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Vegan hacks on campus

| Monday, February 18, 2019

I have been vegan for more than a year now, and I was vegetarian for almost a year before that. I would like to think of myself as kind of an expert on finding vegan options on campus here at Notre Dame. Therefore, I would like to compile a quick list of the best spots to get vegan food and some dining hall hacks I have come up with over the past few years. With this list I hope to let my fellow students who are looking to transition towards a more plant-based diet where to look.

  1. First off, Star Ginger offers some really great vegan options. I love the pho with tofu. The lemongrass tofu is also great. It’s hard to find cooked tofu on campus, so Star Ginger gets five stars from me.
  2. Second, I am loving Modern Market’s new Buddha Bowl. That peanut sauce makes the whole dish delicious. Additionally, I love getting half of a Crimini Kale pizza without cheese along with a cup of the sweet potato lentil soup to dip the crusts in.
  3. Decio Cafe has a great Mediterranean protein bowl that I love to get without the feta and tzatziki sauce. You can add falafel to your bowl, but I personally love to get extra beans and veggies instead.
  4. When I’m hard at work in the library sometimes I like to take a break and get a hummus and veggie wrap from Au Bon Pain (ABP) minus the feta. ABP also has some great vegan soups in rotation.
  5. Alas, we have made it to the dining halls. Admittedly, it can be hard to eat vegan in the dining halls — but with some creativity, it honestly isn’t that bad. I love to make a huge grain bowl with all the veggies for lunch (pro tip: a little watered-down hummus makes a great, creamy, yet dairy free, dressing — sounds gross, I know, but don’t knock it until you try it). I also love hummus on toast or hummus and veggie pita sandwiches. For dinner, my go to is a sweet potato stuffed with black beans, corn and salsa, with some other vegetables on the side. I love when the dining halls have some other options too.  Occasionally, there’s great options on Indian night or when they have the stuffed peppers. But, for the most part, I just have to get a little creative and get things from different parts of the dining hall. It’s easy to make my own Buddha bowl with some quinoa, beans, veggies and either hummus, salsa or balsamic.

All this is to say that yes, it can be hard to eat a plant-based diet on campus, but with some creativity and flexibility, it truly isn’t that bad. I am happy to eat in a way that makes me feel great and healthy while also doing my part to lead a more sustainable life.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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