By: Caroline Roethlisberger
As a sophomore, I live on campus without a car, so I am often confined to campus dining options. As a vegetarian/modified vegan, this is unfortunate, especially since I’ve eaten my fair share of vegan spinach salads from Armstrong. As a picky eater, I also find some dining hall foods to be less than appetizing. I used to find myself going hungry because I didn’t know what to eat.
In this column, I will take you on my weekly endeavor to fulfill a more sustainable diet. Together, I hope we can try new foods to make green eating fun and exciting. I also hope to explore cheaper, more convenient eating options that fit a college lifestyle. I can’t wait to take you on this journey with me!
I had a lot of trouble deciding how to start off this column. I’m not sure if I was waiting for a sign, but I got one. While sitting in Armstrong, aggressively chomping on my vegan spinach salad, I glanced at one of the televisions that advertises upcoming events on campus. In huge letters, the screen read: “Happy World Vegetarian Day” surrounded by an assortment of green fruits and veggies. So, I decided to write this week’s column on my experience as a vegetarian on campus and how I currently make use of Miami’s dining services.
I started off my vegetarian journey at Miami last semester, and I felt that my only options were salads and fruit. With some experimentation and the recent purchase of a lunch box, I have realized that there are plenty ways to make my diet more interesting and sustainable.
At the dining halls, I usually gravitate towards oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. I also like a good bagel or english muffin, too. I often find myself grabbing a pre-made salad from one of the on-campus markets, but this kills my declining balance. So, I’ve recently tried bringing my empty lunch box and tupperware to fill with fruit or a salad to save for later. This has been an awesome new meal plan strategy, and I don’t have to rely on the same boring salad everyday! By preparing my meals using tupperware, I also save the extra plastic used in pre-packaged salads and plastic silverware at Armstrong. In the upcoming weeks, I’m exploring fun ways to use dining hall food to make leftover meals, so stay tuned!
It’s not always feasible to get to Kroger, but when I do have the chance to go the grocery store, I stock my snack drawer with oatmeal, honey, peanut butter and assorted “superfoods” like chia, sunflower and flax seeds. I also purchase yogurt, almond milk and raspberries (I steal other fruit from the dining hall). Though I’m not 100 percent vegan, I recently tried Silk’s vegan soy-based yogurt, and I must say, I am a huge fan.
These are awesome staples to keep in your dorm room because you can mix and match them to make fun oatmeal breakfasts, parfaits and homemade granola. Which leads me to the first snack of the week. . . my mother’s homemade “power bites”. These granola balls are super easy to make and can be varied to fit your taste! I personally use them as a great addition to yogurt or smoothie bowls! (Look forward to my dining hall smoothie bowl experiment!) They can be refrigerated to up to two weeks and frozen for a month, so they’re convenient and filling when you are on-the-go. Also, they lack the sugar and processed ingredients of a traditional, unsustainable granola bar. While I usually acquire the ingredients during my rare Kroger hauls, many of them can be found at your local campus market. If you try this recipe, send us pictures of your creation! If you have any other ideas or recipes for future editions, please let us know! See you next week!
Power Bite Recipe
- Two cups- Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
- One cup- Quaker 1 Minute Oats
- Six tablespoons- sunflower seeds
- One cup Peanut Butter
- ⅔ cup honey
- Two teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips/M&M’s
- 1-1.5 cups of shredded coconut
- Flax and chia seeds
Mix all ingredients together and ball into bite size pieces, spread on a sheet and cut into squares for a bar or leave in a bowl to be served as a granola.
Pro-tip: Make a vegan version with maple syrup and almond butter instead of peanut butter and honey!
Photos by Caroline Roethlisberger