-to-school bonanza You don't need an advanced degree to know what students want. Aside from acing the course, making the team and a few unmentionables, they want good, cheap, easy-to-make food and lots of it. And the ever-growing number of vegetarian students want the same thing, but without fur, feathers or fins. Dede Hall's The Starving Students' Vegetarian Cookbook, the non-carnivorous successor to her best-selling The Starving Student Cookbook, deftly doles out easy, clear, understandable instructions that make the grade. In fact, there are drawings on every page that will have even the most culinary-challenged turning out fool-proof fare. Dede begins at the beginning with breakfast, brunch and a few quick-fix breads, segues to salads, soups, sandwiches and simple veggies, moves on to "EZ" main dishes, many with a Mexican accent or the aroma of Italy, and finishes up with desserts, shakes and smoothies. This is the perfect slim, trim treasure to slip into college-bound backpacks or put in the hands of anyone starting out on their own.

Sybil Pratt has been cooking up this column for more than five years.

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