Plant-Powered Mondays Debut at the Oval


Plant-Powered Mondays are a new feature at the Oval for Fall 2022, showcasing a variety of plant-based entrées and sides. These specialty dishes will focus on healthy alternatives developed specifically to meet the needs of students and faculty on NC State’s Centennial Campus.

Five entrées will be offered in rotation throughout the fall semester: stuffed shells with angry sauce, mushroom tofu cakes with red pepper, tamale pie with black bean and corn salsa, a vegan lentil shepherd’s pie, and Turkish stuffed peppers.

NC State Dining Chef Chad Cliffe, who prefers a plant-based diet himself, designed the menu with Chef Hopeton Mclaren. When Chef Cliffe moved from NC State’s Main Campus to Centennial’s On the Oval Food Hall, he noticed a greater demand for plant-based options and was inspired to start the Plant-Powered Mondays. Chef Mclaren also sees the importance of catering to all diets, especially those that have a large population on campus, like plant-based.

While creating the recipes for the program, the two prioritized developing food that would be filling for consumers while still being vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Chef Cliffe said they focused specifically on making sure there were plenty of grains and protein in the dishes.

So far the program has been met with a positive response from students, but both chefs voiced their hopes for the program to continue growing. They are confident that Plant-Powered Mondays is just the beginning and that over time, both its popularity and the number of recipes included will grow substantially.

For both though, the focus remains on the students and faculty they serve daily. Plant-Powered Mondays are ultimately a step to encourage everyone to make healthy, nutritious, and filling choices that meet their individual needs.

Plant-Powered Mondays can be found at the Oval Food Hall for lunch and dinner throughout all of Fall 2022. More information can be found at