Ramen: it’s the classic college staple that anyone can buy without breaking their weekly budget. And although it’s relatively high in calories and fat (Nissin Top Ramen has about 14 grams of fat in one package), there are ways to make it somewhat healthy for those days when you just can’t deal with campus food.

A classic stir fry: In a skillet on medium heat, cook 4 ounces of chicken strips until brown (about 5 minutes). Cook ramen as you would, in the microwave or on the stove. Steam 1 cup of broccoli, 1 cup of carrots, 1 cup of mushrooms, and any other veggies you desire. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, ¼ cup of shallots, and 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and whisk until incorporated. Transfer the chicken, vegetables, noodles, and sauce to a skillet on low and mix. Let cook for a couple of minutes and then dig in. This recipe gives you three servings of veggies, plenty of protein, and some tasty Asian cuisine.

A crunchy salad: Lay 1 cup of sliced almonds and 2 packages of crunched-up ramen on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes, toss the mixture around on the sheet to prevent burning, and bake again for another 3-4 minutes. In a bowl, combine ½ a cup of green onions and 6 cups of your favorite salad mixture (this could be lettuce, spinach, and carrots; or a mixture of cabbages; or any other leafy combination). Toss in the almonds and ramen and top with an Asian salad dressing (or use a homemade dressing made of sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and dried ginger, if you’re feeling adventurous). Add some grilled chicken if you’re looking for more protein. Makes about 4 servings.

A spicy rendition: Marinate 4 ounces of chicken in 3 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of green onions overnight. The next day, saute a yellow and red bell pepper and a sweet vidalia onion (all cut into strips) in canola oil for four minutes. Add in 2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce during the last minute. In a separate skillet, add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Either make half a package of ramen or make a full one and save half for later. Combine the ramen, chicken, and vegetables in a bowl and enjoy!

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