Teriyaki Tofu Salad and Quinoa in a white-rimmed bowl.

Eating Healthy For a Day at San Jose State

Teriyaki Tofu Salad and Quinoa in a white-rimmed bowl.

Grounded's Teriyaki Tofu Salad with Quinoa is just one of the many healthy options being offered on campus (photo by Elena Polanco).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Eating healthy at school can be challenging, especially with so many options staring you in the face. I had always brought my food from home because I was not satisfied with the freshness, price and portion size being offered on campus. Recently, I have been hearing about new fresh options (like the all-vegan salad bar in the Dining Commons and the addition of fruits and vegetables in the Village Market) popping up around campus, so I wanted to see if I could eat healthy for a day.

For breakfast, I headed off to Just Below, under MacQuarrie Hall near the South Garage to see what light options I could find. I saw healthy and organic food, including vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free items. Organic options included smoked jerky, oat bars, and organic drinks with omega-3’s and antioxidants — there was so much to choose from! I decided to try the steel-cut oatmeal, topped with raisins, cranberries, almonds, walnuts, and sliced bananas. I was happy to see that the portion came in small and that I could chose my own ingredients. On my way out, I saw reasonably priced produce at the Spartan Smart Cart, so I grabbed a pear for later.

For lunch, I had to try Grounded, the new vegetarian organic eatery located in the Business Tower courtyard on the east side of campus. Entrees on the menu included egg salad with pitas, falafels, and taco salad with blue chips. I ventured out and tried their chicken teriyaki tofu salad with quinoa, consisting of colorful edamame, tofu, and red cabbage. It was cool, fragrant and light. The portion size was the perfect amount and I didn’t feel bogged down afterwards.

My last stop was On Fourth Cafe for dinner located on the first floor of King Library. Again, there were many healthy choices, including gourmet salads, whimsically named sandwiches (like the Tom Sawyer and Humpty Dumpty), wraps, paninis, and quiche. I ordered a baked potato with salsa and a small potato soup. I was pleasantly surprised at how low the cost was for a hearty and healthy dinner.

After my eating-healthy-for-a-day challenge, I can honestly say that I am no longer skeptical about campus food because I know I don’t have to go far or look hard to find healthy options.