You don’t need a keen sense of deductive reasoning to notice that dining commons rotate the same handful of dishes month after month. The selection might seem even more limited to vegans, but don’t let that discourage you. After careful statistical analysis and rancid experimentation, a sacred list of vegan dining food hacks has been created. Here are six flavorful and creative ideas for what you can eat in the dining commons as a vegan.

1. Salad


Photo by Sydney Toth

Countless foodies misconstrue salads as tasteless rabbit food when in reality, they just need to learn how to make them correctly. Making a perfect salad involves three simple steps.

  1. Pack your salad: It’s important to inject a variety of tastes, colors, and textures. Try adding spinach, red oak lettuce, carrots, celery, onions, peppers, tofu, red bean, lemon juice, and dressing.
  1. Add fruit and nuts for extra color and sweetness: Oranges, apples, bananas, and strawberries are all good choices. Top it off with nuts, seeds, cereal, or coconut flakes for an added umph.
  1. Utilize pre-made salads: Many schools offer pre-made salads such as quinoa or cucumber tomato salads that you can layer on top of your salad for an extra level of depth.

2. Trail Mix


Photo by Sophie Pinton

Trail mixes are the perfect healthy munchies snack where you can personalize your own creation. Granola, peanuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and dried fruit are great bases for an in-class or midnight snack. But here’s what’s going to make your trail mix the most special girl at the ball: mix in cereal, popcorn, and fresh fruit for an extra pop of flavor. You’ll be set for at least a couple more hours until your snacking self gets hungry again.

3. Fries


Photo courtesy of

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never even boiled an egg before, you absolutely cannot mess up these taco-like fries. All you have to do is pile up rice, beans, spinach, and salsa onto a plate of fries, and you’ve turned a light snack into a delicious and hearty side dish.

4. Veggie Hummus Sandwich


Photo courtesy of

I cannot tell you how many times my dining commons sandwich has tried to run away due its loneliness living life as a limp lettuce leaf sandwiched between some sad slices of bread. As a sandwich lover, I have finally found a way to convince my creation to stay put.

Start by spreading a slab of hummus onto a piece of bread toasted to golden perfection. Sandwich in some sautéed veggies and you have yourself a simple and healthy sandwich.

5. Bruschetta


Photo by Yair Sakols

Feeling a little Tumblr today? Here is an easy makeshift take on your minimalistic bruschetta. Just drizzle some balsamic vinegar on a slice of toasted bread and add some salsa. I’m not kidding, it’s literally that simple. Eat this with a warm cup of joe and you’re pretty much every Tumblr post ever.

6. Oatmeal


Photo by Becky Hughes

Many shy away from this bland-tasting dish when this breakfast staple is on the menu. Much like the popular Asian rice soup, oatmeal is meant to serve as a side to balance out more potent flavors. When making oatmeal, it’s the accessories of the dish that are the stars of the show. Listed below are tips for making your perfect oatmeal: both sweet and savory editions.

  1. The Sweet Couch Potato

You can be the laziest person in the world and still make this simple, savory dish. All you have to do is mash in a sweet potato into your oatmeal. Then you can invite some scallions, sour cream, and all of the other friends of the sweet potato for a little party in your tummy.

  1. Dessert for breakfast

You’re going to want to start by mixing brown sugar and cinnamon into your oatmeal. Using a fork, smash up a banana into your oatmeal and drizzle some almond milk or non-dairy coffee creamers. Sprinkle on some coconut flakes, granola, and cereal for a crunchy texture. And of course, you can’t end it without microwaving your masterpiece to infuse all the flavors in one warm, mouthwatering dish. Drizzle some syrup and honey on top for that extra sugary kick. As a palate refresher, you can add some sliced fruits like oranges or strawberries.