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Going Green in dining halls

Boston University Dining Services offers different meat-free entrees each day, but what is a vegetarian to do on a down day in the dining hall, when the meat-free options are not as appetizing?

With a little creativity, vegetarians and vegans across campus are figuring out how to make the dining hall delicious on their own terms, from first course to last.

GET CREATIVE

Eighty percent of the dining hall’s offerings are vegetarian-friendly, according to BU’s Dining Services website, so there are plenty of ways to whip up a meal that is truly unique.

“You can also generally mix the sides from other stations for some nice cooked vegetables if you’re not feeling a raw salad,” said Andrew Weaver, a College of Communication junior and member of the BU Vegetarian Society.

The sandwich station is a good place to start.

“For dinner, most of the time the vegan option suffices, or I’ll get a sandwich with hummus and grilled veggies from the sandwich station,” Weaver said.

James Kutter, a School of Management junior, said in an email that the pizza station was his go-to vegetarian choice.  The Dining Services’ website states that vegan pizza is occasionally offered as well.

 CHECK THE MENU

Weaver said while there are only three dining halls operating on campus, there has been an improvement in the quality and consistency of vegetarian options.

That makes it easier for students who are vegetarians and vegans to keep track of the day’s offerings. The menus for Warren Towers, Fresh Food Co. at West Campus and Fresh Food Co. at Marciano Commons are available online, with vegan meals marked with a green “V” and vegetarian signified with an orange “V.”

RAID THE SALAD BAR

When the dining hall’s vegan option disappoints, making a salad offers a quick fix, Weaver said

“For lunch I really love making my own salad if the vegan option doesn’t float my boat,” he said. “I usually layer it with black beans, spinach, carrots, kale and mushrooms and have some fruit on the side.”

SPEAK UP TO THE STAFF

The dining halls are generally well-equipped to address students’ needs, so do not be afraid to speak up.

“I’ve had staff go through the trash to find ingredients on a box, or change their gloves if they’ve just handled cheese before making my sandwich or even ask another staff member when they don’t know the answer to my question instead of just pretending they do,” Weaver said.

In addition, there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian alternatives lingering behind the scenes of the dining halls, according to Dining Services’ website. Tofutti spread, vegan cream cheese and even vegan hamburgers and hot dogs are available upon request.

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