When it comes to inexpensive meals, you can't get much cheaper than Ramen Noodles—unless you can think of another product that costs $0.20? I didn't think so.
Unfortunately, there's a problem. Ramen isn't so good for us, especially with all that sodium and next-to-no nutritional value. But it's so cheap! And so easy to prepare!
There must be some way to make Ramen healthier?
Actually, there is a way: By adding vegetables and healthy, lean protein (such as chicken or fish) you can increase the nutritional value of each Ramen packet. You can also cut down on sodium by decreasing the amount of powder from the seasoning packets and substituting your own garlic, herbs, and spices. Finally, make sure that Ramen Noodles are not the only option at mealtime; in other words, this might be a good time to serve an extra veggie on the side or a nice, fresh salad. I'm not saying we should eat Ramen every day, of course. But in a pinch, it can be a cheap option that's part of a well-balanced meal.
Here's a recipe from a friend of mine for Broccoli Ramen Noodle Salad side dish that's always a hit at get-togethers:
Broccoli Ramen Salad
1/2 to 3/4 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
16 oz. of broccoli slaw
2 packs of crushed Ramen
2 seasoning packets from the Ramen
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Combine all ingredients. It's best to make this salad shortly before serving; otherwise, the Ramen loses it's crunch after several hours. What fun is that?
I found a few more healthy-ish recipes using Ramen on these sites:
Does your family ever eat Ramen Noodles? How do you serve them?