6 Super Simple Meals for New College Cooks Part III: Gourmet Ramen & Southwestern Santa Fe Pizza
The is the third and final post featuring relatively simple meals for college students who are new to cooking.
PHEW! I’ve been shopping and cooking and snapping photos and typing my fanny off.
Hopefully you and/or your kids have found the recipes to be helpful as they begin to feel their way around the kitchen. Just remember that practice makes perfect, and if at first you don’t succeed, your friend Jimmy John is only a phone call away.
The initial recipe I’m sharing is a college staple, except amped up 150%.
We’re all about Ramen here today.
And, by the way, if you’re pronouncing the name of this soup in your head like I used to with a long A sound so that it could complete the TV show title, “Everybody Loves Ramen”, apparently you’re incorrect. It’s actually pronounced with a very sophisticated AH sound as in RAH min. I stood corrected, and now you do too.
I know, I didn’t like it very much when it happened to me either.
I realize it’s going to be close to 90 degrees over much of the country today. And yes, I realize this is steaming hot soup. But I need you to also realize just how iconic this soup is for college kids, and how, with a few modifications, it can go from a noodled salt lick to a delicious, nutritious meal.
Because it only contains dry pasta and a flavor packet stuffed with enough sodium to cure an entire side of beef, Ramen is considered by many to be unhealthy and unsavory. But never fear! I’m going to suggest some add-ins that will not only boost the nutrition numbers, but the flavor factor as well.
Add whichever of these extras you’d like, and walk right on by the rest.
- 1 Package of Ramen – you choose the flavor. I went with Chicken.
- 1 cup of fresh, chopped spinach
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms
- half an avocado – sliced
- 1 egg
As the package suggests, boil two cups of water in a medium pot on high.
Once the water is boiling, drop in the noodle bundle and let the noodles cook for one minute. You can add the mushrooms in at this point as well if you like them softer, or add them later, or leave them out all together. Your choice.
If you find your water is bubbling up to the top of the pot, place a wooden spoon across the pot. It’ll stop the pot from boiling over. Don’t believe me? Just give a try!
After a minute, turn the water down to a simmer and add the spinach, onions, and flavor packet. If you’re in the “Ramen tastes like a salt lick” camp, (raises hand) only use part of the flavor packet. Show it that you’re the boss.
Crack an egg into a measuring cup, and gently lower it into the simmering pot. Sprinkle pepper over the top, and cover the pot with the lid to trap in the heat.
After a minute or two, lift the lid and check the consistency of the egg.
You want the white to be firm, but the yolk to still be somewhat soft. If that’s the stage your soup is at, take if off the heat, and begin to serve it. I usually carefully scoop up the egg and set it aside. Then I ladle some of the broth into a warm bowl, followed by the noodles and veg. Then I place the egg back on top and add sliced avocado. It looks more appetizing with the egg on top, I think, and you can more easily break into the yolk as well. Keep in mind that avocados can be a bit pricey. If you’re okay with that, try adding them because they lend a wonderful creamy bite to the soup.
Serve this soup with a hearty slice of bread, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more filling and heartwarming around campus! What’s more, you can get 12 packets of Ramen at Walmart for $2.00! I certainly wouldn’t suggest having this soup everyday, but, from time to time, it’s a great way to stretch a meager college budget.
Here’s the printable version of the recipe.
|Prep time||5 minutes|
|Cook time||5 minutes|
|Total time||10 minutes|
- 1 packet Ramen
- 1 cup fresh spinach (chopped)
- 1/4 cup mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup green onions (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 avocado (sliced)
- 1 egg
|Boil 2 cups of water over high heat.|
|Drop in noodles from Ramen packet and cook for one minute. You can add the mushrooms at this point as well.|
|Turn the pot down to a simmer, and add the spinach, onions, and as much of the flavor packet as you like.|
|Crack an egg into a measuring cup, and slowly release it into the simmering soup. Cook the egg until the white has set, and the yolk is soft.|
|Carefully scoop out the egg and set it aside in a small bowl. Ladle the soup into another bowl, and add avocado slices if desired as well as the egg on top.|
And the 6th and final simple recipe I’m sharing this week is Southwestern Santa Fe Pizza.
I posted this the first time right around the Super Bowl last year, and would suggest that you eat it now as your favorite team revs up during practice season.
This is a delicious dish that uses pre-packaged Indian Naan as its base and is layered with Southwestern goodies. If you can’t get your hands on any Naan, you can always use ready made pizza crust.
It has such a unique flavor, that the first time I tasted it, I fell head over heels in love.
I mean, just look at this color palette!
Apparently I’m not in love alone either. My friend, Audrey, couldn’t wait to tell me that her 23-year-old son actually made a special request to have this for his birthday dinner. When I was over at their house a few weeks later, he came over and, with a grin, shook my hand and thanked me for bringing this beauty into his life. (Hi, Ben!)
It tickled me to no end!
Click HERE for details on how to make it.
Okay, so that’s all she wrote.
Have you been circulating these recipes amongst the students in your life?
I hope so. If not, go ahead and do it now!
Happy returns to all of the college students reading this. Enjoy your freedom, have tons of fun, make lifelong memories, and study hard.
Also, stop back here soon for special Halloween treats and simple fall soups.
And to all of the moms and dads out there, hang in there.
Christmas break is only 4 short months away!