University leans into plant-based cooking

Georgia State University in Atlanta is increasing the amount of plant-based cuisine offered on campus this year, Creative Loafing reports.

After fielding more student requests for increased vegetarian options, the university is replacing a bistro in one of its dining halls with a flat top grill that will serve made-to-order plant-based dishes. Chefs will also be able to use fresh herbs from the dining hall’s vertical garden wall. The grill is expected to open at the start of the fall 2017 semester.

The university partnered with chef Wanda White, who works with The Humane Society of the United States and previously helped open a vegetarian dining hall at the University of North Texas, to create the grill’s plant-based menu. Earlier this month, the dining team spent a day learning how to make the new dishes.

Students’ meal plan costs will not go up as a result of the changes, and school officials say that their supplier is working with the university to keep prices down. Georgia State also plans to use produce grown on its campus farm.

Read the full story via clatl.com.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources