Words by Natalia Cruz

Growing up, I was always in the kitchen, from helping my mom bake cakes to making my own creations. One of my favorite things to play around with was ramen noodles. Mainly, because they were so cheap, I didn’t feel bad if what I made didn’t turn out. Unfortunately for me, I learned later in life that I have borderline celiac disease. My time with ramen had to come to an end, but during my time at boarding school, I thought my friends a few tricks on how to shake up ramen noodles. 

Ramen Noodle Mac and Cheese

What you’ll need: 

  • any type of cheese, but if you are able to find it, I recommend getting powdered cheese
  • 1 TBSP of butter
  • 1/2 – 2 TBSP of milk 
  • 1 noodle packet
  • Water (enough to cover the noodles)

This is a fairly easy recipe to do, and for the most part, if you don’t have measuring utensils, you are able to eyeball it. Now, the important part of this recipe is remembering to save the flavor packet for later. So, once you have boiled and cooked the noodles, you add the butter, milk, cheese, and flavor packet. This gives you some flavorful cheesy noodles and it is a cheap way to mix up the staple ramen noodles. 

Crunchy Salad

What you’ll need: 

  • Plain ramen noodles (1 packet)
  • Bowl of leafy greens of own choice
  • A handful of shredded carrots
  • 1- 2 Hard-boiled eggs
  • soy sauce

This recipe is best fit for when go to the dining hall to get a salad to go and forget to put in crotons or if you are one of the people who want to feel better about enjoying uncooked Ramen. 

Now, all you have to do for this is break up the noodles into chunks and keep the seasoning somewhere else, because you can use it for another recipe. Alternatively, if you desire, you can sprinkle the seasoning on top of the salad. For the salad mix I recommend in this recipe, I picked some of the elements of pho, in order to give the salad an abstract pho vibe. 

Flavored Rice

What you’ll need, 

  • Personal serving size of rice (I recommend microwaveable types)
  • A little bit of butter (optional)
  • The seasoning packet
  • Cheese (optional)

If you are like me and have a gluten intolerance or allergy, but you still crave those flavor packets, then this is the recipe for you. It is also a way to gain more nutrients, especially if you are using brown rice, compared to ramen noodles. For this recipe, you can make it two ways. The first way is to prepare the rice and then add a little butter in order for the seasoning to stick better to the rice, then adding the seasoning. The second way is to also add some shredded cheese. This creates flavored cheesy rice, and it is one of my favorite things to eat on the weekend when Prentice Cafe is closed. 

Ramen Noodles and Meatballs

What you’ll need, 

  • 2 packets of Ramen noodles
  • 1 lb or less of ground beef/chicken/turkey/plant-based ground
  • Pepper
  • ¼ cup of Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Sauce (optional) 
  • Cooked spaghetti (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Greased Cookie sheet
  • Ziplock bag

This isn’t a quick recipe, so if you plan on making these meatballs, make sure you have at least an hour. The first thing you’ll need to do is set the oven to 400 F and make sure the meat is defrosted. Next, get a ziplock bag and place the 2 noodles blocks in them, then use something to crunch them up until they are all in little pieces. I recommend using something heavy like a hardback textbook. Once those items are prepped, place your choice of ground meat into the bowl, then add the milk and egg. After that, add in all of the dry ingredients. This includes pouring in the seasoning and crunched up noodles into the mix. At this point, you can either use your hands or a fork to mix everything up. Once the egg is thoroughly beaten in and the noodles are evenly dispersed, you can start making balls. I recommend the standard of 1 ½ inch, but if you please you can make them bigger or smaller. On the sheet give them at least a half-inch in between balls for growing room.  If you chose to make them the standard size, let them cook for 20-25 minutes, for the smaller one you would probably do 15 minutes and for bigger ones 30. However, the most important part is checking to see if they are actually done, once the time has elapsed. This is because different ovens can add or quicken the time. After they are all done and ready to go, you can pair them with a sauce, pasta, or even put them in your ramen noodles.