Hey Vassar College,
So I’m in yet another tech week – this time for the drama department, so it’s even crazier, believe it or not. I’m currently sitting in the parterres of the Martel Theater in costume. With all this craziness, I’ve had no time to get my work done, let alone cook anything. So I’ve been relying on the Retreat and the DC (mainly the Retreat) for the bulk of my meals. I thought it’d be wise to let you guys know how a vegan eats on a meal plan.
At the DC, I rely a lot on stir-fry. My favorite combination is tofu, all the vegetables in front of me (particularly onions, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, peppers and spinach), a little garlic, beans and chickpeas, stirred with a splash of soy sauce and my classic spice blend of turmeric, cayenne, oregano and ginger. Can’t go wrong. When I don’t feel like stir frying, I check to see if the vegan station offerings are appealing – then I supplement with a salad. If I’m not feeling it, I go to the deli and get a sandwich with hummus, lettuce, tomato and mustard on multi-grain. I also end almost every DC meal with a bowl of Chex and granola with soymilk. Always tasty. And you know those days when there’s really nothing? PB & J, all the way. Or PB & B (banana), sprinkled with a little cinnamon.
The Retreat is a bit trickier, but still manageable for my vegan diet. I’m a fan of the salad bar with all its veggies and beans, and usually the other offerings are vegan (like tabouli and sesame noodles). Their new salad bar labeling has helped a lot with that. I also love soup, and there’s usually a vegan offering amongst the three (when there’s not, I cry a little, but that’s rare). With the soups, make sure to read all the ingredients, as sometimes butter or milk sneaks itself in there (like in the tomato rice and the butternut squash). I love when a hummus sandwich is premade (the only vegan option of the premade sandwiches), but when it’s not, I get it made at the deli station. I also love the Mediterranean ciabatta (which I usually get as a wrap). At the grill station, I love the grilled veggies on pita, bagel, or in a wrap, and I like adding salsa and hot sauce. The new vegan burger is a great option as well, which I get with lettuce, tomato and sautéed mushrooms on a multi-grain roll. The packaged vegan sandwiches and other items are usually pretty good – I like the seitan sandwich in a pinch. The hummus and pretzels are a great snack, as is the vegan chicken with crackers (even though it’s super expensive). Of course, I think I live on coffee and fresh fruit. And when I need something sweet, the vegan shortbread cookie from Nilda’s always hits the spot.
When I’m running to class but need a coffee pick-me-up and the line’s not that long, I stop by the kiosk for soy lattes and cappuccinos, and my new favorite, coffee with steamed soymilk.
So I hope this little guide helps you in trying to navigate campus dining as a vegan. It may seem daunting at first, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy, and not as boring as just eating lettuce leaves.
Well, I’m about to go on stage! Good luck with work everyone!
The Vassar Vegan