Student News

Quarantine Community Cookbook

As the Bennington community social distances during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual Wellbeing Assistant Soumya Shailendra '21 is compiling a community cookbook to foster healthy eating habits during quarantine.

Want to contribute your favorite recipe? Email

Beat the Monday morning blues by following @BenningtonRecBarn on Instagram for new recipes every Monday! 

Situ’s Chicken & Rice Soup

For when you’re feeling blue and it's freezing outside.

Shared by Sitashma Parajuli '21, studying Anthropology and Sociology


  • Bay leaves
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • White Onions
  • Raw Garlic
  • Green Onion
  • Lemon
  • Chicken breast
  • Packaged Chicken Broth
  • Wild Rice/Brown Rice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil


  1. Peel the carrots and the onions, but don’t throw them away—this is essential for the broth. Proceed to dice your carrots, celery, white onions and green onions. 
  2. Lightly rub the chicken breasts with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a big pot, put the chicken breasts, bay leaves, carrot and onion peels, and pour two cups of water over it. Put a lid on the pot, and let it simmer for at least an hour on low heat. 
  4. Once this is done, separate the broth from the solids in the different pot using a strainer. Proceed to separate the chicken breasts and shred them into whatever size you prefer your chicken pieces to be. You may throw out the bay leaves, the onion, and carrot peels (their job is done!)
  5. In the new pot, where you’ve strained out your broth, add a cup of wild rice, a cup of the packaged chicken broth (for a richer flavor) and your diced vegetables. 
  6. Season your soup with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Put a lid on it and let it simmer on low heat for another hour. 
  7. Toward the end of the hour, check to see if your rice is cooked. If the soup has become too starchy because of the rice, pour a splash of chicken broth to equalize the rice to soup ratio. Add more seasoning as required. 
  8. Once you’ve plated your soup, add the diced green onions and squeeze a piece of lemon and voila! 


Pumpkin Coffee Spice Loaf

For those who are sick of banana bread.

Shared by Uma Shannon '21, studying Dance


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1.5 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 whole milk (or full fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • splash of buttermilk or a spoonful of yogurt
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee (I used decaf nespresso)

Strongly encouraged options!

  • Broken up walnuts
  • Chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375f/200c
  2. Butter 9x5 inch loaf pan
  3. Using a whisk, beat eggs and sugars in a large bowl
  4. Add oil, vanilla, milk, pumpkin purée, instant coffee, and buttermilk (or yogurt) whisk till fully combined (discard whisk)
  5. (Change to spatula) Sift together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt, mix until combined.
  6. Add walnuts and chocolate if desired
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan, bake for 50-55 minutes (if not fully cooked after time, cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes till knife comes out clean)
  8. YUM

Aglio Olio Peperoncino

For those who are looking for a classic Neapolitan dish.

Shared by C. G. Holden ’21, who studies Literature and Italian


  • Spaghetti or other pasta - 1 box
  • Garlic - 3 cloves
  • Oil - 1/2 cup
  • Dried pepper flakes or whole pepperoncini - to taste
  • (Optional) parsley - to taste


  1.  Cook the pasta in boiling water (5-6 minutes for al dente)
  2.  In the meantime, prepare the garlic, pepper, and parsley (chop everything into very fine pieces) 
  3. Pour the oil in a pan and heat it on a very low flame, adding garlic, pepper and parsley (do not burn these; just cook for a couple of minutes)
  4. Transfer the pasta directly to the pan with a spoonful of the water
  5. Mix everything in the pan, and then buon appetito!

Shrimp Fried Rice

For when you have less than $10 to spend on a meal

Shared by Ayesha Bashir '22, studying film, animation, and Japanese

Photo of fried rice
Illustration of fried rice
Illustration by Nirmohi Belvalkar '21


  • Vegetable oil
  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Cooked white rice—preferably from the dining hall
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Soy sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • Sambal sauce
  • Sriracha, for serving (for all my spice lovers)


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or a pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, and cook,
    stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt, soy sauce,
    and black pepper, to taste; set aside.

