Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On The Cheap: Gracie's Ramen Noodles

Gracie's Ramen Noodles
I'd like to start a series called On The Cheap, occasionally featuring inexpensive, balanced and easy meals. Gracie's Ramen Noodles was the first recipe that came to mind-- you won't believe how much flavor you can get, while still being thrifty!

Now (sigh), I can already hear the judgment and disappointment from all of you who think that ramen is "low brow." Think again my friends. Paired with colorfuvegetables, protein-packed eggs, and a succulent creamy sauce, this recipe gives '4 for $1.00' a whole new meaning. These nutritious additions actually deliver a balanced plate-- one that is easy to increase for your family size and that everyone will enjoy.

Growing up, I spent most Saturdays with my best friend Gracie, hanging out, and having as much fun as two girls can without spending money (because we hardly had any!). We watched movies, wrote musicals, sang at the top of our lungs, and then cooked Ramen Noodles for lunch.

Gracie became quite the connoiseur of the ramen noodle, and by high school had perfected her preparation of this budget-friendly dish. Years later, this is still one of my favorite comfort food meals.

Gracie's Ramen Noodles
Cast of characters: Ramen, frozen mixed vegetables, eggs, cream cheese.

Boil noodles and add frozen vegetables during last 2 minutes.

Prepare scrambled eggs.
Drain ALL water and sprinkle HALF of the seasoning packet on top. Then stir. (Using half the packet helps keep the sodium levels in check!)
Cook eggs to preference.
Assemble ingredients and add a nice blob of cream cheese on top.
As you eat and stir it up, the warm noodles melt the cream cheese and it mixes with the seasoning. It becomes a creamy, savory sauce. Enjoy!
Another close-up before I dug in! Now seriously, doesn't that look delicious?
P.S. Have you checked out the selection of flavors lately? Gone are the days of boring-Beef and Chicken. Some of the more exotic include: Creamy MushroomSpicy Picante ("with beans"!), Zesty Lime, and my personal favorite, Oriental (a little redundant, I realize).

Ramen at my local grocery. 

Try subbing grilled chicken if you don't like scrambled eggs. Other great additions: chopped scallions, stir-fry sauce, a splash of fish sauce, fresh snow peas, mushrooms, a can of bamboo shoots or water chestnuts. Any other variations out there? Please comment with your ideas-- successes or failures. This is one of those recipes we can play with endlessly. Let me know whether you liked this, and tell me what's cookin' in your kitchen.


  1. This is definitely cooking in my kitchen! Yes, so many variations... Some people may not like egg but just remember this is very common in Asian cuisine and it's also crazy delicious. My mom and I actually first had a version of this at a Bed & Breakfast when I was extremely young. It was more fancy for sure, I can't even remember how it was prepared exactly but was the same basic concept - noodles and eggs. We ran with the idea & never looked back. Great cheep, go-to meal!
    Great story Lindsay. Can't wait to make this with you on a Saturday again.

  2. I really don't like Ramen Noodles, and this recipe is still seriously delicious-- kind of changed my opinion about them. Thanks!

  3. Grace- I would love to have you on as a guest post for a more "grown-up" version of this!

  4. I was living in Taiwan. It was the week between Christmas and New Years. I had been camping. Real camping where you hiked for several hours, set up camp beside a waterfall for three nights. There were four adult men and two boys. We were all Americans except for one Chinese man. He was in charge of food. So basically we had some form of Ramen noodles for every meal.

    After four days of that, my friend Chad and I were sick of noodles. When we got home, I had a box from America. A well-meaning relative had sent a care package to me for Christmas. It was a vhs movie (can't remember what) some other odds and ends but mostly it was Ramen noodles. Can you imagine sending Ramen noodles to China? We nearly died laughing and headed to McDonalds.

  5. Marty- what a great Ramen memory! Needless to say, I won't be making this recipe for you. Something else perhaps!

  6. Wow, I can't wait to try this!! Sometimes you just need a new way to make an everyday meal. Thanks.