Coconut curries and vegetable fritters are some of the meal options available through the Krishna lunch program, a vegetarian food service on campus that launched this fall semester.
The Vedic Organization for Inspiration, Culture and Education, or VOICE, started offering $5 vegetarian lunch boxes at the beginning of September in an effort to promote Vedic ideals, which include consciousness and truth.
“We have been on campus for two years, and we have been promoting vegetarianism in our meetings,” said Ratish Pillai, president of the organization. “(Students in the meetings) all expressed interest in having facility for students to have a vegetarian menu for lunch on campus.”
VOICE delivers the boxed lunches to campus every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Students need to log into the organization’s website to pre-order their boxes, which can be picked up from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in SSB 2.102. A limited amount of extra boxes are brought for customers who want to buy on a walk-in basis.
“(Student Government’s) role is to be the voice of the students, and when (VOICE) came to us, we told them we will support them,” said Student Government President Brooke Knudtson. “It’s good because it’s student-led, and students wanted this to happen. It’s great that they meet a specific target market at our university and SG’s main motive is to get more vegetarian options on campus.”
The food is prepared at Kalachandji’s, a vegetarian restaurant and Hare Krishna temple in East Dallas, and the cooks prepare dishes with a strict adherence to Vedic standards.
“The idea is the environment and the conciousness of the people who are cooking and preparing the food is also highly elevated, so that’s what we are trying to promote,” Pillai said. “ (Members of VOICE) are packing from (Kalachandji’s) and bring it on campus as boxed lunches.”
Soy nuggets drenched in coconut curry, brown stir-fried rice and stir-fried tofu in sauce are some of the dishes featured on the menu.
“I was worried after coming to UTD whether I would be able to have vegetarian food as I have been following vegetarianism all over my life, and Krishna lunch at UTD came to my rescue,” said Narendran Poyyamozhi, an information technology and management graduate student. “I go there once a week, but if there are my favorite dishes I go thrice a week.”