EATING HEALTHY ON A BUDGET
I have to be honest, ramen noodles, although not the most glamorous meal, have been a go-to for a LOT of people. Not only when times and finances were lean, but also when the pantry is fuller and we just didn’t have the energy or mindset to get in that kitchen and cook for real.
If you have ever had to access a public Food Pantry of sorts, it is likely that along with cans of SPAM, Vienna Sausages and Macaroni & Cheese, there have been our infamous Ramen noodles, to help fill the empty stomachs. Granted with noodles particularly of this type, it is important to watch the salt content in the seasoning, and for people with gluten sensitivities, they may not be the best choice, but lets face it. sometimes it what we have to go with.
So rather than just breaking open, watering up and throwing them in the microwave for 3 minutes, consider these little upgrades, to make it a bit healthier and even more “fun” to eat.
You probably don’t know people like this, but I have housed a few, who have no problem leaving less than an 1/8th of an inch of tortilla chips in the bag. No matter how much fuss, there seems to remain just enough to not throw the bag out, but clearly void an amount to serve as a worthwhile snack. Particularly those of the flavored nature (nacho, ranch, fire, etc.). And note..generic brands work just as good as the costly better known brands.
Before you chuck the bag, think about throwing those last crumbs them into your Ramen noodles. Wait…cook you noodles, add the seasoning, drain the excess, and THEN throw in those chips. Not only will your taste-buds zing, the new crunch adds a little zap to the experience.
OK, so maybe the chips are not your thing and you need to add a few more nutrients. No problem.
What left over meats or proteins do you have in the refrigerator? Don’t let that waste, just stir it right in!
I like to get the fresh spinach, chop it up and throw it in. You cant really taste it, but it definitely supports your iron and Vitamin C intake, that we often take for granted.
Really, you can pretty much add in anything. Mushrooms, Carrots, Green Pepper, you name it. If your diet includes soy rather meat, this is a perfect opportunity to produce a nice broth, and create a balanced meal. If you have a local Farmers Market, you may find some relatively new veggies to try, as well as some good pricing.
Please note, this is not a suggestion to make ramen a daily staple, but we have to work with “what-we-got”, and sometimes this is what we have until next paycheck. Do yourself a favor, and pump up the health, with a few veggies.