Easy Improved Ramen

We all know it.  Ramen is cheap.  It’s fast.  It costs practically nothing.  It is also practically devoid of any nutritional value.

Here’s a quick, cheap, and easy way to make Ramen not only taste better, but improve the quality of this go-to budget meal.

Let’s take a brief look at the Nutrition Facts about a typical packet of Ramen:

Calories: 371
Fat: 13 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1731 mg
Potassium: 152 mg
Carbohydrates: 54 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protien: 9 g
Vitamin A: 0%

(Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet)

Yuck!  The first thing that my eyes go to is the WHOPPING amount of sodium.  Most of the sodium in Ramen comes from the powdered “flavor”.  Luckily, most brands of packaged Ramen keep this sodium overload in a separate pouch, allowing you to use as much as you want.

I recommend using no more than half of the seasoning packet.  If you are really trying to make your budget stretch, you can save this extra flavoring for other uses. (My favorite use is to add a small amount to the water used to prepare rice to give it some flavor)

Ramen & Veggies

cut the sodium and add frozen veggies for a healthier dish

Now that you’ve cut out the sodium in this dish, lets add some frozen mixed veggies for flavor, texture, and improved nutrition.

Best of all, a one pound bag of frozen mixed veggies is usually about $1 at the grocery store and you can use it for SO MANY things.

You can add as much as you’d like.  I generally toss 1/2 cup frozen veggies in with a packet before preparing.   In any case, lets take a look at what we get from adding these veggies (based on a 1/2 cup serving size)

Calories: 59
Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 32 mg
Potassium 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protien: 2.6 g
Vitamin A: 78%

(Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet)

Now this is what I prefer to see!  You’re getting nearly all of your recommended Vitamin A for the day just by adding 1/2 a cup of veggies.  You’re also adding an extra 4 grams of fiber!

We’ve now cut out at least half of the sodium, and we’ve added some healthy veggies to the mix.

All you’ve got to do now is cook the ramen according to package directions, using no more than half the seasoning packet and adding your veggies.  You should also use more water to compensate for the addition of vegetables.

That’s it!  You’re ready to eat your “better ramen”.  If you’d like to add more flavor, without adding unnecessary sodium, I like to also add dried chives, chili paste or red pepper flakes, and/or a dash of rice vinegar to give it an extra kick.

Better Ramen