Also known as, glorified Ramen.
Soooo, you guys have had Ramen, right?
I think it is probably the most consumed food among high school and college students out there. I kind of have a feeling that if I was a normal twenty-year old, sharing a dorm with other normal people, that this said dorm would most likely be packed with Ramen.
College readers? Am I right?
I have not had Ramen since third grade when my mom and I discovered that our beloved noodle soup actually had not an ounce of nutritional value.
This was a huge bummer for the both us.
Like fudge, what the heck are we going to eat now. It was mid winter in Cleveland when we found this info out and if you have ever been to Cleveland mid-winter, then you know just how much we needed this soup. Seriously, all Cleveland winters NEED a good noodle soup and even though Ramen was maybe twenty-four cents and came from a bag, it was still our soup of choice.
Until we found out it really was doing nothing for us. Oh, and do not ask me why I cared about this in third grade. All I can say is that I have always been a really healthy eater. Meaning I really just only prefer good homemade food that I know what went into it. It’s more a control thing than a healthy thing.
So we ditched the Ramen right then and there.
Whatever, no biggie. And it really wasn’t for me, but I am pretty sure my mom had some serious withdrawals. She is a noodle soup freak and by noodle soup, I really only mean noodles and broth. She takes it heavy on the noodle with a decent amount of broth, but she is good with just that. Nothing else. So, obviously Ramen was her favorite.
I had not thought about Ramen for so long, but then I got a text from my brother, Brendan. If you are somewhat new around this blog, Bren is the brother who lives in Tahoe. Well, actually I think right now he is in Salt Lake City, but I am thinking that is only for the next couple months. No actually I heard he is going to Iceland at the end of the month. I do not know, he is kind of all over the place doing his snowboarding thing. He might creep you out just a bit when you first meet him, but don’t let his bad boy image freak you out. He is honestly one of the most kind and caring guys you will ever meet. And he is a crazy fun, go with the flow, loving life kind of guy. Trust me, you’d like him.
Anyway, he text me after this post and asked for budget meals, “you know, something I could actually afford”.
Budget meals? Ahhh, you mean I can’t use a block of eight dollar cheese? Fudge.
One of his ideas? Glorified Ramen.
I kind of just loved the sound of that, so I went with it. I was this close (imagine me pinching my index and thumb finger together to show you how close) to titling this post “Glorified Ramen”, but the logical side of my brain went with the pungent flavors in the glorified Ramen instead. So lame, I know.
I am not sure how cheap this meal actually is with all the chicken, coconut milk and Thai curry paste, but it’s a pretty dang good, and healthy too! Well, minus the Ramen noodle part, but I am told that if you don’t use the seasoning packet, which is full of sodium and MSG, and boil the noodles, that they are not THAT bad. Ah, yeah and don’t tell me otherwise or I may freak.
Obviously, if you want to make this über health you can swap in your favorite whole grain pasta, but make sure to cook the pasta in the soup a little longer. Oh, and this can be made on either the stove or in the crockpot. The stove is the super quick 30 minute version and the crockpot is the throw everything in, walk away for six hours and come home to dinner version. Both are just as good!
- To make this on the Stove: Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and the chicken. Brown the chicken, stirring once or twice for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot.
- Add another tablespoon of peanut oil, the sweet potato and peppers. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Add the mushroom and cook 5 more minutes. Add in the curry paste and smoked paprika, stirring until the curry paste has coated the veggies.
- In the meantime, add 1 cup of chicken broth to a heat safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or unitll very hot. Carefully stir in the peanut butter until completely smooth.
- Add the chicken back into the pot along with the coconut milk, remaining chicken broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, peanut butter mixture, lime juice and brown sugar. Stir until the peanut butter has been fully incorporated into the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and then add the ramen noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes (if using regular noodles you will need to cook the noodle for a longer period of time, probably about 8 minutes).
- Once the noodles are ready serve soup immediately and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and peanuts.
- To make this in the crockpot add the peanut oil, chicken, ginger, garlic, sweet potato, red peppers, curry paste, smoked paprika, coconut milk, chicken, broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, peanut butter and brown sugar to the crock pot bowl. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high, stirring if you can once or twice.
- During the last 30 minutes add the mushrooms and then during the last 5 minutes add the noodles (if using regular noodles you will need to cook them for a longer period of time, probably about 10 minutes). Once the noodles are cooked serve immediately and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and peanuts.
*The ramen noodles soak up a lot of the broth if not eaten right when the noodles are done cooking. You can prepare this ahead of time, just make sure to add the noodle right before you are ready to eat.
It’s Glorified Ramen time. Slurp.