There are times when just a bit of convenience helps us out.
There are times when we just want to be different!
We always want to stretch our dollars.
OK, no flack. I know Ramen soup is full of salt (the seasoning packets) - BUT it is incredibly cheap! Packages are regularly .10 each around here. I can make that package into a bowl of soup for one or I can add other ingredients and make a meal for two. It is very easy.
I know Ramen is a staple with college students - maybe this will help someone jazz it up a bit.
NO there is no real nutritional value in Ramen noodles NOR is there any real nutritional value in pasta! Pasta is pretty cheap - especially if you get it on sale or markdown - and maybe you could get a couple meals from pasta for .10, but not always!
You don't need to use those seasoning packets - save those and maybe add to a big pot of soup or stew later on. It won't be nearly as bad salt-wise in a big pot of soup. The flavors are tasty - there are many. Beef, chicken, pot roast, chili, shrimp, oriental, and on and on!
- Cook your noodles in water or stock and then add cheese. Noodles and cheese instead of mac and cheese
- Make up any stir fry you might make and either stir in noodles or put stir fry over the noodles
- Consider making a small batch of lo mein (add veggies and/or meat) and a little soy
- Add cooked noodles to some fried cabbage and a little soy sauce. Sausage or ham pieces added if you have it.
- Go Mexican - add hot sauce, salsa, taco meat, taco seasoning, cheese, sour cream...…..
- Add to any leftovers - meat, veggies, etc. for a soup or stew or 'bowl' dinner. This would be a great way to extend just a bit of leftovers after a normal meal or holiday and make a totally new type dish. Add broth, gravy, stock, tomato sauce, whatever you have.
OK - now that looks just yummy! What a cheap and great way to extend whatever you have on hand.
- Make a neat salad. Cook those noodles with herbs and whatever broth you might want. Drain. Top with chopped tomatoes, cukes, onions, Italian dressing, herbs, etc.
This would be super with fresh garden veggies (whatever you have), a little dressing when BROKE and you don't know what to eat! Oh heck, it would be good any time!
- Turn it Asian. Add soy, fish sauce, sweet and sour sauce, sriracha - maybe a spoonful of peanut butter or peanuts or cashews - shredded carrot or peas or broccoli, green onions, etc.. Get creative!
- Use half water and half coconut milk for a creamier version of noodles
- Use tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, curry powder, pizza fixings, etc.
- Use the noodles for spaghetti & cover with sauce
- Top noodles with leftover taco meat
- Cook noodles - drain, add tuna and some peas - maybe make like a tuna salad.
OK, I think you see there are just no limits to what can be done with a .10 package of noodles. Get creative. Being broke is no excuse not to have a tasty and filling meal.
I always have Ramen in my pantry. Even if you have had it in your pantry for ages - the noodles will still be fine (might ditch the seasoning if too old). Liquid will always soften the noodles.
I have heard people comment that they were "Ramen poor" - meaning they had no money for other stuff. It shouldn't be a shameful thing - use it in new ways. Leftovers and noodles most definitely can EQUAL YUM!
Here's a family favorite:
RAMEN NOODLE SALAD
1 - 16 oz. package slaw mix
2 packages beef Ramen noodles
1 Small pack of sunflower seeds
1 Small pack of slivered almonds
1 bunch green onions - chopped
1/3 C vinegar
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C oil
both seasoning packets
Heat the last 4 ingredients until sugar is melted - cool slightly. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a nice bowl -(noodles are slightly broken up and raw). Pour dressing over salad mixture 15 -20 minutes before serving. This is really yummy! Tasty and a great crunch.
So there you have it. You are never so broke that you can't have a decent meal. Use what you have and get creative.
Always try to think outside the box - no matter what you have on hand.