By Kaitlin Dunn
When it comes to eating healthy in college, it is difficult enough for the average student. Add in dietary restrictions such as allergies or vegetarianism and it becomes even more difficult.
As a vegetarian myself, I have some practice in hitting all of the necessary food groups when the Dining Hall isn’t able to cater to my dietary needs.
Here are some vegan and vegetarian-friendly meals for the busy college student when the salad bar just doesn’t cut it.
This is simple enough. The sandwich bar has enough options for you to conceivably make a vegetable wrap in the dining hall.
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, get it to go and add falafel or vegan meat to it when you get back to your own dorm.
Coupled with fries or a side salad, this a pretty decent meal that you can have without spending any additional money at Acme.
If you want to get a little fancier, you can buy wraps or pita pockets and make your own wraps with ease in your dorm.
One of the easiest things you can do for a quick and easy meal is throw a bunch of ingredients in a bowl and call it a day. The options are endless for this. You could get crafty and make your own DIY Chipotle or Panda Express bowl. You could also keep it simple – throw some minute rice and beans in a bowl, season it, and boom, you have a meal that’s a complete protein.
For those who want a little bit more guidance in crafting their bowl meal, Jenn from Veggie Inspired has a few tips to craft the perfect bowl meal.
For a base, “choose whole grains that will provide lasting energy. Good choices to consider are rice, millet, barley, farro, bulgur, buckwheat, or quinoa (technically a seed, not a grain, but it’s treated like a grain). You can even go for noodles, if you prefer, like udon or soba.”
Once you have your base decided, it’s easy to figure out the rest of the construction. Pick a protein and some veggies and your favorite sauce, and you’re good to go.
Everyone on campus has accesss to a stove thanks to the kitchens in Sassafras Hall and Caroline House, making vegan tacos an easy meal that require minimal cooking.
The only heat required for vegan tacos is in the protein. If you’re a fan of meat substitutes, something like Beyond Meat or Impossible Meat make for great taco bases. For those who aren’t into substitutes, beans are delicious and can be seasoned to fit any cuisine, and they make for a great taco base.
You can even turn vegan tacos into an event. Suggest a taco night to your friends, where everyone gets to make their own food and you can all enjoy a delicious meal in each other’s company.
Heat and Eat
When all else fails, the frozen food section comes in handy. Brands such as Gardein and Annie’s make great frozen vegan and vegetarian options for those who are too busy to prepare a meal from scratch. They’re available at both Acme and Redner’s, making them accessible to all.
While being vegan or vegetarian in college may require a bit more effort, with a little bit of creativity, you can get a nutritious meal in that’s sure to be tasty.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Featured Photo Caption: For those who are unable to cook within their dorm room, the school has options for those who follow a plant-based diet. The rooted station is open on weekdays during lunch and dinner, and has a number of meat-free options.