There aren’t many fast food restaurants where you can get steamed veggies as part of your meal, which may be one of the reasons I really enjoy eating at Panda Express. There are actually several healthy meal options here, although some that you might think are healthy and low-cal are actually really high in sodium, so you’ll want to pay close attention to what you’re ordering.
My go-to entree at Panda Express is the Mushroom Chicken. Sautéed zucchini and mushrooms with chicken and a light sauce, with white rice. They offer brown rice as well, I just prefer white rice. The Mushroom Chicken is just 170 calories for a bowl, and then 380 calories for the rice (420 if you prefer brown rice), for a drive-thru meal of just 550 calories. Keep in mind that this also contains 750 mg of sodium, or about 1/3 of the maximum recommended daily amount, so drink plenty of water.
Broccoli and Beef is another thumbs-up option. It does have 7 grams of fat compared to 2 grams of fat in the Mushroom Chicken. Grilled Teriyaki has about 300 calories without rice, 13 grams of fat, and 36 grams of protein. It’s also lower in sodium than the Mushroom Chicken, making it another good meal option.
Don’t touch the fried rice with a 10-foot long stick of bamboo– the peas and corn can be very deceiving. One serving is 520 calories, with 16 grams of fat, and that’s on top of your entree. Ditto for the appetizers. I love cream cheese-filled rangoon as much as the next Not-So-Fit Girl, but at 190 calories and 8 grams of fat per piece, it’s just not worth it.
Don’t skip the fortune cookie, however. It’s just 32 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. Besides, it’s bad luck to pass it over, right?