  2. Repeat the process with eggs, make an omelet then cut in it into smaller pieces,
    set aside.

  3. Add carrots, corn, and peas, and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are
    tender, about 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add the cooked rice, eggs, shrimp, sambal sauce (opt), and soy sauce. Cook,
    stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

  5. Add some Sriracha on top and bon appétit!

Lemon Meringue Pie

For when you want an excellent dessert

Shared by Natalie Bates '20 

Photo of lemon meringue pie
Drawing of lemon meringue pie
Illustration by Nirmohi Belvalkar '21



  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½" pieces


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Zest of 4 lemons
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter


  • 4 large egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar



  1. Whisk sugar, salt, and 2⅔ cups flour in a large bowl. Add butter and, using your fingers, smash each piece into a thin disk. Take your time doing this and don’t feel compelled to break butter into even smaller pieces. Drizzle ⅔ cup ice water over, dispersing it as widely as possible, and mix with a rubber spatula to bring mixture together into a shaggy mass.
  2. Turn dough out onto a surface and work together with your hands, pushing and flattening until dough holds together when squeezed in your palm but some streaks of dry flour are still visible. Divide dough into 2 portions.
  3. Flatten 1 portion of dough into an 8"-diameter disk. Cut into quarters, stack pieces on top of one another, and flatten dough with a rolling pin to about half of its original height. At this point dough should hold together with no dry spots remaining, and have nice big flakes of butter showing. Use a bench scraper or a large knife to clean any clingy bits of dough from surface. Dust surface with flour, then dust top of dough with flour. Roll out to a ¼"–⅜"-thick round. Wrap dough around rolling pin and transfer to a standard 9"-diameter pie dish. Unfurl into dish, then lift edges and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim overhang to an even 1" (there will be some excess). Fold overhang under and crimp as desired. Cover and chill until very cold, at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours (cover tightly if chilling longer than 1 hour). Repeat process with remaining dough and another pie dish. Or form into a 1½"-thick disk, wrap in plastic, and chill up to 3 days (or freeze up to 1 month).
  4. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat oven to 400°. Lay 2 sheets of parchment paper over dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans (they should fill the dish). Set on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (this will keep any butter drips from smoking up your oven). Bake until edges are golden brown and bottom is opaque (carefully lift parchment to check), 30–35 minutes. Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 300°. Lift out parchment and weights. Bake crust until evenly chestnut brown all over, 10–15 minutes. If baking both crusts, turn oven dial back up to 400° and let oven preheat; repeat with remaining crust.


  1. Whisk sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan to combine. Add eggs and egg yolks and whisk vigorously, making sure to get into corners of pan, until smooth and pale. Whisk in lemon zest and juice, salt, and 1½ cups water.
  2. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking often and making sure to get into corners of pan, 8–10 minutes (mixture should be bubbling and thickened). Reduce heat and continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, whisking every minute.
  3. Add butter to filling and whisk until melted and fully incorporated. Scrape filling into pie crust; smooth surface. Chill until cold and set, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.


  1. Combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer or another large heatproof bowl; set over a large saucepan filled with 1" simmering water (bowl shouldn’t touch the water). Heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, about 4 minutes.
  2. Fit bowl onto mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or use an electric mixer) and beat on medium-high speed until meringue is more than tripled in volume and medium peaks form, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (or a resealable plastic bag will work—just snip off a corner after bag is filled). Pipe meringue over filling and toast with a kitchen torch or under the broiler.
  3. Do Ahead: Pie (without meringue) can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.



For when you're wondering what to make for breakfast

Shared by Valeria Sibrian '21, studying Visual Art and Migration Studies


  • 4 cups of old fashioned oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 pecans 
  • 1tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/" tsp sañt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • However many chocolate chips you want!


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey and oil and bring to a simmer over medium heat. 
  2. Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla (optional I always forget). Pour hot liquid over oat mixture stir and toll until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Spread granola on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25, minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even baking. Transfer granola to a large bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally. Once cooled mix in the chocolate chips! 

Burmese Khow Suey

For when you want to treat yourself.

Shared by Nirmohee Belvalkar '21, studying Ceramics and Visual Art 



  • Spaghetti
  • 1 cup boiled veggies (I used broccoli and carrots) 
  • 2 chicken breasts 
  • 4 cloves of garlic 
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 big diced tomato
  • 4 red chillies (optional for spice level) 
  • 2 cans of coconut milk 
  • salt 


  • chopped cilantro 
  • fried garlic 
  • fried onions 
  • lime wedges 
  • chopped chillies 


  1. Heat oil in a skillet and fry chopped garlic until golden brown. 
  2. Use the same oil to fry onions, separate onion into strands so they can get golden brown and crispy. 
  3. Transfer the oil to a big pot and use it in STEP 5. 
  4. Marinate the chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized pieces with garlic, ginger, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp turmeric. 
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot and add cumin, chillies, diced tomatoes and the chicken. Let simmer until chicken is cooked. 
  6. Lower the heat and add coconut milk and salt to taste. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  7. Cook spaghetti separately.
  8. Everything is now ready. Make your own bowl by mixing however much of everything together!