The Fordham Ram

Dining Hacks: Surviving Plant Based Diets at Fordham

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Dining Hacks: Surviving Plant Based Diets at Fordham

Get creative in Fordham's Cafeteria with options like avocado toast. (Hunter Benegas/ Fordham Ram)

Get creative in Fordham's Cafeteria with options like avocado toast. (Hunter Benegas/ Fordham Ram)

Get creative in Fordham's Cafeteria with options like avocado toast. (Hunter Benegas/ Fordham Ram)

Get creative in Fordham's Cafeteria with options like avocado toast. (Hunter Benegas/ Fordham Ram)


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Every plant-based fanatic is familiar with the struggle to find food on campus that satisfies the trifecta of being nutritious, delicious and, of course, lacking animal products. If you’ve ever considered reverting back to your carnivorous ways after taking one look at the picked-over buckets of slop in the vegan section in the caf or after one too many TBMs from Cosi, you’re not alone. Fear not, veggie munchers, for it is indeed possible to maintain your cruelty-free diets while on campus.

First off, the caf is your playground for creative and yummy plant-based meals. I dove into the caf’s random array of ingredients to craft avocado toast, fresh chickpea scrambles, DIY Chipotle bowls and more. The key is to use all of your resources and be inspired.

For avocado toast, one of my favorite vegetarian or vegan options, simply ask the sandwich station for an avocado and arrange on multi-grain bread with desired amounts of salt and pepper. You can keep your toast classic or add some additional ingredients for a heartier meal. I like to top mine with chickpeas, flax seeds and salsa from the salad bar. If you are an egg eater, topping your avocado toast with fresh scrambled eggs from the omelet station is always a great option as well. You’ll love this low-calorie, plant-based, nutrient-dense and delicious breakfast to start to your day. It also functions as an afternoon or anytime snack.

Another great resource for vegetarians and vegans on campus is the allergen station. Here, they will scramble anything they have in front of them specially for you on request. In my stir-fry, I ask for chickpeas, onions and garlic. This yummy and delicious scramble allows me to avoid the bins of cold beans and is also super-versatile. You can add your chickpeas to toast or mix them in with quinoa, peppers, onions, tofu or other scavenged ingredients to make a grain bowl.

Veggie burgers from “Under The Hood” are always an option as well. These are generally not pre-heated or left out, so you will have to ask for one and wait the five to ten minutes it generally takes to grill one up. While this can be frustrating when you are in a hurry, it does ensure you are getting a hot and fresh-made burger. The veggie burgers can be ordered with or without cheese and help satisfy that inevitable fast food craving. Add some fries and you have a meal that might not be the healthiest, but one that is certainly tasty.

While the caf, at first glance, is enough to scare anyone away, plant-based or not, if you get creative and take advantage of its resources, it can potentially be one of the healthiest eateries on campus and one of the only places that offers whole foods that are relatively unprocessed.

Don’t worry, however, if your caf-hating friends want to eat at other places. Urban Kitchen, Cosi and P.O.D have some vegetarian and vegan options as well. Urban Kitchen serves up the beyond burger, a plant-based patty that looks and tastes very similar to meat. While perhaps more on the processed side, the burger tastes great and is always available.

At Cosi, you can request the adobo chicken bowl without chicken and substitute additional veggies instead. Here, you get protein from the beans and healthy fat from the avocado, and it’s the closest thing to Chipotle you can buy with DCB. P.O.D. can be challenging in terms of plant-based options. However, hummus cups and granola bars can tide you over in a pinch.

While nowhere on campus is an upscale vegan restaurant in Soho, hacking Fordham dining might just be enough to survive as a healthy and cruelty-free Ram.

 

By Ashley Blasi

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