Attendees from a Veggie Cooking Night in 2018 prepare vegetarian cuisine in the Ohio Union Instructional Kitchen. Credit: Courtesy of OSU Tzu Ching

An Ohio State collegiate association invites vegetarians, students on a budget and dorm chefs to its biggest event of the semester.

Veggie Cooking Night — an event hosted once a semester by student organization OSU Tzu Ching — is coming to the Ohio Union Sunday to teach attendees how to make vegetarian Mediterranean dishes, including falafel wraps, hummus, red pepper sauce, tzatziki and a type of spinach pie called fatayer, Nydia Kung, a fourth-year in neuroscience and the club’s president, said. 

“On a symbolic level, we make dishes of all different backgrounds, which is how we are, too. We invite people from all different backgrounds to join us, and we value all the kinds of foods different cultures have,” Kung said. 

The organization makes a variety of dishes to show college students recipes they can prepare at home, Noor Ali, a second-year in neuroscience and the organization’s upcoming vice president, said.

“Don’t stress too much and just follow the recipes as best you can. In my opinion, even bad hummus still tastes good,” Ali said. 

OSU Tzu Ching is a chapter of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Compassion and Relief Foundation, a nonprofit community and service organization founded in Taiwan in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, according to the group’s website. The university’s chapter represents Tzu Chi’s missions, which are medicine, charity, education and humanistic culture. 

The organization carries out these missions through activities such as nursing home visits, park cleanings and charity events, according to the website. 

The club’s latest event, which included cleaning Tuttle Park, allowed OSU Tzu Ching to focus on environmental protection, something Ali said the group also represents through its Veggie Cooking Night.

“One of the tenets of Tzu Chi is no killing, which includes the death of animals. As far as the environment goes, carbon emissions and the effects of agriculture are directly due to meat consumption,” Ali said. 

Veggie Cooking Night will take place from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ohio Union in the Instructional Kitchen, located in the Union’s basement. The event is free for all, but Kung said OSU Tzu Ching requests that attendees register for the event beforehand through the link on the organization’s Facebook page.