I was asked to participate in the #PastaFits campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are my own.
Chances are, if you were ever in college, or just starting out in the world, you had at least some period of time when you lived on Ramen Noodles. They were the perfect solution for a quick dinner or lunch, because really, what other food in the world could provide a hot and filling meal for less than $0.25 a serving? Then we all found out just how high in fat and sodium and lacking in nutrition those noodle bowls were, and luckily, we started to earn a regular paycheck, so they were quickly forgotten. But, every once in a while, don’t you kind of miss them?
Why can’t there be an inexpensive, conveniently packaged, quick and satisfying, heat and eat, Ramen-noodle-like product that’s actually good for you? Well my friend — let me introduce you to my new favorite DIY lunch or dinner on the fly. It turns out that weird hard, dry block of noodles that magically turn soft can be easily substituted by a real food. Pasta. Yep, so simple. It was staring us in the face all along, just waiting to be turned into a slurpy, savory bowl of Ramen noodles.
Real pasta can turn a so-so lunch into a hot and nutritious meal any time. It fits a healthy diet with 7 grams of protein and lots of complex carbs to fuel your afternoon, all for less than 200 calories per serving. It’s also completely budget-friendly, and can we talk about quick and easy? The thing I love best about pasta, is that it’s so versatile and plays nice with many different flavors and healthy toppings. How many times have you made pasta for dinner and had leftover noodles with nowhere to go? Me too. So let’s step out of the spaghetti and meatballs box for a bit and turn those noodles into a quick, portable and delicious genius lunch idea.
I love this recipe with chicken, but you could easily substitute leftover shredded beef or chopped up shrimp (just make sure it’s cooked), or just keep the whole thing vegetarian. Whole grain pasta noodles add some fiber and I think they hold up nicely to the broth. Feel free to experiment and make several different flavors so you have one for each day.
[bctt tweet=”Did someone say healthy Ramen noodles? Pasta turns a quick lunch into a meal #PastaFits #sponsored”]
Here’s what you need for each serving:
1 pint-size mason jar with a tight fitting lid
1 teaspoon chicken, beef or vegetable soup base (I love Better than Bouillon brand)
½ teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon minced ginger
optional add-ins or flavors: 1 tablespoon peanut butter; dash of Sriracha; curry paste
Leftover shredded chicken breast, cooked beef, or cooked chopped shrimp (about ¼ cup per serving is plenty)
2-3 sliced mushrooms
¼ cup shredded carrots
any other thin sliced vegetables: bok choy, bean sprouts, spinach, etc.
About ½ cup leftover whole grain angel hair or thin spaghetti (cooked al dente)
1 scallion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
In the bottom of the mason jar, place the soup base, soy sauce, ginger and any other optional flavors (peanut butter, sriracha, etc). Next, layer the protein, mushrooms, carrots, any other vegetables you will use. Pack with the pasta noodles, and add the scallions and herbs on top. Seal the jar and store in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, add 1 cup of boiling water to the jar, cover, and let it sit for about 1 minute so everything heats through.
Stir the contents well, so that a broth forms from the soup base and seasonings, and everything gets all happy together. Stop for a minute to remember the good old days, and just how lucky you are to be where you are today. Smile. Eat. Repeat tomorrow.
Have you made anything genius with pasta? For more creative ideas, inspiration and facts about how Pasta Fits into your healthy diet, check out the Pasta Fits website.