Chef Essig's Featured Item ~ The DASH at Holmes and Tobey-Kendel

We all need a well balanced diet

Proper nutrition is essential to the learning process, and good eating habits are essential to proper nutrition. To help make it easier for our customers to ensure they are getting a well balanced diet, we created special menus for The DASH station located in Holmes Dining Hall and Tobey-Kendel Dining Room.

The DASH at Holmes and Tobey-Kendel

choosemyplate.orgThese special menus offer foods that are low in sodium, low in fat, and low in calories – but not low in flavor.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. It also formed the basis for the new USDA's (Shown here, the plate recently replaced the food guide pyramid.)

The DASH was originally developed to help lower the amount of cases of heart disease, strokes, and hypertension which affect millions of Americans every year.

Accommodating those with special dietary needs

Here at UNC, the menus at The DASH offer an entrée, a vegetable, and a starch for lunch and dinner at both Holmes and TK every day of the week. dash holmes

The entrées at The DASH have less than 30% total calories from fat, less than 10% calories from saturated fat, no trans fat, and less than 800mg of sodium.

Foods served at The DASH are also free of common allergens and intolerance foods such as soy, gluten, dairy and nuts.

Starch options offer whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa at least six times each week. Vegetables are prepared using healthy cooking methods such as roasting, steaming, and grilling. The flavor provided by sodium is often replaced with citrus juices, herbs, and spices which highlight the natural flavors of the foods. (Read more about The DASH here at UNC.)

Just to give you an idea of some items offered at The DASH this year, come try some Braised Beef Ragout, Cuban Ropa Vieja, Mojo Beef Kebabs, Grilled Beef Tri Tip with Caramelized Onions, Cajun Grilled Trout with Apple Salsa, Tilapia with Tomatoes and Olives, Salmon with Tomato Basil Salsa, or Pork Loin with Apricot Ginger Sauce.

Nutrition labels for DASH items

We're very excited to be able to offer our customers the ability to see the nutritional value of our recipes... soon. nutrition labelUntil we're ready to unveil that new tool, we have a different way for you to see a select number of our nutritional labels.

This, of course, is a "band-aid" type of fix, but it's still very exciting to be able to offer nutrition labels from recipes that are served at our DASH station. Click here to see a standard nutrition label and complete ingredient list of your favorite DASH items.

No computer access? No worries, just use our mobile feature on your smart phone at

Have questions about your options in the dining rooms? For more information, please contact our Register Dietitian, Matthew Doyle, RDN at (970) 351-1961 or

Stay sharp and be your best by eating a healthy diet -- and DASH to it!


Dining Services is here for you because We Feed The Bears and are proud of it! GO BEARS!!

Chef Essig

Happy Dining from Executive Chef Essig!

Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA
(Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator)

Hungry and not sure where to eat? We can help you decide... check out the weekly menus often to see what each dining room is serving. You can also call the FoodLine (970.351.FOOD) for daily menus. Students living in the residence halls can access weekly menus on the VOIP phones in their rooms.

Students: add meals and/or Dining Dollars to your UNC Card

Faculty/Staff: sign up for the payroll deduction program

Have questions, comments, or suggestions?? Email us at