Homemade Ramen

When we were kids my brother and I used to love packaged Ramen noodles. It was often our after school snack when my mom was still at work. I still find myself craving these delicious things and was so happy when we had a Ramen restaurant nearby. Last year the restaurant moved and I was determined to create this dish at home. Since then we’ve remade it multiple times and even the kids love it. This is a vegetarian version of a ramen recipe that is super simple, quick and flavorful. A great way to get the classic ramen taste with the addition of fiber and nutrient rich vegetables. This recipe can be made with any vegetable your heart desires. I listed below how I usually prep mine as I think chives and mushrooms should be in every ramen dish and I always have broccoli on hand. Carrots and green onions are also good additions.  The beauty is once you have the broth base and noodles you can vary it up. I usually make it vegetarian but also have added meat if I have leftovers or a soft cooked egg for additional protein. The picture shows a time I made it this summer and sliced up leftover brats to add to the top (pork shoulder would be great too). All this Ramen talk and now I am going to the store to get Chinese noodles so we can have this for dinner tonight! Buon Appetito

Click here to see how long to boil eggs for different consistencies of yolk if you want to add an egg to the top. If doing that start the eggs when you begin the recipe.

Serves: 4-6

 Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil, or olive oil
  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1.5-2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 oz Chinese Noodles (some say Ramen noodles on the package, some say udon or soba) or Rice Noodles (gluten free option). I’ve used both with good results
  • 4 tsp ground celery seed
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
  • Optional toppings
    • sliced green onion
    • chopped basil
    • soy sauce
    • Hot spices: red pepper flakes, hot sauce, etc
    • soft cooked eggs sliced in half
    • cooked meat (leftover pulled pork or sausage)

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, add oil and heat up. Then add minced onion, garlic, ginger and vegetables (carrots, mushrooms and broccoli or any variation of vegetables you want added).
  2. Continually toss and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Next add in broth and water.
  4. Add Chinese noodles and celery seed. Boil for amount of time listed on Chinese noodle direction for noodles to be done.
  5. Remove from heat and top with chives and any additional optional toppings you want.

 

Crop Share Cooking

As I titled my post for today I was reminded of my families favorite quote from the movie Good Morning Vietnam. What a perfect quote after our crazy hot and humid month of July with constant 90-100 degree temps + humidity.

Hey, can you tell me what’s your name? “My name is Roosevelt E. Roosevelt.” Roosevelt, what town are you stationed in? “I’m stationed in Poontang.” Well, thank you, Roosevelt. What’s the weather like out there? “It’s hot! Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking.” Well, tell me what it feels like. “Fool, it’s hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It’s damn hot! It’s so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It’s that hot! Do you know what I’m talking about?” What do you think it’s going to be like tonight? “It’s gonna be hot and wet! That’s nice if you’re with a lady, but ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle!” Thank you, Roosevelt.

For those of you who haven’t seen this movie I highly recommend watching it. No, I’m not crotch pot cooking today although if you don’t have air conditioning you could. Instead I’m crop share cooking! I find myself with a stash of random vegetables a week or so after our crop share drop offs. While some things like zucchini, carrots, kale, garlic, onions and many more are used within days some tend to sit in our crisper for longer periods of time and I want to fix that so I went looking for recipes with kohlrabi, swiss chard and garlic scapes that would make it into our regular rotation. My first experiment was pesto. I’ve heard of garlic scape pestos and swiss chard pestos so I figured I’d try to make my own combined variation. I love how it turned out. A strong garlic flavor with the perfect note of lemon and a small spicy taste. The swiss chard is subtle since it was blanched ahead (which is good this means my husband will like it). Another addition to this could be 1/4 cup of walnuts. This pesto will be perfect for a spread on sandwiches/paninis or as a sauce over pasta or grilled chicken breasts.

Garlic Scape and Swiss Chard Pesto

Ingredients 

  • 3 garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch swiss chard leaves (remove from stems and use leaves only)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Pull swiss chard off stems and blanch in boiling water for one minute
  2. Strain and squeeze out water
  3. Put the chard, garlic scapes, walnuts, lemon, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Slowly pour olive oil in through the top hole of your food processor while it is on. Blend until oil is immersed
  5. Serve with cooked pasta, as a sauce over grilled chicken breasts or spread onto sandwiches or paninis.

