Tonight, my friend and I did not feel like eating at the dining hall, and because we’re broke college students, going out for dinner was out of our budget. So instead, we decided to use some of the dining dollars that came with our meal plans at our campus Panda Express!
The only vegan options Panda Express carries are white rice, chow mein, and a tofu eggplant dish. (Their steamed vegetables contain milk. Why!?) Unfortunately, our Panda Express did not carry the tofu, so I just picked up some of the chow mein. To jazz it up a bit, I heated up some frozen veggies, edamame, and baked tofu in the microwave and mixed them in with the noodles. This dish would be even more incredible topped with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds.
As you can see, being vegan can be convenient and affordable! Most chain restaurants, like Panda Express, have the allergen information for all of their menu items listed online, so you can plan your meal in advance. The size small chow mein cost $2.50, and I only used about half of the container for one meal. Frozen veggies are typically around $3 or less per package, and one bag tends to last for 2-3 meals. Tofu, depending on the type, size, and brand, typically costs around $3-$5 and lasts for 3 or more meals.
So there goes your last excuse! Being vegan is easy, delicious, and cheap. It just takes some creativity! 🙂