kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
When I was growing up, we kids liked ramen noodles. But Mom wouldn't let us eat them plain -- she said they weren't nutritious enough. So the way we were allowed to eat them was:

Ramen Noodles with Green Peas, Cheese, and Yogurt

1) Take one package of ramen noodles. Remove the flavor-packet. Put a (small) pot of water on to boil.
2) Chop up one to two ounces of cheese. I prefer cheddar or colby.
3) When the water boils, drop the ramen noodles in. Turn down heat a bit so it won't boil over. Poke the noodles a bit with a fork so they'll all get wet.
4) Get out frozen peas.
5) At the three-minute mark, pour some peas (maybe a quarter-cup? as many as you'd like) into the boiling noodles and water.
6) Immediately drain off all the water.
7) Put pot with noodles and peas back on the stove. Stir to release steam. Immediately dump in the flavor-packet. Also dump in the chopped cheese. Stir cheese in so it starts to melt.
8) Promptly (before the cheese finishes melting) get out the yogurt and dump a couple big spoonfuls into the pot. The idea here is to use unflavored, unsweetened, nonfat yogurt: it adds protein without adding fat. And fruit flavoring just would not go at all.
9) Stir thoroughly.

This produces warm-but-not-hot noodles with some vegetable content, some protein content, and a mellower and less overwhelmingly salty flavor. It's very cheap, only takes fifteen minutes to make, and only uses one pot.

It tastes exactly the same after it's cooled. This may not sound like a selling point, but it meant this was my default food for carrying along with me: safe for several hours without refrigeration, and just as appetizing as when it was new.
kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
Posted as part of the "Cooking for People Who Don't" Blog Carnival (Carnival the First: Food Security) organized by [personal profile] commodorified.

This is a very simple, easy (and cheap! Did I mention cheap?) recipe made from things that keep well. It also counts as a vegetable dish and a protein dish. Tastes yummy, warms you up on a cold night, looks elegant if served elegantly. Total cooking time maybe fifteen minutes.

I usually make it as a stovetop dish. Hot plate would be fine, microwave should work also, just make sure to bring to a boil before adding the egg and heat again until the egg solidifies. All proportions are to taste. The only key point is 'bring to a boil, add egg while stirring so it gets spread out thoroughly, cook a little bit more until done'.

Quantities given are for one vegetarian with a small appetite, or two to three people as an appetizer. Scale up as necessary, but only on a stovetop---a microwave probably wouldn't heat evenly enough.

Ingredients:
Water / chicken broth / veggie bouillon, two cups
Tomato paste, about two to three tablespoons
Egg, one

1) Heat the water or broth and stir in the tomato paste.

2) Break the egg into a small bowl or cup, stir lightly with a fork so the white and yolk are well mixed.
(If you don't have an extra bowl or cup, you can break the egg directly into the boiling liquid and immediately stir like crazy. The egg will form larger lumps and need to cook a bit longer, but you'll still have cooked food.)

3) When the tomato liquid boils, turn down the heat (or remove from the microwave). Pick up the bowl of egg in one hand and a fork in the other hand. Pour egg slowly into liquid, while stirring. The egg should form long thin ribbons.

4) Turn the burner back on or microwave on high, briefly, so the egg is solid and opaque. Clear bits of egg are not done yet. When you taste it, it should taste cooked but not hard-boiled.

Flavorings you might like to add if you have them around:
ketchup
hot sauce
lemon juice
pepper/salt/garlic powder
minced onion / scallions / chives

Because the egg is only lightly cooked, I never try to keep this soup. But the ingredients (tomato paste and eggs) keep excellently in the fridge, and dry bouillon cubes keep for years on the shelf.

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