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It's been kind of quiet in here, hasn't it?

Ramen noodles: they're cheap and easy, but the sodium is a killer. I've learned how to do a lot of different things with ramen noodles to make fairly nutritious meals, so throw away that salty seasoning packet and get to making something healthy but affordable! Most of these can be single-serve meals as well--which is how I came to figure this stuff out--but they can be expanded upon to serve many if you'd like.

Also, feel free to add your own recipes--we need a simplicity/poor skills cookbook that doesn't involve cooking for eight!

1) Poor Man's Spaghetti. Boil the noodles until soft. Drain. Add a small can of heated tomato soup (they cost about 60c at gas stations--they're about 4oz) on top and stir. Add spices to your liking, or perhaps even a bit of crushed garlic.

2) Ramen Fiesta. Boil the noodles until soft, then drain. Add shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and about a quarter-cup of cottage cheese. Add meat as well, if you'd like. Whip it up. It's a bit like taco salad with noodles, and it's quite tasty. If you can get some sauce from Taco Bell, it's especially delicious (I prefer mild).

3) Stir Fry of a Sort. Boil noodles until soft, drain. Add steamed vegetables and stir. Add soy sauce, but be moderate--soy sauce can have loads of sodium, too.

4) Halfsies. To reduce the sodium in regular ramen, just use about half of the packet.

5) Cheesy. Make ramen, drain most of the water, then put a slice of cheese on it. Wait for it to melt and then stir it up. You can also add in little pieces of lunch meat if you'd like. This can also be made into a pretty neat casserole--that's what my grandma makes for potlucks at her church, using ramen noodles, low-fat cheese, ham, and a little big of hard-boiled egg. But it's just as good when it's just cheesy noodles.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
Ramen is awesome underneath stir fry!

I use an electric kettle to heat my water to a boil, then pour it over the noodles, cover bowl with a plate, and let stand two to three minutes. This makes them even easier and you can't accidentally overcook (well unless you let them stand for a long long time).

A good thing to do is throw in a couple handfuls of baby spinach leaves with the noodles before adding the water. Spinach improves everything. You don't need to de-stem, just use thoroughly rinsed spinach. The cook time for ramen and baby spinach is precisely the same.

Ramen noodles are good with any leftover soup or sauced items in your fridge. Don't be afraid to mix stuff together and nuke; when in doubt, use hot sauce in the mix, it covers a multitude of flavours.

The best ramen bricks are from immigrant shops, the ones branded in Asian languages that give you oil and hot pepper packets with your noodles, not just the salty stuff. On its own the oil and hot pepper are plenty flavourful without adding any salt. Also the flavour packets are more exotic flavours, which leads to:

Ramen packets are truly excellent for seasoning a pot of rice. Save them for that. Rice is awesome with a chicken and onion or prawn ramen packet, really you can't go wrong.
Jan. 27th, 2009 09:04 am (UTC)
I had a friend at my old job (trail work) who would bring a ton of ramen. He'd eat ramen during the day, no seasoning, but when he made his community meal for the team, he'd throw in the seasoning into his rice. Or into tortellini, which was wonderful.
Jan. 27th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
I used to have a fantastic cookbook published by the Grey Panthers that was all recipes for one or two, with ingredients numbering I think five or less. If I ever find it again will post details here, it was so awesome. Everything was real food, wholesome, yet it wasn't fussy.
Jan. 27th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
I like adding an egg while my ramen is cooking. It makes it like ramen egg drop soup.
Jan. 28th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Ooh--there's a good idea! That sounds delicious.

Do you just crack an egg in there and mix it up, or what?
Jan. 28th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
I used to scramble an egg and maybe add some kind of seasoning to it (maybe some from the packet, or maybe soy sauce or teriyaki), and then pour that in while the water was boiling. But a friend of mine told me he just cracks the egg right in the pot. I've tried it both ways, and I can barely tell a difference. As long as you stir it while it's boiling (or I guess you could not, but that's how I like it ;))
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )