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FOOD REVIEW

The Essential Vegetarian

You gotta fight for your right ... to be vegetarian

By Katie Jeffreys

staff writer

For some reason this year, I managed to forget all about the Great American Meat-Out which took place on March 20, 2001 (the first day of spring). Therefore, I was unable to let you all know that on that day, Aramark made a concerted effort to eliminate meat from their menu. I went to Courses for lunch and noticed that all the specials were vegetarian, but that they were still serving the traditional hamburgers and chicken products. I have always thought this participation in the Meat-Out was a nice gesture, and throughout the day my omnivorous friends came up to me and let me know that when they ate lunch at an Aramark establishment they made a conscious decision to avoid meat.

Aramark has also recently made a change in the vegetarian options available at Walker. They have switched the Granary from having two grain choices to only one, but added a vegetarian salad or wrap option. In addition, a cart of pre-made vegetarian dishes will be placed in Walker, under the name “Square Roots.”

I think that both the expansion of the variety of vegetarian foods available and the Meat-Out program indicate that Aramark is growing increasingly aware of vegetarian needs on campus. Unfortunately I do not frequent Walker this year, so I will probably not sample the new fare for some time, but when I do I will let you know what I think. Until then, feel free to let me know what you think at <veggie@the-tech.mit.edu>. In addition you can carbon copy <meal@mit.edu>, which will reach the Aramark management.

I just spent Spring Break visiting Florida with some friends, and found that, despite the seafood which predominated the menus there, vegetarian options were widely available. Especially in Miami and Key West, I found that vegetarian sandwiches stood beside typical deli selections, and vegetarian specials and entrÉes were so plentiful that I often had the pleasure (or displeasure) of debating for some time over what to choose. It was a rare luxury that I wish I could indulge in more often.

We also ate at fast food restaurants a bunch, and I was reminded how sad I am that Wendy’s no longer carries their wraps, which used to be the only fast-food vegetarian sandwich option. I found out that you can now get jalapeÑo poppers, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings at Burger King and Arby’s. All of these fried foods are not healthy or filling, but at least they provide an alternative to french fries. If you too want the wraps to return, write a letter and send it to:

Wendy’s Customer Service

Wendy’s International, Inc.

4288 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.

Dublin, OH 43017

Making Smoothies at Home

As you can tell, I don’t cook much for myself anymore. Between restaurants, Aramark, my house’s chef, and free dinners at The Tech (join and you can get them too), I have little occasion to break out the pots and pans. Not to mention that I am lazy.

One thing I definitely do make is smoothies. I finally bought some protein powder from GNC and mix it in with the fruits. I usually use fresh fruit if it is around; otherwise canned or frozen fruits can work as well. Generally I fill the blender about half way with ice, add a scoop of protein powder, pour in about a half a cup of juice, then add a banana (for consistency) and two other fruits. My favorite combinations are peach/blueberry and strawberry/blackberry.

Sometimes I add a little less ice and include a scoop or two of frozen yogurt or ice cream (I like apricot with vanilla ice cream) or some sherbet (strawberry sherbet with blackberries and blueberries is good). This makes for a more filling and creamier smoothie.

This amount of ingredients usually makes about three 12-ounce smoothies, and I usually end up sharing mine with friends who are around when I make them. It may seem like a hassle to use a blender, but it sure beats paying $3-$5 at a smoothie shop.