Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup by Shalimar Dominguez
Videography and Production by Alondra Garcia

Shalimar Dominguez, a senior, psychology major makes her mom’s special and unique vegetarian tortilla soup. When Dominguez was a sophomore, she was a vegetarian and her brother was vegan. Since both of them still wanted to eat their homemade recipe, Mrs. Dominguez created her own version of a vegetarian tortilla soup.


•1/2 gallon of water
•2 cans of tomate sauces
•2 cans of whole tomatoes
•2 cans of drained corn
•teaspoon of cumin
•teaspoon of garlic
As wanted:
•queso fresco
•pre-made rice
•chopped green onions
•tortilla chips


Start by heating a 1/2 gallon of water in a large pot. Pour the two cans of tomato sauce, two cans of whole tomatoes and two cans of corn into the pot and heat it to a boil. Once at a boil lower heat to let it simmer. Add cumin and garlic spices along with fresh cilantro to the pot. In a serving bowl add a mound of queso fresco, rice, chopped green onion, avocado and tortilla chips as wanted.

Serve and enjoy!

Seven Layer Dip

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Seven Layer Dip
Story and Photos by Bailey Philman 

What is best part of every party? The Seven Layer Dip of course!

At least that is what Mallory Unger, a current graduate student at St. Mary’s University, thinks of her famous dish.

“This dip is definitely special. It’s always the first dish finished at every party. Everyone loves it and it’s perfect for not just parties but for snacks and even lunch,” Unger says.

Her love for food and entertaining came from being born to a military family, where traveling the country and moving every few years was expected.

“I learned from a young age to try everything once. That is what my Dad has always taught me. Plus, I have lived in so many different places and the food is always different everywhere I go,” says Unger.

Food may be an adventure for her but everyone has a favorite. A staple in Unger’s refrigerator is Italian food–pasta and meatballs are her favorite.

Unger may have travelled the country, but the small campus of St. Mary’s in San Antonio caught her eye.

She says that she loves St. Mary’s for its tight-knit community and how friendly everyone is here.

Her love of meeting new people led her to pursue a master’s degree in communication studies at St. Mary’s and eventually work for an advertising agency in the future.

So what’s the best advice she can offer to new students and cooks in the kitchen?

“When you make Seven Layer Dip, be sure to use a clear dish so people can see exactly what is in the dish. It’s also important to plan ahead and try your best to multitask,” Unger says.

And, of course, “Work hard, play hard!”


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
  • 4 c shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 c guacamole
  • 1 c salsa
  • 1/2 c chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 c chopped green onions


In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Set aside and let it cool to room temperature. Be sure to drain before adding to the dip. Spread the beans into the bottom of a clear bowl or serving tray that is at least 5 inches deep. Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded cheese on top of beans. Sprinkle beef on top of cheese. Spread sour cream very slowly on top of beef. Spread guacamole on top of sour cream. Pour salsa over guacamole and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle tomatoes and green onions on top as garnish. You can serve this dish immediately, or refrigerate it over night and serve cold. I think it tastes better at room temperature. Makes 10 servings.

Doritos Casserole

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Doritos Casserole
Story and Photos by Fernando Armendariz 

It’s a cold winter day in London.

Feeling homesick, St. Mary’s International Relations Major Juls Forbus decides to Skype with her mother; however she stops as she smells the cooking of her flat mates.

Curiously, she enters the kitchen expecting to find a gourmet meal.

To her surprise, she discovers only Doritos and other ingredients.

Forbus, originally from Houston, presently lives in a residence hall on campus and will graduate in December 2011 with her bachelor of arts degree.

While at St. Mary’s, she was extremely active in the Tri-Sigma Sorority, Organization for Conflict Diplomacy and participated in the London Study Abroad Program in fall 2010.

After receiving her degree, she hopes to return to London and study for a master’s degree in international relations; ultimately, she hopes to practice family law.

Forbus chose to attend St. Mary’s due to the funding she was awarded, student-teacher ratio and the sense of community she felt.

“What I like most about St. Mary’s are the deep connections I’ve developed with my peers, teachers and the immense opportunities I’ve been given such as studying abroad,” Forbus says.

After learning about the dish while studying abroad in London, Forbus returned to the U.S., tried the recipe and was pleasantly surprised with its taste and ease of preparation; it quickly became one of her favorites.

When preparing this dish, Forbus suggests, “You can never have too much cheese!”


  • 2 large handfuls of Doritos chips
  • 1/2 c of Hormel pre-made, microwaveable chili meat
  • 1 1/2 c shredded cheese of your preference
  • 1 small sized tomato
  • diced onions (optional)
  • dollop of sour cream (optional)
  • sliced jalapeños (optional)

Warm up Hormel, pre-made, microwaveable chili meat for one minute and let cool. Dice tomato. Lay out the chips so that they completely cover a microwavable plate (may overlap in some areas). Spread chili-meat over the Doritos, creating an even layer. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the chili meat and Doritos. Add the diced vegetables (and optional onions) on top of the cheese. Warm nachos in microwave for two minutes or until cheese is melted thoroughly. Add a dollop of sour cream (optional) and serve the nachos while warm. Makes one serving.