Vegetarian options beyond veggies and tofu are lacking at TU, particularly at Pat Case.
Tofu. If there were one word to describe the vegetarian options at the University of Tulsa, that would be it. There’s nothing wrong with tofu, of course. It is a good source of protein, and when prepared well, it can be delicious.
The Pat Case Dining Center sometimes serves up excellent dishes that feature tofu. But relying on it as the sole source of inspiration in a dish, day after day, can grow old. Come on, Pat Case. You can do better.
No one expects gourmet options from the dining hall at TU. Even the options that include meat and animal products are not always satisfying. But at least those who eat dishes with animal products have multiple options each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Students at TU deserve healthy, nutritious dishes that include other protein sources like legumes. On the flip side, Pat Case should also consider serving vegetarian junk food every once in a while. Yes it can be more expensive, but it would surely be doable to serve it once a month, especially considering the amount of money that students put into the dining program.
The dining hall isn’t the only place that has inadequate options for vegetarians and vegans. The to-go meals available at the Student Union C-Store could also be expanded. Right now, the only vegetarian to-go meals are salads and pre-packaged peanut-butter sandwiches. There should be at least one more option for those who are on plant-based diets. Options like wraps or hummus roll-ups are healthy and would be easy to prepare.
As a result, vegetarians at TU often have to fall back on tasteless tofu or sadly prepared vegetables if they do not like the two choices being served at the vegetarian section in Pat Case. And for students who are following a vegan diet, the options are even smaller. They often have to eat merely vegetables and forgo a major protein source, as most of the vegetarian options offered include dairy or eggs.
Some might argue that vegetarians have made the choice not to eat meat and that they should accept the realities of that choice. But there are many affordable, nutritious vegetarian dishes that taste good. There is no reason that the vegetarian options on campus should be so meager.
As it says on the Dining Services webpage, TU is committed to “keeping [their] students healthy and happy year-round.” If that is true, then they should make a greater effort to include more vegetarian options at both Pat Case Dining Center and the Student Union C-Store.