The Ramen Experience

There are lots of shades about me that many of you don’t know. Today I am going to expound upon one of those colors that I love having full interest in. It’s a venture that I grew up learning from the best in my opinion, and both of my parents made great teachers and to this day, I carry on with the southern culinary tradition.

Today, I am going to share a very simple but delicious recipe I’ve conjured up that is loaded with flavors. It’s nutritional and under 400 calories, but very filling. It’s budget friendly and easy to make and basically it’s a stir-fry but definitely not your college dorm-room quickie. Mind you, I do not have professional culinary training and do not make claims of being a “culinarianist.” But I do have the kitchen experience with many many man-hours, and I will give credit to my college Chef, someone at the top of the Kitchen Hierarchy, Jan Nydell, whom also taught me many different variations of food use when I worked along side him in the kitchen during my college days. My mother and father taught me to cook and bake since I was very young. Neither of them were culinarians but were fabulous down home southern cooks and they both were very religious with flavors so it’s no wonder I have followed suit. I feel blessed to have learned what I know from great people. Let’s get into this…

Recently, someone asked me to give them a quick food recipe idea for one. I didn’t have to give it second thought as I have a favorite that I whip up for my self and it’s all about the seasoning. I never skimp on flavors. I use one package of Ramen Noodles, a whole onion, four baby carrots chopped up, three small peppers slivered, a handful of baby spinach and quite a few seasonings. Let’s talk about my seasonings…

We all know a seasoning is something you add to your food to enhance flavors and as you can see, I use a lot of enhancements in this particular simple dish. You may have detected by now there is going to be some heat, depending on your preference and amount used.

First, I chop my onion and I use a whole onion, (keep in mind that onions contain a lot of fiber and folic acid and is easy on the digestive tract and helps in supporting weight loss). Then I chop four baby carrots, three small peppers. ( ooops, in this recipe, I didn’t add carrots simply because I had used them all for thanksgiving dinner. )

Then I use a handful of baby spinach . Pour two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in pan, heat it up and add all veggies and seasonings to saute.

Now, don’t get over excited while you’re chopping, stirring and seasoning, you know, adding this and a little of that. You can go overboard. If you are like me you have a habit of tasting as you go. In this particular dish I use, Turmeric (1 tbsp), Cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, Garlic Powder (only if I am out of real garlic), Black pepper, Kosher Salt, Italian seasoning, Kikkoman Soy Sauce. That is a heap of seasonings, but it brings this dish to life and some of these seasonings will encourage weight loss.

While these veggies are sauteing in their seasonings and olive oil, this is how I gussy up the Ramen. I put one packet of Ramen noodles in a bowl of water in microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes, then drain the water immediately as you do not want soggy noodles. Keep them firm! After three minutes of sauteing, add the noodles, and 1/4 cup of soy sauce along with the little packet of flavor seasoning from the Ramen Noodles. Stir constantly until your kitchen is filled with an aroma that makes everyone beg to know what’s cooking. This makes a great last- minute healthy solution rather than running out for fast-food.

This meal is spicy and you can alter the seasonings to your taste. If you know me, you will know I do not like Ramen Noodle soup. But to take the noodles and vamp it up is a different story altogether and I always keep plenty of Ramen in the pantry. My selection of spices and seasonings is aggressive in quantity but very meek in the amounts used. Just a sprinkling is all you need. This dish is easy as making ice cubes but if you are a lazy cook, this is not for you as the chopping will be the little work you have to put into it. But the finished product makes your mouth water and will fill you up and the best part is, it’s easy on the calories so you could actually double your recipe and there is no measuring except for the soy sauce and Turmeric. The rest is just a sprinkling. But allow me to stress my favorite spice, Turmeric.

This spice is used to make curry and this is what makes the curry yellow but I use it for the medicinal properties as well as flavor. There are ingredients in Turmeric that are very active and have strong antioxidants and this spice is great for inflammatory issues. The curcumin ingredient in Turmeric is also good for improved brain function and these are just a few of the benefits and trust me, there are many. Turmeric adds color but has a very warm and bitter taste which adds a uniqueness to any dish. Did I mention I use more of the Turmeric more than any of the other spices? I am sure there is a tablespoon of this wonderfulness in my dish.

I use Ramen Noodles in quite a few dishes that are quick and delicious. But only when I do not want to spend a lot of time cooking. Now don’t get me wrong, I love cooking complicated dishes, but this blog is about keeping it simple, yet delicious..

I hope you give this dish a try and let me know about your experience…

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