Instant Ramen Pasta Salad

Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad

There are a lot of things in life that I am unsure about. Like where am I going to live in the next 5 years? Or do I actually enjoy mushrooms or do I just tolerate them? But there are also a handful of things in life that I am absolutely sure about. I want to live within a 7 hours drive from my family. And that Reuben is my soulmate because he tolerates my craziness and loves all the same foods that I do. AND my favorite food group is instant ramen and I could probably eat it every day for the rest of my life if I was forced to choose one thing and if sodium intake didn't really matter. I just love it so much!! I'm going to let you in on a little secret... I actually prefer instant ramen to real ramen. (GASP) Ah, I'm sorry! That makes me such a terrible foodie, right??? It's true though. I'm honestly not a fan of the really rich porky broths. It's a little too much for me. I've had ramen in a milky chicken broth and I was all about it! But a cheap 50 cent package of beef flavored ramen will always be my go-to if I need a quick and satisfying meal.

There was an intern at my office last Fall, who only ate instant ramen (oriental flavor… whatever that means!) and canned tuna on crackers for lunch. Every day. As much as her lack of vegetable intake concerned my internal grandma, I respected her lunch choices. I wish I had the courage to bring instant ramen in for lunch! But I’m pretty sure I would get judged hard by my coworkers and I’m also pretty sure I should eat more vegetables during the day.

I guess this recipe is a happy hybrid of that though! Pasta salad is my favorite type of salad because of the pasta, obviously. I like it heavy on the carbs. Light on the dressing. And the brighter the vegetables the better! I actually had ramen pasta salad before at a high school graduation party many many years ago. It was AWFUL. I remember being so excited that it existed and feeling so disappointed when I tasted it. The veggies and noodles were mushy and the dressing was so acidic it hurt. So disappointing. I’ve blocked it from my memory until now.

This pasta salad is the opposite of that dreaded Midwestern graduation pasta salad. The noodles are perfectly al dente, the dressing is something you will want to put on everything, and it’s full of the prettiest and freshest vegetables you can get your hands on. I used edamame, which you can pick up from the frozen section all year long, my beloved green onions, purple cabbage, and beautiful watermelon radishes. You could use regular radishes, but the watermelon radishes really jazz up the pasta salad and make it look like confetti! Whenever I find them at the store I pick one up to add a little hot pink to my avocado toast or the occasional salad. The beauty of this recipe, and all pasta salads really, is that it can be made in advance and it tastes better and better the longer it sits. Instant Ramen Pasta Salad is particularly quick to make because well, it’s instant!

PS. Should I change the name of this recipe to Instant Ramen Salad or keep it as Instant Ramen Pasta Salad? Tell me what to do!


Instant Ramen Pasta Salad

serves 6

Materials :

5 packages of instant ramen
1 cup blanched edamame
1 cucumber
1 watermelon radish
1 1/2 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
2 green onions chopped - white and greens separated
 

Miso Ginger Dressing :

1 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
1 instant ramen soup mix package -  if it's a simple base like beef or chicken
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves
1" chunk of ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt - use a little more if not using soup mix package

Recipes:

1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Place instant ramen noodles in the boiling water and boil or 2 minutes until the noodles are al dente. Remove noodles from hot water and immediately rinse with cold water. Drain noodles and set aside noodles in the fridge to chill.

2. Prepare all your veggies. Thinly slice a watermelon radish other on a mandolin or with a super sharp knife. Cut the cucumber into bite sized pieces. Thinly slice the purple cabbage and chop the green onion stalks. Set veggies aside.

3. Prepare your dressing by placing all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend for about 1 minute. If you don't have a food processor you can whisk all the liquids and seasoning together and grate in the ginger and garlic.

4. Take the noodles out of the fridge and toss the noodles with dressing so that everything is evenly coated. Mix in your veggies and enjoy!

* Salad can be made the day before and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Kale Salad with Spiced Chickpeas and Yogurt Ranch Dressing

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(yawwwwwwwwwnnnnnn) Ah, sorry. That was rude. Gosh, being a real working person is exhausting. Despite how much I miss wearing soft pants everyday and binge watching Riverdale, I'm oddly happy to be back to work. I get a sort of high when I'm busy and buzzing around being productive. It feels good to conquer things again actually use some critical thinking skills! I'm sure that this weird appreciation for work will eventual wear off after my eyes hurt from reviewing construction drawings and organizing material samples. On the positive side, I have a bunch of really cool projects coming up this year! Did I tell you I'm designing a food truck?? Sort of. But I'll share more about that later.

Should we talk about salad now? I know it is pretty basic to post a salad as the first recipe of the new year, but why not start out on a healthy note before we digress into dumplings, pizza, and cupcakes? I'm going to be super honest with you, because we're friends. I'm not a huge fan of salads... well actually, I'm just really particular about salad... wait no! I have extremely high standards for salads. Yes, that sounds better. There is nothing sadder than a limp and boring salad. One of my biggest pet peeves is ordering a sandwich at a cafe and getting a side of some spring mix with a balsamic vinaigrette. That is just not going to cut it for me.

A perfect salad needs to have these 3 factors:
1. A Flavorful Dressing
2. Crunchy Things
3. Greens With Integrity

This simple kale salad gets a big check mark on all three! A lot of times, I like to pile on the ingredients. Eggs. Apples. Bagel Croutons. Salty meat. Berries. Avocado. Nuts. But since we are just starting off the year and easing back into our normal routines, simple seemed best!

