I am a sucker for foods that make me feel cozy and comforted. Perhaps that’s why I love to use my slow cooker in the winter time to make big batches of split pea or mushroom barley soup. But I am also a carb-lover, and am a huge fan of noodles and any type of meal that contains them. With our busy family schedules, I thought that it would be nice if I could develop a recipe that would both be comforting to my kids while they were eating lunch at school and be healthier than the convenience brands available at the store. Given my true love for using jars to store food, it should come as no surprise that I’d use them in my endeavors to create a healthier version of Cup of Noodles.
Learning from my mistakes
Unfortunately, my first attempt at this recipe was a flop, yielding gummy noodles and flavorless broth. This time, I reached out to my Facebook community for suggestions, and used organic vegetable Better than Bouillon as the soup base, and organic ramen noodles from Cost Plus.
This time, instead of using packaged rice noodles from Trader Joe’s, I opted for some organic ramen noodles that I found at Cost Plus. I precooked the ramen and stored them in the refrigerator briefly until cool. I didn’t want to put hot and steamy noodles into a sealed jar because I feared that they would over cook.
I used the recommended amount of bouillon and put it on the bottom of the jar. Next, I layered the pre-cooked ramen noodles, topped with pea sprouts and some sliced green onions. When I was ready to eat my concoction for lunch, I simply poured in some boiling water, sealed the lid…and then gave it a little shake, so that the bouillon would disperse in the water. It worked like a charm.
This time, the results made me really happy. The noodles heated through beautifully without getting gummy or chewy, and the broth was flavorful but not overpowering. As the cool weather of Fall sets in, I hope to keep some prepped jars in the refrigerator so they are ready to go at a moment’s notice. I predict that these will make a perfect after school snack for my son – and my daughter can bring them to her school for lunch, where they have hot water available. Even if my kids don’t notice that their cup of noodles is healthier, I hope they feel like it’s a hug from me when they eat it.
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