Nourishing Ramen Bowl

nourishing-ramen-bowl

Savory, salty broth, full of noodles just waiting to be slurped up.

Ramen noodles, we’ve all had them right? Those hard little bricks of fried noodles and MSG ladened spice packets. Most of us probably even had quite a fondness for them.

I’m not going to lie, they were a favourite of mine for several years. My mom drew the limit at twice a week. I actually remember thinking about how when I grew up that I would eat them whenever I wanted to because, well I would be an adult. Please, please tell me I am not alone in this confession!

Dear twelve-year-old self, you WILL change your mind, trust me on this one.

But wait for just a minute. Ramen noodles are the perfect, simple meal for busy days when you are craving savory broth. Plus who can resist noodles?

What is a gal to do?

With a few simple ingredients, you can create a nourishing ramen bowl that is actually good for you!

This almost from scratch noodle bowl only takes a little bit longer than those packets you once adored. The key- fresh broth kept in the fridge and store bought noodles.

I try to keep homemade bone broth in my refrigerator at all times. It is full of so many vitamins and gelatin. Bone broth makes your homemade soups go from tasty to extraordinary. Seriously. Once you ditch the carton, it’s hard to go back. All you need is leftover chicken bones and water.

Homemade noodles are awesome. I even bought a book about making your own homemade ramen noodles. I drool over the pages but most of us don’t have time or energy to make our own. Offer yourself some grace and use store bought udon noodles, you can make homemade noodles another day.

Nourishing Ramen Bowl

Ingredients:

Soup:

2 quarts chicken broth
8 oz udon noodles
1 TBS yellow or white miso paste

Toppings:

Chicken

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs, pounded flat
2 TBS coconut oil
1 tsp unrefined salt

Vegetables

4 fresh green onions
2 cup bean sprouts

Directions:

Bring the broth to a boil, add the miso paste, stirring until dissolved. Add the udon noodles and cook until done, about ten minutes.

While the noodles are cooking, place the chicken thighs between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a meat pounder or a rubber hammer, pound the chicken thighs until flat.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with the salt.

Heat a skillet with the coconut oil in it on medium high. Add the chicken thighs to skillet. Cook until lightly golden on both sides, about 3-5 minutes.

Cut one thigh to be sure there is no pink and that the meat is completely cooked.

Slice the thighs into thin strips.

Slice the green onions into one-inch strips.

Spoon the noodles and broth into large soup bowls. Top with the chicken strips, sliced green onions, and bean sprouts.

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How about you, did you like ramen noodles growing up? What is your favourite quick soup to make?

Creamy Nourishing Tomato Soup

Creamy Nourishing Tomato Soup- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

A creamy bowl of tomato soup. You raise the spoon to your mouth and watch the steam rise.

It’s deliciously hot, it might even melt a snowman into a boy! A fragrant blend of Italian spices makes it more than your ordinary bowl of tomato soup.

Growing up, I have to say I was not a tomato soup fan. I preferred to leave my tomatoes in salsa and pasta and nothing else thankyouverymuch. Plus it was always accompanied by my least favourite food, cheese!

I tried a tomato soup recipe a year or two ago since I don’t like to use a lot of cream in my soup (I save it all for ice cream and coffee) I used coconut milk. I was not pleased with the results.

Last spring when my dear friend Laura decided to have me help her make tomato soup with coconut milk in it I was a bit skeptical. It was a recipe from Chole’s Vegan Italian Kitchen. I was in love at first bite!

As amazing as the soup was I like to use nourishing bone broth in as many meals as possible, so I swapped it for the original vegetable broth. I also don’t keep Italian spice blend on hand so I created my own blend for the soup. I made a couple other changes and voila Katie’s tomato soup was born. (Am I the only one that refers to myself in the third person at times?)

This creamy nourishing tomato soup can most certainly be paired with the traditional grilled cheese sandwich. I prefer to choose a higher in protein pairing like my open-faced Spanish chorizo sandwich and a salad.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Tomato Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken stock (bone broth)
  • 2 18oz jars crushed tomatoes
  • 1¼ cups coconut milk (or heavy cream)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2½ TBS sucanat
  • 2½ tsp unrefined salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat, sprinkle with salt and cook until almost translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and dried herbs. Cook for one minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, salt, and sucanat.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes. Using an emersion blender blend until smooth. Or you can allow the soup to cool and blend in two to three batches in a blender.
  5. Add coconut milk (or cream) and stir to mix. Heat for about 2 more minutes or until hot.

What is your favourite food to pair with tomato soup?

White Bean and Polish Sausage Stew with Greens

White Bean and Polish Sausage Stew with Greens-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Fresh juicy tomatoes, white beans, nourishing chicken broth, and slices of savory sausage are the foundation of this hearty stew. It is the perfect meal that ushers summer into fall.

My counter tops are covered in tomatoes straight from the garden. It is wonderful to enjoy them raw but when there is an overabundance they are just begging to be made into a warm dish.

Warm days are slowly giving way to fall. I love the cool mornings that hold a promise of blustery days to come. As soon as I feel a hint of crispness in the air my mind turns to nourishing soups and stews.

Simple meals like this white bean and polish sausage stew with greens is easy to prepare yet filling making it the perfect weeknight meal.

For the recipe join me at The Nourishing Gourmet.

What is your favourite soup or stew?

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Loaded baked potato soup, creamy goodness top with bacon and green onions.

