Food Under 500 | Downtown Transplanted on Campus

The streets of downtown Fargo are filled with so much diversity that choosing a place to eat for dinner can be quite overwhelming. There are dozens of chain restaurants, multiple family owned businesses and even some specialty stores such as a gluten free bakery.

EMMA HAWLEY | PHOTO COURTESY | NDSU dining centers have the ingredients for Thai-inspired cuisine from the Greenhouse Cafe.

With all these options, it’s surprising only one restaurant results from the google search “vegan restaurants in Fargo.” The Green House Café, located on Broadway, has a 4.5-star rating and would easily satisfy any vegan’s or non-vegan’s need for a quick bite to eat.

Their lunch menu ranges from wild rice soup to Thai and orange chicken bowls and everything on their menu is vegan. They make some tradeoffs when it comes to meat-based products by using a soy-based mixture to imitate chicken.

North Dakota State student Jenny Hansen claimed she “didn’t even realize she wasn’t eating chicken” while enjoying the wild rice soup. That’s definitely one way to describe the taste: with an unnoticeable difference from regular meat. Similar substitutions are made for the rest of the meals on the menu, which gives this restaurant an edge above its competitors who are not as vegan friendly.

Eating out can be fun, but it can also get to be expensive. Luckily, students at NDSU have access to the dining centers on campus, which contain many of the main ingredients found in the Green House Café’s Thai Bowl; a simplistic combination of rice and veggies covered in a peanut sauce. The uniqueness of this dish comes from a cross between crispy fried rice and a spicy Thai peanut sauce.

To start the preparation of the Thai bowl, grill 5 tofu cubes with half a cup of brown rice. While these are heating up, fill a bowl with an assortment of veggies: lettuce, shredded carrot, black beans, etc. Combine the crispy rice and tofu with the garden veggies and grab a smaller bowl to prepare the sauce.

Fill the bowl with about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and1 tablespoon of sriracha. Then spoon about 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter and add ¼ cup of hot water from the coffee machine into the small bowl. Mix the ingredients together and then place in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Once taken out of the microwave, add a drizzle of honey and voila, the Thai bowl is complete. For anyone looking for an adventurous meal in the dining halls, give this hot dish a try to save a trip downtown and create a tasty dish containing just under 500 calories.

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