recipes

Healthy Homemade Ramen: Break Up with Your Maruchan Noodles

Here’s a question for ya.

How many of you ate this stuff growing up? Maruchan brand Top Ramen noodles. I’m guilty of it too!

You know what I mean – the stuff we survived off of in college.. those cheap noodles we scarfed down while staying up late writing that midterm paper.. they were so easy to make, just add water and microwave. One study suggested that Ramen noodles were among college students’ top favorite foods. So what’s the big deal?

According to Food Revolution, Ramen noodles are particularly unhealthy because they contain a food additive called Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a preservative that is a petroleum industry byproduct. They’re also incredibly high in sodium, calories and saturated fat. Additional studies showed that ramen noodles do not digest properly, as the stomach cannot break them down.

Basically, they’re crap.

And when you eat crap, you feel (hate to be so blunt.. but you also look) like crap. Am I right?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat those anymore. You need to break up with the Maruchan brand my friend, it’s a very abusive relationship! And I’m here to help.

You see, if you can afford college, or noodles, or eating out, or if you have the time to read this blog post, you can definitely invest the time and money to make a healthier version of your favorite food. Not to mention gluten-free for those who need it.

It does take a quick trip to Costco to get some supplies. For those “yeah-but” pessimists, don’t you worry, you can always use a grocery delivery program like Instacart to deliver your foods, even stuff from Costco! So no excuses.

My recipe is simple, and you can make as many variations of this delicious soup as you can imagine! Here’s what you need:

  1. Jar of Better Than Bouillon (Costco has chicken, beef, and vegetable flavors)
  2. Flavors – add your aromatics here. Grated ginger, onions, sesame oil, garlic, etc.
  3. Water – boiling hot preferred
  4. Veggies – carrots, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, jalapenos,
  5. Meat – beef, chicken, pork, fish, whatever you crave.
  6. Brown Rice Ramen Noodles (Costco sells these also)
  7. Sauces and toppings of your choice – Sriracha, soy sauce, edamame, bean sprouts, etc.

That’s all! You saute the “flavors” in a stock pan, add boil the water, add the broth/stock according to the instructions on the packet, cook and add the meat (only season with salt and pepper), add your veggies into the broth, then add the noodles (no need to drain) and top with your favorite sauces and fresh veggies. Maybe even an over-easy or soft-boiled egg. Yum!

Here are a few variations: (You can thank me in the comments below)

Chili Beef Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, Sriracha sauce, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Beef flavor
Meat: Thin beef slices
Veggies: Carrots, green beans, spinach, mushrooms
Toppings: More Sriracha sauce, boiled egg, green onion,

Ginger Pork Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, ginger, a teaspoon of brown sugar, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Chicken flavor
Meat: Thin pork slices
Veggies: Carrots, zucchini, spinach or Bok Chuy, mushrooms, broccoli
Toppings: Bean sprouts, ginger, soy sauce, edamame

Garlic Chicken Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, yellow onion, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Chicken flavor
Meat: Thin chicken slices or shredded chicken
Veggies: Carrots, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, green beans
Toppings: Bean sprouts, kimchi, over-medium egg, soy sauce, sesame seeds, edamame

Seafood Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, sesame oil, yellow onion
Broth: Better than Bouillon Vegetable Stock flavor
Meat: Shrimp, white fish, oysters
Veggies: Carrots, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, water chestnuts, zucchini
Toppings: soy sauce, sriracha, bean sprouts, over-medium egg, lime juice

Vegetable Lover’s Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, ginger, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Vegetable Stock flavor
Meat: None OR tofu
Veggies: Carrots, green beans, spinach, mushrooms
Toppings: fresh shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, sriracha sauce, lime juice

 

You’ll find that after a few tries, you’ll make your own variations that turn out amazing, and I’d love to hear about them! Please comment below!

Delicious Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Let me start by saying how much I despise gluten-free food. The taste – just yuck!! I feel so bad for people who have Celiac or gluten intolerance, like my poor husband, who can no longer enjoy the best tasting foods (according to my tastebuds haha)! At first I thought he was high maintenance when we were dating, I would invite him over for dinner and he had special dietary needs and it was so overwhelming needing to make a gluten-free version of everything I cooked.

grains and nuts

I’ve seen the effects that gluten consumption have on my husband, along with a few of my nieces and nephews, and I have since changed my mindset so I could be more accommodating and sensitive to their needs. I know they absolutely hate how their bodies react to grains, and I know their hearts break when they go to social and family events and someone busts out a plate of warm homemade chocolate chip cookies, or orders a pizza that they just can’t have – it’s gotta be tough. I’ve tasted a few gluten free foods in my life – like cookies, bread, etc. and I wanted to cry – everything has a tasteless grainy mashed potato after-taste.

woman gagging

Because I love my husband and my nieces and nephews so much and am trying to do better at providing gluten-free options for our home cooked meals, I thought I’d try a few recipes that had hundreds of reviews and high ratings. Here’s one of the first recipes I found, a gluten free sandwich bread recipe. Originally adapted from the Meaningful Eats blog, I tested out this recipe and my hubby really liked it! He’s had his fair share of gluten free store-bought and homemade breads and has just not found one he really likes – until now.

cinnamon raisin bread

I admit the original sandwich bread recipe was a bit grueling to make – I mean, who has almond flour and psyllium husk readily available in their pantry?? I was a bit surprised that I did (don’t ask LOL). And after I tried the recipe and got Hubby’s full approval, I took it a step further and decided to make it into a cinnamon raisin bread. And for someone who absolutely hates the taste (and even the thought) of gluten free foods, I admit this was delicious! So here’s my tried-and-true Cinnamon Raisin Gluten Free Bread recipe, let me know what you think! For best results, make sure to use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour. Also, make sure to follow the recipe exactly as I did it, and if you have a bread maker, it’s best to let the bread rise inside the bread pan and then set it to a timed option without the entire bread-making process. So here we go!

sliced bread

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Please share your thoughts, questions, and suggestions below, I’d love to hear how it turns out and your/your family’s reaction to it’s tastiness!