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Healthy Ramen Noodles

There weren't a lot of convenience foods like boxed muffin and pancake mix in our house when I was growing up, but one item I absolutely loved whenever my mom made it for us was instant ramen noodles. She would boil water, toss in the brittle brick of tightly wound noodles, then dump in the contents of that naughty little seasoning pack, which contained among other not-so-good things, the notorious flavor enhancer, MSG. Popular in the '60s and '70s, we know now that MSG is something you and your kids should probably avoid consuming.

This recipe takes the idea of ramen noodle soup to a whole new level. You still get the delicious salty flavor that you're used to from the MSG in the instant variety, but I use nutritious miso to give it that incredible and irresistible flavor. Don't forget your seasoning—a shake of garlic and onion powder adds a ton of added flavor to this dish—and don't be shy about the other ingredients. Make it your own. I usually lay out a bunch of options, let everyone tell me which ones they want and personalize each person's bowl. I discovered just how much my kids crave seaweed and shiitake mushrooms when I started putting them in my soup and then watched as they shamelessly begged for bite after bite from my bowl.

That's OK. I know that when my kids are making this ramen noodle soup disappear it's filled only with the things they should be eating!

Ingredients

1 32 oz box of chicken stock

1 cup water

2 tablespoons white or yellow miso

2 (3-ounce) packages packaged ramen noodles

4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 cup scallions, green & white, sliced

Directions

1. In a large saucepan add the chicken stock, water, miso and bring to a boil.

2. Add the remaining ingredients* and cook for 3 minutes or until the ramen noodles are soft.

3. Add the scallions and serve.

*Accompaniments: Optional additional Ingredients: fresh spinach, nori, wakame, hijiki, arame, chicken, shrimp, cubed tofu

Serves 4

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