Eat this, not that! Green Monday edition
Students across campus have been simultaneously intrigued and scared by the Green Monday initiative. The pledge asks students to eat vegetarian meals at least every Monday, in the interest of promoting sustainability and reducing the University’s carbon footprint. Check out this list of the best vegetarian meal alternatives from around campus and take the pledge without fear!
1. Danforth University Center
One of the most common oppositions to Green Monday that I’ve heard is the fact that many students are obsessed with the sesame chicken in the DUC, which is only available on Mondays. Hearing this, I was shocked that so many students were unaware of the magical event that occurs just hours later, every Monday night. This revelation is, of course, Mac and Cheese Monday. If the obvious alliterative element isn’t enough, it will only take a few bites of this creamy goodness to forever change your cause for Monday celebrations. Your carnivorous side might be tempted by the alluring bacon mac and cheese, but stick to the broccoli version. Even if you’re a sworn veggie-hater, this is the ideal meal for getting in a hidden serving of greens.
2. Bear’s Den
Give tofu a chance! One of nature’s most versatile and unaltered foods has always gotten a bad rap: despite being made from soy, it’s viewed by many as an overly processed and unwelcome meat substitute. But tofu can stand on its own nutritional merit¬¬—it’s both low in calories and high in protein. As someone who loves to force my own food preferences on others, it always entertains me when people claim they’re afraid to try tofu—my reason being that on a scale from bland to flavorful, tofu would fall somewhere between plain animal crackers and Quaker rice cakes. It’s essentially harmless. If it helps, tofu stir-fries are made separately and thus quicker than others, giving you no excuse to not try it out.
Honestly, finding a quality salad on the Danforth campus can be a struggle. Paws & Go’s sad excuse for a salad bar is perpetually wet-looking (if you’ve ever seen it up close, you know what I mean; the toppings are covered in their own juices) and I nearly vomited the last time I ate a prepackaged salad in Whispers. I will go to my grave singing the praises of a DUC lettuce-based taco salad, but another, less-common option is the chopped salad in Subway. Simply put, these bowls of pure health can pack the nutritional punch of multiple meals depending on what you choose to put inside. Something that has always endeared me to chopped salads is that with the mixed-in toppings, they’re infinitely more interesting than simple iceberg lettuce. Digging in, you’ll get a unique mixture of flavors on every forkful. Once you find your perfect balance, feel free to call these creations Crushed Red Lite.
4. Cherry Tree Cafe
Although this Bear’s Den neighbor is known for its wide variety of lunch meats, its vegetarian options are both tasty and sustainable. Instead of eating the same prepackaged ham that you used to bring to kindergarten in your “Dora the Explorer” lunch box, go gourmet and try out the zesty caprese. You’ll love the way the fresh mozzarella balances with the pesto sauce. For an even healthier update, order it open-faced or on wheat bread.
5. Paws & Go
With plentiful sample cups, the soup section is what usually draws the eye of South 40 dwellers entering Paws & Go on the hunt for a savory snack. Unbeknownst to many, however, is that the vegetable-laden broth of chicken noodle soup often packs a lot of calories. Luckily, the return from winter break brought one of the tastiest, kind-of-healthy snacks to Paws. There’s nothing quite like the contrast between a crispy, salty pretzel and earthy, creamy hummus for some guilty pleasure eating that won’t load you down for the rest of the day. Best of all, these easily portable snacks can be subtly hidden behind a laptop for those rampant mid-class snack cravings.