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Healthier Instant Ramen: Easy Affordable Dinner

Alex is a self-proclaimed Disney expert who enjoys expanding her culinary skills in her free time.

Leveled-up ramen with kale, bean sprouts, mushrooms, spam, red cabbage, a little soy sauce, and black sesame seeds.

Leveled-up ramen with kale, bean sprouts, mushrooms, spam, red cabbage, a little soy sauce, and black sesame seeds.

Eating on the Cheap

Have you ever gone through the checkout lane at the grocery store and been shocked by the price of the bill? I know I have.

I know that budgets are important, and sometimes there isn't always as much leftover as I would like for my weekly grocery trips. Not to mention the difficulty of maintaining a budget while trying to eat healthier foods.

Ramen is a great solution. I have found that by dressing up this college student staple, I can still get a good variety of veggies, protein—and eat for cheap.

So, just how affordable is this dish? Let's do the math.

Of corse if you leave of the can of meat there is a bit of savings, but I felt like I needed a little protein so I thought it was worth adding.

IngredientsPrice

6-pack of Cup of Noodles

$2.50

1 Bunch of kale

$1.99

1 Pack of bean sprouts

$2.50

1 Family pack of mushrooms

$3.50

1 Red cabbage

$1.40

1 Can of meat (optional)

$2.50

Total

$14.39

In all I think $12 to $15 for a total of six meals is not too shabby. That's less than $3 per meal! This can really help a family save a bit of money at the grocery store while still putting a meal with fresh vegetables on the table. Honestly, this is what I ate for dinner for an entire week when I was pet setting. I just whip it up in a few minutes each night. Speaking of which, it is fast to make. Just get some water boiling and while the water comes to a boil prep the veggies. Easy peasy.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

4 min

9 min

1 bowl of ramen

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Read More From Delishably

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Noodles
  • 1 red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 pack bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly torn
  • 1 pack mushrooms
  • 1 can meat (chicken or spam)

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. When I make this meal for one person, I just microwave the water until it is very hot.
  2. While the water is getting hot, tear a leaf of kale into smallish pieces and place into a bowl. Add a handful of bean sprouts, the chopped cabbage, and sliced mushrooms to the bowl. If adding canned meat, add about 1/4 can now, I recommended dicing the spam or shredding the chicken into smaller pieces.
  3. Fill the cup of noodles to the fill line with the hot water. Replace the lid. This should take about 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the remainder of the hot water to the bowl. Wait 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the cup of noodles into a bowl and mix the ingredients together. Place bowl in microwave for about 1 minute if you want you meal hotter. Enjoy!

More Add-Ins

If you happen to have soy sauce in your fridge you can add a few shots to the bowl. It adds more umami flavor since the ramen broth is a bit more watered down than it would normally be. If you have any sesame seeds they add a nice aesthetic touch. If you want a more authentic touch you can always add in a soft boiled egg sliced in half.

If you don't eat meat just don't add the spam or chicken. You can always try to add a bit of tofu if you would like. Not a fan of kale? No worries, just swap it out for another leafy green veggies or leave it out all together. You can always drain a can of corn and add some in as well. Honestly, the possibilities are almost endless.

This is the exact same as the dish above, except I didn't add any soy sauce. You can see how the broth is much lighter in color. Also, I was able to wait and take the picture before eating.

This is the exact same as the dish above, except I didn't add any soy sauce. You can see how the broth is much lighter in color. Also, I was able to wait and take the picture before eating.

Keeping the Price Down

If you intend to make this dish for only one person once then the ingredient list is a bit wasteful. However, if you are feeding a family or intend to use this meal for several days it is incredibly affordable. When I made this I used one can of spam and one can of chicken and I split each over three meals for a total of six. It gave me variety.

Cooking for the Family

Want to make this meal for dinner for the entire family? Simple. Just use one Cup of Noodles per person and boil two cups of water per cup of noodles. From there the instructions are the same.

Final Assessment

Is this the healthiest dinner ever? No. Is it healthier and cheaper than feeding a family a bunch of fast food? Yes.

I know this meal is high in sodium, especially if you use spam or add in soy sauce. However, all the salt in the broth, spam, and soy sauce really flavors the veggies. Not to mention the veggies are 'cooked' in just a bit of hot water. In all I really feel like this meal is a win since you can add a lot of veggies into this soup.

© 2021 isharkbait

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