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I was always a Top Ramen fan. Way back in the 1970’s – my mother used to buy it by the case & my father & I would devour it. Both of us preferred the noodles drained of broth. Even as a chubby, twelve-year-old – I could eat several in a sitting. It wasn’t until I was older that I discovered there are about 400 calories in each package & enough sodium to kill a horse. Do you realize that the powers that be have determined that each package contains TWO servings?? Who the fuck are these people? Two servings per package my ass. Anyway, eating two packages on one’s own is an 800 calorie adventure with 128% of your recommended sodium for the day. So – they became a too guilt-ridden for me to eat once I could afford not to eat them.
These noodles I used here, however, seem like they ought to be healthier – but a little research proved somewhat disappointing on that front. The entire package contains about 1000 calories and 115% of your recommended daily sodium intake. Still, with the meat & veggies added – these noodles can easily feed two or more – depending on how much you add to them. So – rather than wolfing 800 calories alone – these guys allow two or more to divvy up the 1000 calories.
I used these Trader Joe’s beef strips – despite the fact that they were a month expired. Why were they expired? Because I have become obsessed with Beyond Meat’s faux chicken & got off the faux beef for a while. Once Beyond Meat comes up with a beef strip – I am certain I will give them my loyalty there, too. But – if Beyond Meat isn’t available near you – try the Trader Joe’s chicken strips. These beef strips are the best version I have found yet. So – I ate the month old strips because I am frugal & I hate waste and I was the only one eating it so – if it really WAS bad – I would be the only one getting ill. I did not get ill – FYI – so feel free to ignore the expiration dates yourself.
Anyway – I digress. This dish takes a few steps but all are simple & quick & the result is very yummy. You could use other noodles, even the curly, sodium-rich Top Ramen or rice or wrap it up in lettuce cups. Your call.
One note – if you do not own a microplane zester but you cook a lot – invest in one of THESE guys. They are well worth the $10 investment.
Vegan Spicy Ginger Beef with Ramen Noodles and Kale
Feeds two very well
10 oz Ramen noodles
8 oz vegan beef
1 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or fish sauce if you are not vegan)
1 TBS water
1 tsp lime zest
1 TBS lime juice
1 TBS chili paste or sriracha
1 tsp brown sugar
1 head kale – ribs removed & chopped
1 cup grated carrots
1 jalapeno – seeded & diced
4 scallions – chopped
4 garlic cloves – minced
1 TBS fresh ginger – minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Garnish: cilantro, scallions, cucumber slices & lime wedges
Cook the noodles as directed, rinse in cold water & set aside.
Whisk together the soy or fish sauce, water, lime zest & juice, chili paste or sriracha & brown sugar. Set aside.
Cover your beef with some cornstarch. Heat a TBS of olive oil or so in a saute pan & brown the beef. Plate it & set aside.
In the same pan, add a bit more olive oil & saute the scallions until soft. Put on the plate with the beef.
In the same pan – add more live oil (if you need to) and saute the jalapeno, carrots until they soften a bit. Add the kale & saute until the kale wilts a bit & turns bright green. Set the veggies aside.
In the same pan, add olive oil (if needed) and flash fry the garlic, ginger & crushed red pepper – not longer than 30 seconds or so. Add the soy sauce mixture & bring it to a boil & let it thicken a few minutes. Add the beef & combine & then add the noodles & heat through.
Add the veggies & toss to combine.
Serve with garnish of your choice. Slop that shit down. Enjoy!