My next challenge was to find a way to cook kohlrabi that makes me want to come back for more. When I came across this recipe in the New York Times I knew it was my last opportunity to fall in love with this vegetable. If I don’t love it as a fry when will I love it?

Kohlrabi Home Fries  

I do realize this isn’t the healthiest way to cook kohlrabi but it is a great swap out for french fries (richer in Vitamin C, B vitamins, fiber and less calories) and they were delicious. I’m serious, delicious! You really don’t need much oil to cook them (i’d err on the light side with 2 Tbsp vs 4) since the kohlrabi doesn’t absorb much. I will definitely be making these again and can’t wait to feed them to my husband. I chose to do half chili powder and half cumin seasoned. I think next time I’ll make a southwest dipping sauce out of light sour cream to go with them! YUMMY.

Crop Share Box #1

This is the second year my husband and I have joined a crop share with our neighbors. We have a full share every other week package and our first box came last week. As a new addition to the blog I plan to share my journey cooking through all the unique vegetables that the boxes contain. I’ll share what was in the box, new recipes I try with the vegetables and other information about the vegetables. To give you guys a better understanding of how the recipes tasted my husband I will also rank the taste of recipes. That way you can distinguish which may be worth trying. Our rating scale will be out of 5 stars.
  • 5 stars: Mouthwatering, when can I have it again? Will definitely make again.
  • 4 stars: Very good, a definite recipe to repeat.
  • 3 stars: Tasted good but nothing special, would make a variation of it again.
  • 2 stars: Something was missing but has potential to be fixed.
  • 1 star: Not good, would never make it again.
After the cold and wet spring I wasn’t sure what I would find in my first box. With much anticipation my neighbor Greta and I went together to find our pick up location and vegetables. After splitting things with Greta here is what our share looked like.

Crop Share Box #1

What this box contained

Sunchokes, Parsnips, Ramps, Overwintered Spinach, Black Radishes, Sorrels, Chives, Watercress and Nettles

Pictured Items from left to right
Ramp, Spinach & Watercress (in bag), Sorrels, Chives
Sunchokes and Black Parsnip in front of bag

New recipes I made from items in this box

Fried Sunchoke chips with Rosemary Salt

Source: Epicurious (from Greta)

Rating: 4.5 stars from Sina, 4 from Ryan

      

Potato salad with Chives Recipe edited from recipes my mom made as a kid and online recipes

-Baby Red Potatoes, boiled then cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used ~5 pounds)
-Chives, diced (~1/2 cup or to taste)
-Light Sour Cream (~1 cup)
-Salt and Pepper to taste (don’t be bashful)
Rating: Sina: 3 stars,  Ryan  2 stars
I love potato salads with a sour cream base but I think I would add garlic and more pepper next time.

Pasta with Ramps and Sorrel

Combine the following ingredients
  • Pasta noodles, cooked
  • Sorrel and Ramps -washed, chopped and sauteed
  • Olive oil
  • Crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
Sina: 3 stars, Ryan: 3

Interested in joining a crop share. Check out Local Harvest for farms close to you.

Spring Pasta: Campanelle with Apsaragus and Pecorino Cheese

This months Cooking Light featured a series of spring pastas. While I love pasta with homemade marinara or bolognese sauces I also love the taste of an olive oil, lemon or other herb sauce and fresh vegetables or pancetta. A perfect dish for spring! To start off the series of spring pastas I made the Garganelli with Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese for dinner tonight since it was quick and I didn’t get home from yoga until late.

Ever since I studied abroad in Italy I am obsessed with pecorino romano cheese. For those of you who haven’t tried it it’s a hard Italian cheese made out of sheep’s milk. It has a very sharp and slightly salty taste and is great for grating on dishes. Similar to a Parmigiano Reggiano but better!

Garganelli with Asparagus and Pecorino Romano

Source: Cooking Light – April 2011
My Adjustments to this Recipe:
 
  • My grocery store didn’t have garganelli noodles so I used campanelle noodles.
  • I added two roasted red pepper chicken sausage (slice and sauté with asparagus)
  • I also increased the recipe to two garlic cloves instead of one
  • We topped with crushed red pepper
Vegetarian version: Make original recipe but sub vegetable broth for chicken broth 
 
 
Buon Appetito!