Any time I have this soup I’m brought back to memories of my family eating at Tony Roma’s. It was THE place we went for my little sis’s birthday and whenever my grandpa came to visit. It was not an occasion to eat light. We loaded up on things like ribs, chicken strips, fries, onion loaf, and of course baked potato soup.

The onion loaf and soup were what made the night. I’m still tinkering with a real food version of their onion loaf, it’s not ready yet. Instead, I delved into searching the web for every knock off of baked potato soup known to man. I was flabbergasted on how many recipes called for instant potatoes and cups of heavy cream. I love cream but I can only have so much at once and instant potatoes, well I won’t even go there.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 2

I found some good ones along the way and finally combined them with some ideas I already had running through my head. While this might not be 100% the same as the family favourite we had at Tony Roma’s it is still very good. It’s been almost 10 years since I had a bowl on my last trip there, where the waiters handed my 20-year-old self a kid’s menu, nothing like boosting your self-confidence…

What I love about this soup is that it shows that you can create nourishing real food dishes that don’t sacrifice a bit of flavor. When you start with homemade broth, sauteed onions, and bacon it’s hard to go wrong.

Just looking at the photos makes me want to whip up another batch. It is rich and filling without being too rich. It’s the perfect soup for a chilly night on these first few nights of spring or anytime if you are a soupaholic like me.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Needs Everything)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 large russet potatoes, baked, peel and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese (optional)
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 4 green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 1½ tsp unrefined salt
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Flip once. Remove and set aside for later.
  2. Add the onion to the pot, sprinkle with salt. Stir occasionally until almost translucent.
  3. Add the arrowroot powder and mix with the onions. Add ½ a cup of broth, stir until the arrowroot is completely dissolved.
  4. Add ½ the potatoes to the pot. Gently pour in the remaining broth.
  5. Sprinkle in the salt, basil, and thyme.
  6. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
  7. Add the remaining potatoes and milk Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the soup is hot.
  8. Serve and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions.

 

Have you ever eaten at Tony Romas? What is/was your favourite dish there?

How to Make Sizzling Rice Soup

How to Make Sizzing Rice Soup

A steaming bowl of chicken broth is brought to the table. As the server pours crisped rice into the bowl the air is filled with the sound of sizzling and popping. It’s sizzling rice soup, one of my favourite soups at any Chinese restaurant. It is light and full of flavor. The crispy rice adds a fun crunch with each bite.

Have you ever noticed how it’s hard to not have “just on more bite” when you go to a Chinese restaurant? There are many great chefs in those places, crafting amazing dishes but the “need” to have more is often connected to the addition of monosodium glutamate better known as MSG. It’s what makes cheap Chinese taste better than it is and quality food burst with even more flavor.

When I get Chinese food out I have gotten into the habit of ordering it without added MSG, I’ve noticed that the dishes that once had spot-on, beyond tasty flavor suddenly lack salt and that extra bit of flavor that I had come to expect.

The key to dishes that might normally rely on MGS is to create umami. It’s the “5th taste”. Umami when translated from Japanese can mean “delicious” or “pleasant savory taste”. A Japanese man discovered that the flavor that made food taste so good was L-glutamate. He later went on to create a stable form of it that we now know as MSG.

Want to learn more about umami? Kimi of The Nourishing Gourmet wrote an article on it for Mother Nature Network.

How do you create a natural umami flavor in foods like this sizzling rice soup? The key is in rich homemade chicken stock and naturally fermented soy sauce (or tamari) both of which contain L-glutamate or umami. I love that these flavors can easily be crafted in your own kitchen!

Sizzling rice soup is really not that hard to make, the most difficult part is the rice cakes which you can make ahead of time and the give a quick fry before you add them to your hot soup.

If you don’t have the time to fry the rice cakes you can add them to the soup five minutes before removing it from the heat, you’ll be missing the signature sizzle but the slight crunch will still be there.  Another thought would be to add leftover rice to the soup five minutes before serving. It won’t be quite as fun but the flavor will still be there.

However you fix the soup it is still going to be delicious, making your tongue and stomach very happy. Now I want another bowl of this sizzling rice soup!

5.0 from 1 reviews
How to Make Sizzling Rice Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breast, velveted
  • 4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 can water chestnuts slices, drained
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • 8 "sizzling rice cakes"
Instructions
  1. Pour the chicken broth into a medium sized sauce pot. Add the ginger and garlic. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  2. While the broth is simmering, slice and velvet the chicken. *
  3. Add the chicken, spinach, water chestnuts, soy sauce and salt.
  4. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  5. Ladle into individual bowls and top with a sizzling rice cake.
  6. * If you do not desire to velvet the chicken add to the soup 3 minutes before you add the remaining ingredients.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sizzling Rice Cakes
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cold cooked white rice
  • 4 cups coconut oil/palm shortening/tallow
Instructions
  1. Shape the rice into small flat disks about 2 inches across and ¼ inch thick.
  2. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 250 F for 1 hour or until completely dry.
  4. Heat oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Break a small piece off of one rice cake. Throw it in the oil. If is puffs up in less than 10 seconds you will know that the oil is hot enough.
  6. Gently place a rice cake in the oil. Once it puffs remove immediately from the oil. Place on a paper towel or cloth towel to drain.
  7. Fry only enough rice cakes for the amount of soup that you will be serving.
  8. Store the remaining rice cakes (if there are any in a glass container) for up to a month. Fry the cakes as needed.
  9. Add to a hot bowl of soup and listen for the sizzle!