I would eat anything if it was covered in ranch dressing. Even the dreaded celery stick or maybe even a beet! 😝  To help us feel better about drowning our food in ranch dressing, I made a healthier greek yogurt ranch dressing! This dressing is tangy, salty, packed full of herbs, and slightly spicy from cayenne. It's so good, I might never need to reach for the Hidden Valley ever again. That takes care of a flavorful dressing. Up next is the crunch. These chickpeas are addictively crunchy, salty, smokey, and spicy. I literally could have ate the entire tray of chickpeas. The perfect snack and topping to add some much needed texture to your salad. If you are really into chickpeas or want some extra to snack on, go on and double the recipe! You won't regret it. Greens like kale, chard, or collard greens are my go to when fixing a salad. I'm not really into spring mix or that iceberg/olive garden salad stuff. If I'm going to eat a salad, I want it to really count. It should feel like I'm eating an actual vegetable! Plus I love the chew and heartiness of darker greens.

Happy salad making and resolution keeping! Don't forget to check your teeth for stray green bits in the mirror afterwards.

Also, don't worry. There's going to be less salads and more dumplings and cakes in the near future!


Kale Salad with Spiced Chickpeas and Yogurt Ranch Dressing

makes 1 big ass salad, serves 4

for the chickpeas:
1 15.5oz can of chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper

for the dressing:
1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
3 tbsp white vinegar
3 garlic cloves grated
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp chopped dill
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp water
dash of cayenne - optional

for the salad:
1 head of kale
paramesan

to make the chickpeas:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Drain and towel dry the chickpeas. Add them to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and a few good turns of black pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, tossing half way through, until they are nice and crispy!

to make the dressing:

In a medium bowl, whisk together greek yogurt, white vinegar, garlic, parsley, chives, dill, salt, black pepper, water, and cayenne. Adjust seasonings to personal taste and add more water if you like your dressing thinner. Place in a airtight container and allow to chill for at least 30 minutes.

to assemble the salad:

De-stem the kale and cut into small bite sized pieces or ribbons. Wash and dry the kale. Massage the kale for a few minutes until tender. Toss with yogurt ranch dressing, pile on the chickpeas, and shower with an appropriate amount of parmesan cheese.

enjoy!

Springy Soba Noodle Salad

Happy Sunday, y'all! It's my favorite day of the week, mainly because the Clement Street Farmers Market is bursting with gorgeous vegetables and fruit samples. It's my weekly ritual to go gawk and snack. Last Sunday was so freaking gorgeous. I was a little over excited and brought home a huge haul of goodies to feed Reuben and I for the week. Look at those spring onions! So pretty, I'm going to paint them.

Side note: Speaking of painting, I've just added some adorable market lists to my Etsy shop. It's the perfect gift for your grocery shopping/farmers market loving friend. I'm typically that friend.

I went to the market this morning, of course, after a lovely breakfast at Cinderella Bakery with our close friends Alex and Catherine. I ate about 2000 calories worth of cheese in the form of these dangerously delicious cheese fritters called Syrniki. Alex got this pickled fish and carrot salad thing on Rye bread and it was sooooooo good. Definitely getting that next time. I made up for my cheese intake by purchasing a ton of fruits and vegetables again. The plums and peaches tasted like candy, so I bought a million and I'm going to attempt to make a tart with them later today, AND they had squash blossoms for the first time! I slightly regret that I didn't buy any... but hopefully they will be there next week!

I'll be spending the rest of my Sunday baking and maybe fitting in some produce painting while there is still light out. I also have to go pick up some Whole Food's sandwiches for dinner, because that has been our ritual the night before Reuben has to take an ARE. He has his 6th test tomorrow morning, so wish him luck! I'll also be finishing up The Keepers on Netflix... have you watched it yet?! It's so scary and horrifying. I had a hard time sleeping last night because I couldn't stop thinking about those girls. Ugh. It's so crazy. I want to talk to someone who has watched it, email me if you have. I have one last episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt left, so that might be able to balance the light and dark of my day.

Okay, let's talk about noods. Noodles. The dressing for these noodles have soy, vinegar, and sesame oil. Pretty much my ideal flavor profile. I love a good salty, acidic, and tangy dish. The vegetables are bright, fresh, and still have a little crunch to them. You can swap out the veggies for whatever look delicious at the market that day. For me it was snap peas, carrots, and those gorgeous spring onions. Once everything is mixed together with the dressing, it just tastes better and better the longer it sits. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. I think that letting them sit overnight produces optimal flavor, but waiting an hour or so for it to chill is still pretty tasty! I'll be making this again next weekend for out next Babes Brunch, which will be a Babes Picnic! V excited.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend : ) And GO CAVS! They play tomorrow and I'm so nervous. I hope I don't look back on this sentence and cringe.


Springy Soba Noodle Salad

serves 4-6

Steps :

1. Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

2. Drain your tofu and cut into 3/4" cubes. Place in a bowl and pour 1/3 cup of the dressing over the tofu. Gently mix together and allow to marinade for at least 30 mins in the fridge.

3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the snap peas for 4-6 minutes, until slightly tender. With a mesh ladle, remove the snap peas and place in a bowl with ice water. Let cool in water and then drain.

4. Bring your pot of water back to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water.

5. In a large bowl or platter, add the peeled carrots, snap peas, and soba noodles. Pour in the remaining dressing and mix so that everything is evenly mixed and incorporated. Either eat this warm or allow noodles to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.

6. Garnish with green onions and black sesame seeds. Serve with marinaded tofu and enjoy!

For the Dressing :

1/2 C Soy Sauce

1/4 C Rice Vinegar

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

2 tsp Grated Ginger

1 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 C Green Onion - whites only, thinly sliced

 

For the Salad:

9.5oz Soba Noodles

1-2 Medium Carrots - peeled into ribbons

3 C Snap Peas

1 package Firm Tofu

Green Onions - for garnish

Black Sesame Seeds - for garnish