Friday, September 28, 2012

Tips for Eating Meatless in the Dining Hall!

Vegetarian stir fry from Thai Tuesdays
at the Fresh Food Market

As a student who is eating meatless five times out of the week, I’m always looking for meatless options. You can say, I’m the master meatless expert, if you will. So, I thought I’d share some of my meatless mealtime tips and how I eat meatless in the dining halls and don’t ever feel deprived!

General Rules:
    Check the menu first online!
Before I go to a certain dining hall, I check and see what main entrees will be served. That way I go in prepared and know exactly what I can and cannot eat. It also helps me select which dining hall to choose. If I know ahead of time, that Terraces has a lot meat options, I can see what vegetarian options are available at Towers. I always feel better prepared and can make better choices when I plan ahead before going to the dining halls.
2        Look for the Nutrition Icons!
Look for the nutrition cards next to all entrees. Each one is equipped with nutrition icons to display if the food item is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or “well balanced”, meaning that it can be made a part of a nutritionally balanced meal. These icons make it quick and easy to identify if something is meatless or not. They take the guessing work out of choosing your food, so you don’t have to!

      Just ask!
Anytime you have a question, just ask! Dining Hall staff from all dining halls can answer any question you have! I know I have asked questions like, if the soup was made with a beef or vegetable broth or if something contained meat? Its’ the best way to know about what you eat before you eat it!

 Dining Hall Meatless Guide!
In All Dining Halls:
Soup/Salad Bar:
This is a section I frequent when I’m eating meatless. There is always a vegetarian soup offered and, of course, pretty much all of the salad bar is meatless. When making a salad, I always like to add chick pea and tofu because that way I know I am getting enough protein for the day
The deli has a lot of great vegetarian options, when you just want a quick and easy sandwich or wrap. The deli offers lots of fresh veggies, hummus, and egg and tuna salad for meatless choices. My personal favorite is the veggie wrap with a whole wheat wrap. Meatless Dining Hall Tip: make a sandwich with hummus on whole wheat and then go over to the salad bar to add additional toppings. It’s a great way to use the dining hall in its entirety and I can make great sandwiches with items not found at the deli, like spinach leaves and peppers!
Pizza/Pasta Station:
This station always offers pizza and pasta that does not contain meat. Best of all, this is a really easy swap. If you are used to eating pepperoni pizza, just switch to cheese. Or try something new, like sundried tomato and feta!

Vegetarian Hotline:
One of my favorite new features at Terraces is the new Vegetarian Hotline! Located at the end of the hotline, the vegetarian hotline offers meatless meals at both lunch and dinner. Before, I used to skip the hotline because there weren’t a lot of meatless entrees offered. Now, instead of just offering vegetarian side dishes, like vegetables or rice, the new Vegetarian Hotline offers delicious and filling vegetarian entrees that make a great main dish to a complete meal. Some of my favorites include polenta lasagna with eggplant caponata, African vegetable curry, and falafel with a whole wheat pita.
Terrace Dining Hall's Vegetarian Section on the Hot Line

Exhibition is a great option when eating meatless. Not only are the dishes that are served mostly vegetables but you have the ability to customize what you eat! If you are eating meatless, you can just simply ask to hold the meat or add tofu instead!
Kosher Station:
The Kosher station is a great place to eat when looking to go Meatless. Everything is homemade and hand prepared, so if you any questions about what is exactly in every dish, all you have to do is ask! They also always offer delicious and nutritious fruit salad, which is not only meatless but a healthy alternative to dessert or snack. I know it’s one of my personal favorites!

Fresh Food Market:
The Fresh Food Market is easily, hands down, my favorite place to eat on campus. It’s just awesome! It has a salad portion that contains local greens from FingerLakes Fresh and delicious organic quinoa. It also has my favorite organic salad dressing, sesame ginger. And if delicious salads don’t peak your interest, Fresh Food Market also offers delicious entrees as well! My absolute favorite is Tuesdays nights, which are Thai Tuesdays! It’s a great event that happens every Tuesday where you can make your own Thai dish! You can add in yummy toppings like, Thai cabbage or peppers, baby corn, cilantro and Thai basil. Then you pick your protein, which includes the option of tofu. Lastly, you get to pick our own curry, green, yellow or red, depending on how hot you want it! It’s absolutely delicious and definitely worth a look on Tuesdays!

Fresh Ingredients available in the vertical Salad bar at the Fresh Food Market

Vegetarian Hotline:
Just as the name says, this station is filled with all things meatless! This is really awesome for someone eating meatless because you don’t have to search and scan; everything is meat-free and up for grabs! Some of my favorites include the quesadillas and crepes!
The Grill offers vegetarian options such as grilled cheese and garden burgers. Just like pizza, going from eating a hamburger to a garden burger, is a really easy transition. I like to get my garden burger and then go over to the salad bar and add lots of veggie toppings!

Campus Center:
Entrée/Starch & Vegetable Station:
While, this station does serve meat, it also does a really good job of serving really unique meatless dishes as well. Out of the 6 or 7 entrees that are available, normally half do not contain meat. One non-meat dish that like I like is, fish sandwich and pesto mayo.
No meat found here! Another great station, where you can eat and not worry! Some of my favorites include eggplant Parmesan, tropical stir-fry, and bow-tie with tomato and feta!
For vegetarians and vegans, alike! Everyone can eat here! I’m always impressed on the different flavoring of tofu that can be found here, like sesame ginger and General Tso’s. Also, the hummus and tabouleh are delicious!
International Station:
This is not only a really fun station, but it offers meatless entrees as well! It’s a great way to try something different! I really like the spicy shrimp, pasta bar and vegetable lo mien!

So rest assured, there are plenty of meatless options available in every dining hall! I would know! I honestly use these tips every time I eat on campus. So, refer to the tips I follow daily above and you’ll be a meatless master, too!
Your Meatless Mealtime Expert,

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1 comment:

  1. This is just what I was looking for! Thank you so much for sharing this article! I have been researching dining Albuquerque tips and things you should do. My husband and I are going to an extremely expensive and fancy dinner and we want to act properly.