College Eats 101: Redo Ramen

Ramen: One of the most cliché, cheap, and accurate college food staples throughout the United States. Seriously, what college student wouldn’t want to stock up on a conveniently packaged ‘quick and easy’ meal that costs only pennies? One of the most popular brands, Nissin Top Ramen, you’ll find contains roughly 380 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 1,820 mg of sodium-- all condensed into the tiny, chicken flavored brick. Many college students aren’t even able to get full off of one, so when you double the amount of packages you eat, you double those stats.

Do you know what you just made for lunch? You just made yourself a catastrophe, that’s what. Here are a few ways to spice up your boring ramen dish and make it (relatively) healthy:

1.       SKIP THE SPICE PACKET! Whatever you do, try your best to OMIT the spice packet. Without this flavor packet you can omit nearly all of the sodium from the dish. Instead, add your own spices and herbs such as Italian seasoning, cilantro, or try the Mrs. Dash spice line.

2.       Still not enough flavor? Try cooking your ramen in low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth.

3.       Add spinach or bok choy a few minutes before your noodles finish cooking, or steam some broccoli and add it to your ramen for some nice green coloring to the dish.

4.       Purchase a bag of frozen (or cans of fresh) mixed vegetables and toss them with your ramen; corn, peas carrots, you name it. Adding volume to your dish will help you feel full, and vegetables are a great way to do so without increasing the calorie content.

5.       The carbs not completely filling you up? Add some protein! Grilled chicken, drained tuna, grilled salmon, tofu, beans, and shrimp are great options.

6.       Experiment with sauces! Marinara, fresh tomato sauce, a bit of hot sauce-- the possibilities are endless.

What will you create with your new and healthified ramen noodle dish?

Get crafty in the kitchen and Instagram or tweet your creation using #HCIUPRamenRemake!