Homemade Ramen Noodles


If you’ll remember, I had a bugger of a cold around the beginning of the month. My husband made it a full week before succumbing himself.

If you have a man in your life, you know what big babies they become at the first sniffle. (Okay, okay, this time around my throat hurt so badly I was a whiny mess myself). Regardless, a loved one with man flu requires some extra pampering.

I’ve written before about the soups I whip up to fight illness, but you can never have enough easy soup recipes, especially in the middle of cold and flu season. This one has the added bonus of being a childhood throwback made healthier.


Who doesn’t love ramen noodles? Salty, savory, noodley perfection. This recipe is almost as easy as the pre-packaged junk and even tastier — if I do say so myself.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbs turmeric
  • 1/2 Tbs ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 Tbs chives
  • 1/2 Tbs soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp sriracha (optional)
  • 1 sheet Chinese noodles
  1. Heat oil in stockpot over Medium. Add onions and red pepper flakes and cook about 1 min.
  2. Add veggies and spices through pepper. Cook, stirring often, about 3-5 min.
  3. Stir in chives and chicken stock. Bring to boil.
  4. Add soy sauce and sriracha. Boil about 8-10 min, stirring occasionally.  (Side note: all the seasoning measurements are approximate so taste/adjust as needed throughout.)
  5. Break noodles in chunks and add to pot. Cook about 3-4 minutes, breaking noodles apart with spoon as they soften (you can also add 1 cup water to keep soup brothier).
  6. Enjoy!
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And Now the Apartment Smells Like French Fries

So there’s a cold going around, because it’s that time of year. Also because some people like to show up at work and cough and sneeze and touch everything and moan about how they hope no one else gets this cold because it’s just awful.

I’m not bitter.

I just have a sore throat and my nose is runny. But I’ve been assured if I picked up the office cold, it would have happened before now. Because I mean, it’s been three whole days since they were really feeling badly.

Regardless of the culprit, despite the day randomly feeling like spring instead of January, I needed soup. Loaded up with carrots and turmeric and ginger, just in case it *is* possible to catch a cold from someone three days after the fact.

We’ve recently changed our diet at home, because one of us needs to try out the FODMAP elimination diet and the other is spectacularly supportive. So coming up with a healthy, anti-cold soup without using my usual go-to ingredients like garlic and onion presented a challenge.

Because of the low-FODMAP diet (basically, we’re temporarily cutting out simple carbs/sugars, but we’ve also had to cut out a lot of spices, dairy, wheat…like pretty much everything) we’ve started eating more potatoes (and eggs, if you’re wondering what else is left). Therefore, my husband recently learned how to peel and chop potatoes. He loves when I let him help in the kitchen, so, as I was feeling scratchy and stuffy and not-happy, I figured our soup would be potato-based and set him to carefully cubing potatoes. We threw in carrots and celery, along with a bunch of turmeric, ginger, and a few other spices I know are easy on the tummy (at least in small little sprinkle-quantities). I “cheated” and sauteed a crushed clove of garlic in olive oil for about a minute before removing the garlic and adding the rest of the veggies. Obviously, this would be great with minced garlic and chopped onions, so feel free to add along with the other veggies.

Low-FODMAP Cold-Fighting Potato Soup:

Ingredients:
3 large brown potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots (or about a dozen baby carrots), peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed with the flat side of the knife
olive oil, for sauteeing
Salt and Pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
Turmeric
Ginger
Oregano
Basil
juice of 1/2 a lemon

  1. In large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat olive oil over M heat. Add garlic and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove garlic and discard.
  2. Add vegetables. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper. Saute until slightly golden, about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil. Stir in generous sprinkles of turmeric and ginger, and pinches of oregano and basil. Cover and reduce heat to M-L.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until all veggies are soft.
  5. Stir in lemon juice.
  6. Remove from heat and puree smooth, in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to pan and heat through.

This could be good with a generous pinch of cheese on top. We stirred in avocado chunks into our individual bowls, which was delicious, too. And, it reheats well for lunch the following day — always a plus in my book!

Bonus: all those browning potatoes will leave your apartment smelling like French fries, in the best possible way.

WexTexMex Soup

So I know it’s been a little while since I’ve written. Sorry about that; I’ve been busy with work and classes and now that football season is officially here, my fantasy team is pretty all-consuming (but I’m working on being less obsessive about it).

I’ve been trying to get creative in the kitchen and try out new recipes (I have way too many recipe boards on Pinterest). I also have a picky eater with a sensitive stomach in my home, so I have to be careful about what ingredients I use. I keep scrolling through my different pins for pasta dishes and chicken dishes and steak recipes, trying to find something that inspires me each day.

Yesterday was the first sort-of fall rainy day of the season. It was still a warm rain, but the air was just chilly enough to remind me that winter is coming (said in the ominous voice of Ned Stark — RIP). It was gray and overcast and wet, and from the lobby of my building, it looked like a day for comfort food.

It looked like a day for soup.

