For someone trying to maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet on a meal plan, it may seem impossible to not only find foods that fit your restrictions, but also any delicious (and healthy) food in general. Although the options might appear slim at first, Binghamton University does offer numerous vegan and vegetarian choices that taste great while simultaneously doing your body a favor.
Start your morning off right with a peanut butter-topped whole-grain bagel from Einstein Bros. Bagels paired with a green smoothie from Red Mango. By choosing a peanut butter topping over cream cheese, honey or butter spreads, bagels can fit into a vegan diet. The peanut butter is packed with protein and healthy oils, and combining whole grains with nuts allows you to get all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to maintain and repair your muscles. The SPK smoothie from Red Mango, or spinach, pineapple and kale, is a great natural energy booster that can help you get through the day without falling asleep during class. It fits requirements for both vegans and vegetarians since it’s only composed of spinach, pineapple, kale, banana and pineapple juice. The Apple Ginger Kale smoothie is also a great choice, since ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to harming your joints, gut, bones and can even cause a higher risk of cancer, so avoiding foods that cause it is key.
When you think of pizza, your mouth probably waters as you imagine endless amounts of cheese melted on a white, doughy crust. It may seem crazy to you that pizza could be vegan and still be delicious. However, the new CopperTop Tavern in the Marketplace offers a vegan pizza slice that features a variety of vegetables, including mushrooms, spinach and onions, all on top of creamy tomato sauce — and you won’t miss the cheese. If pizza isn’t your pick, head to the Roots Café in the basement of the University Union. Roots Cafe, which is part of the student-run Food Co-op, offers vegan, organic and gluten-free foods, from tofu scramble to sushi.
For a vegetarian snack, try making a DIY fruit parfait at any one of the four dining halls on campus. Fill a small bowl with yogurt, add your favorite fruits on top and sprinkle a little bit of granola to add some crunch. On those days when you’re craving dessert, break up one chocolate chip cookie and sprinkle it into your parfait instead of the granola. For a vegan snack, go for a simple yet tasty duo of hummus and pretzels. All four dining halls sell single-serving packs of hummus and pretzels in the refrigerated sections. Hummus is high in protein and fiber, so it improves digestion and is also loaded with healthy fatty acids.
College-in-the-Woods’ Garden Vegan station, located in the dining hall, is the place to go for a filling and completely vegan dinner. The meal served changes each day so students don’t get sick of the same dishes all the time. Recent offerings have included chickpea and veggie burgers, falafel subs, sweet potato fries, soups and tons of vegetable sides. Mein Bowl in the Marketplace also has both vegan and vegetarian options. Try Thai tofu on brown rice with veggies of your choice for a high-fiber option. If you want to add a sauce, vegan options include the chili lime sauce, Thai yellow curry sauce and spicy garlic sauce.