When living on a budget, you have to be creative. I am nothing if not frugal, and I find that I come out cheaper utilizing ramen noodles to make entire meals, and adding things to make them both more appealing, and more nutritious, than I do either using them as is, or using other varieties of noodles in my cooking.
Spice it up in general
Many things can be added to raman to make it more flavorful.
1. extra chicken or beef bouillon
2. Basil, oregano, celery seed, cilantro, curry, poultry seasoning.
4. can of mixed veggies
5. chow mien noodles and soy sauce
6. Parmesan cheese
The following recipes work for one person, or can be prepared in larger quantities to feed an entire family. For that reason, I have not dealt with quantities. This is merely a guide to being creative and making ramen a full meal, either way.
Cheesy salsa ramen :
Brown ground beef, and noodles and water and boil til noodles are tender, and little water is left. Add salsa and cheddar cheese. Add beef seasoning packet (from ramen). In addition, you can also add cilantro, oregano, chili powder, paprika, or other spices to liven it up.
Asian delight :
For beef flavored noodles, add soy sauce, beef bouillon, beef flavored raman seasoning packet, steamed broccoli, teriyaki sauce, and cook as normal.
For chicken flavored noodles, add flavor packet, soy sauce, chicken bouillon, one egg, curry, oyster sauce, and cook as normal.
Either can be served with egg rolls, hard chow mien noodles, or other vegetables, if you so desire.
Italian Flare :
For shrimp or chicken flavored noodles : Add capers, fennel seed, a can of french cut green beans, sardines (optional), and cook as normal.
Beef Noodle, Dry with chili :
This one is unusual, in that you use the noodles dry, but it is actually quite tasty. Crush dry noodles, add warmed chili (with or without beans, sprinkle beef flavor packet as seasoning, and garnish with fresh oregano or cilantro.
Bean and bacon soup :
Prepare beef noodles as normal add flavor packet (beef or chicken), beans of your choice (pinto, navy, or baked beans are all good choices), and bacon bits.
Ramen Sausages :
Slice or dice polish sausages, then fry while noodles boil. Drain and add sausages. Sprinkle with beef or chicken seasoning packet. Add sauerkraut and/or pinto beans as sides.
Ramen Spaghetti :
Boil noodles and drain. Brown ground beef, add spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, oregano, and beef seasoning packet. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Beefy noodles :
Boil beef cubes, add noodles and beef seasoning packet when near done. Add one package brown gravy mix. Stir til thickened. Sprinkle with basil.
These are all great ways to spice up your ramen. They can also give it more nutritional value. Many add a variety of “international flavor” and style as well.
Based on years of experience cooking healthy meals for my family on remaining on a budget.