I began combing through my Soups, Stews, and Chili board on Pinterest, hoping to find something savory that could be prepared in less than an hour that could also be filling enough on its own. I came up with two options to present to my husband: chickpea kale soup (minus the kale because we don’t have any and my goal was not to go to the store), or 8 can taco soup.

My husband was skeptical but opted for the taco soup (original recipe found here). I started digging through the pantry and discovered I did not have 8 cans of appropriate ingredients. What I did have was a healthy imagination and a surprisingly helpful husband, so we made it work.

The recipe for WexTexMex Soup is as follows (this made about 6 servings):

1 can – Petite Diced Tomatoes, drained

1 can – Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 can – Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1 can – Cream of Chicken Soup

1 can – Red Enchilada Sauce

1 can – Water

Several dashes of Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce

1/2 packet of Taco Seasoning

~2 shots of Bourbon Whiskey (this was my husbands idea and I couldn’t be more impressed with it. The whiskey really pulled the flavors together nicely)

Dump all the ingredients in a pot and heat through. Easy as that! We also made rice separately and added it in, but you could easily add another cup of water and a cup of rice to the pot.

Dental Issues and Turkish Lentil Soup

I recently had dental surgery. I needed a tissue graft for the receding gum of one of my molars. For the squeamish reading this (hi, Mom), I’ll spare the details and just say this process was less involved than a root canal but on par (possibly worse due to lack of sedation) with wisdom teeth removal. I was swollen. I was in pain. I was hungry.

One thing about me: I’m almost always hungry. If I don’t feel like eating and I haven’t just finished a meal, there may be something wrong–mentally or physically–to curb my appetite.

The issue with dental surgery is the limitations it places on one’s ability to eat the way she loves. I have long been a huge fan of soups, so I will admit going into this procedure, I had a plan that was all soup all day and I was fine with it. I had a nice long grocery list laid out with little notes and explanations so my husband could navigate Harris Teeter without me (side note: my husband is excellent at grocery shopping for things he enjoys. It’s the “weird” things: the olive oil, the ginger root, the multiple different colored onions… that throw him.) and I knew I’d be cooking up some awesome soups that for whatever reason, I never got around to making this long, drawn out fall-winter-canwereallycallthisspring? season that seems *finally* (knock on wood) behind us.

So there I was, laying on the couch with an ice pack pressed to my cheek, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy (yes, seriously), and trying not to let my cranky, post-procedure feelings convince me I was getting hangry each time my husband called with another question. He was amazing, by the way. He’d call and say “I can’t find such and such” or “they’re out of this or that” and I’d say it doesn’t matter, I don’t need it, because I just wanted him to get home with the basics so I could eat SOMETHING besides the applesauce they gave me at the periodontist (which was already gone). He kept saying it was important so he was going to find it for me. My knight in corduroys.

Anyway, I started flipping through the recipes I’d jotted down for Carrot Ginger Soup and Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup and this impressively-named Flu Buster Vegetable Soup and realized I didn’t want any of them. I wanted salt-and-vinegar chips. I wanted chocolate-covered pretzels. I wanted a cheeseburger. Basically, I wanted what I couldn’t have. My husband found me wallowing in self-pity and a little bit of drool and frantically tried to help with a bowl of ice cream. (The best thing about this surgery: I was instructed to do my two favorite things–eat ice cream and don’t exercise.) It did help, until my stitches bled (sorry for that detail, Mom).

The perfect soup occurred to me around this time, and I frantically Googled to make sure we had the necessary ingredients (my husband loves me, but I couldn’t bring myself to send him back to the store, no matter how often he offered).

A Digression:

Several weeks ago, we went out to dinner. I was feeling particularly adventurous that night, so I told my husband I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been. I even offered a French restaurant he’d mentioned in the past (I’m not a huge fan of French food. Sorry). He ignored this completely and decided we should go to a Turkish restaurant that he loves near his parents’ house. Normally, I’d be happy with this option, but I was feeling like being dangerous and surprising myself by eating some frog legs or similar “French” cuisine. So I was less than kind as we sat down at the Turkish place and huffily read through the menu. Our waiter told us the soup of the day was Red Lentil Soup, a traditional Turkish soup, and I informed my husband I was going to try it (as if it was some big stand I was taking to display my displeasure that we were not eating somewhere new). All of that is to say, I had the lentil soup, it blew my socks off, and if not for my husband ignoring my wishes (read: demands) to go elsewhere, I would never have even thought to make a soup of pureed lentils and potatoes.

So that is what I needed when my mouth was swollen and my jaw was sore. The Turkish Lentil Soup ordered out of (weird, hangry) spite ended up not only saving the day, but it was probably one of the best dishes I’ve made in general. My husband did a fantastic job with the immersion blender, too. He refused to let me stand up for the time it took to puree the soup.

So there aren’t any pictures, but the recipe I used is below.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup:

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (~2 small) potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I used chicken)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  1. Put all ingredients in large stockpot; bring to boil.
  2. Lower heat to Medium-Low and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and blend.

(Let cool to room temperature before eating if you’ve just had dental surgery and can’t have hot things)