I started avoiding Ramen Noodle Soup back in the initial low fat craze. But liking the convenience of them and how easily they can be "kicked up a notch" I figured out a way to incorporate them into my eating. Note that all information is based on one serving, so increase as needed accordingly.
First, to reduce the total calories per single serving, cut the block of noodles in half. Some brands have already done this for you. Then, you can use the entire amount of water and the full seasoning packet depending on the volume you want and what you add. If you don't want as much broth/volume just use half the water and half the seasoning packet and save it for the other half of the noodles. If you are sensitive to sodium or MSG, you could replace the water and seasoning packet with chicken broth.
Now, comes the add ins. I bring the broth to a boil, put in the add ins and then add the noodles toward the end of cooking time which for the most part is brief. I add the protein after everything is almost finished so it won't get too broken up or fall apart. Here is a list of add ins...use a few or all...
- garlic powder (or fresh if you prefer)
- sliced green onions
- small slivers of red or green bell pepper
- red pepper flakes or black pepper
- frozen peas or peas & carrots
- mushrooms--I keep dried thinly sliced shitake mushrooms in my pantry ...these are very inexpensive at an Oriental grocery. I purchased a huge package for $1.79. If you get the thinly sliced ones no presoaking is necessary...if you buy the whole dried ones you'll need to soak them, and then slice, unless you prefer them whole...which I don't...they are pretty strongly flavored, but supposed to be healthy
- thinly sliced cucumber...I leave very little of the peel if the cuke is waxed
- protein: hard boiled eggs, frozen cooked shrimp, canned salmon, leftover chicken...you get the idea...I often just stir in a beaten raw egg at the end, as you would for egg drop soup, if I don't have any other protein on hand and don't want to take the time to hard boil eggs
- a few drops of dark sesame oil (the kind with the strong taste that flavors your dish)
- a splash of lime juice
- a few drops of fish sauce or soy sauce
- fresh cilantro
You get the idea. What I add depends on what is in the fridge or pantry at the time. I always add the sesame oil, fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro.
I'll leave you with my latest version which I made today and was yummy good.
Pumpkin Spinach Salmon Ramen
Prepare water and seasoning packet. Add shitake mushrooms, cucumber, slivers of red bell pepper, frozen chopped spinach (the loose kind), red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, 1/2 the noodles from the package,...cook til veg and noodles are tender...sesame oil, lime juice, fish sauce, and cilantro. Poured this over 1/4 cup of canned salmon placed in my serving bowl.
I thoroughly enjoyed this dish...it took minutes to prepare, was fairly healthy and very inexpensive. I'll be using the rest of the can of pumpkin in another soup dish I found online. I'll share that recipe later if it tastes good...it looks delicious in the blog picture. I also use the pumpkin in my oatmeal...got the idea from Kathy at Kathy Calculates Weight Loss.....it was fabulous...I made a single serving in the microwave, using her recipe as a general idea. Not only is pumpkin low fat, high fiber, it is quite low in carbs too...I thought carb wise it would be more like sweet potatoes, but it is not...and it is low calorie.