food stations will be easily visible to students as they scan their dining options. 

The seating area of Mrs. E’s will also get a facelift.  The existing half walls will come down and be replaced with railings that give the facility a bright, airy and open feeling.  Community tables will be added that allow for the seating of large groups. New chairs, flooring and lighting will add to our guests’ dining experience.

It’s a lot to do, but the Dining Services Team will work to have it all ready for students upon their return in August.  A brand new dining facility to open up the brand new school year.