How do you make great dishes out of instant food?

3년 전

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We all want good food to eat

But let's face it. Especially in this and age where time is very limited and nobody has time anyway, it has become pretty hard to get the best of our meals. Fast Food Chains like MC, BK and KFC have become a prominent assist in our life, even though it isn't necessarily the best for our health. Obviously only the freshest ingridients can give you the healthy power you should be striving for.

So you're literally just telling me to stop everything and sit hour long in the kitchen and cook all my meals?

Well yes and no. Sure it definitely is good to cook what you can cook at home. But at the same time cheat where you can cheat with the least trade offs. If you have a job you sure don't have always the time to make your noodles by hand. Yet at the same time dried or even fresh pasta from the supermarket can be equally as good. Just check what your wallet says and judge for yourself what you can afford.

Now I don't want to go over the general aspects about my little hacks and tricks but instead I want to show you with a practical example how easy it can be to get great, quite nutritious food on the budget.

1. Check what you have left in the fridge

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So before making my soup I checked my kitchen what I had at home and of course what i could make with them. I noticed immediatly that I had instant noodle soup and some leftover Onions and garlic lying around. my base for my soup was made.
Additionally, I found some freeze dried vegetables in the cooler and two soft boiled eggs in the fridge.
Now I had to prepare everything.

Multitasking where you actually can

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I am not entirely a fan of Multitasking. Even though it has its benefits I believe it's better to stick to one task and do that well.

For cooking that is a completely different story

Since there are many tasks that take time until there are finished, you can do many of them side by side.
For example, when I bring the water to boil I prepared the onions and garlic, peeled the eggs and defrosted and slightly cooked the frozen vegetable in the microwave. Yes, the microwave. Don't shy for it. It has much-unused potential and can shorten the cooking time quite a bit.
Since I had still time I cooked the onions, garlic and some ham in the pan, just a bit to soften and be edible.

Seasoning makes the difference between a meal and a mess

Spices are the things that make your dish really stand out. They are an essential part of it.
But there are so many and they all cost money. I can't afford that.
Sure, me neither but nobody said you have to. In reality, for most dishes, you need only a few handful of spices to give it a really complex body. It's best to just try some and try to find your own ideal taste.
In my case, I spiced the vegetables with a dash of paprika to give a bit of color and give them a little sweet hunch to it. My water broth already has the instant noodle seasoning, but I added some extra chicken stock. If you feel like they have too many bad ingredients in them, you can get extra Organic Bio stock in Powder form like I did. It tastes great and costs only marginally more. But in return, you get a great Body. Oh and btw. you can use the stock for many different things, for your stock, a little bit as a seasoning for your meat, for cooking your noodles and much more.
just be creative. It is your dish nobody will judge you.

use herbs, in any form, to freshen up your dish


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I inserted my noodles and let them cook for a few minutes. In total, we have only cooked for 15 minutes or so. And we are pretty much done at this point. just bring everything together and let it boil until done. Remember most is already edible so we really only heat it up a little.

At last, we can put everything in a bowl. I included some finely chopped spring onions on top of the soup and some freeze dried parsley(that is not in the picture sadly :( ). Herbs at the end really lift up your dish and give it some extra boost you wouldn't believe could be possible. Here you have to see for yourself which herbs fit where the best. Like for example, basil doesn't really fit in this dish but it's very good in tomato based dishes.
But in general parsley and spring onions are very versatile and the green color is a good contrast to the overall dishes presentation.

How much did it cost?

Well, I don't have the numbers up front but I would say if we bought everything separately we would have to pay around 10$ or so.

WAIT WAIT WAIT. Thats wayyy to expensive!

Yes, I know but here's the kicker. Every Ingredient comes in bulk you don't consume in one go. Those 10$ will last for several dishes. So if you would break it down to what it really was you are essentially at around one or two dollars for a big meal that makes you plenty of full.

I hope you realized how much is possible if you are thoughtful about the things you are doing. Remember cooking is not about remembering a recipe and just pasting it in a pan, no it's about experimenting with ingredients. To create something out of simple ingredients how is irrelevant.

if you like it please share this and drop an upvote and leave a comment down below. Tell me all about your little tricks and secrets in the kitchen.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day :)

Brian

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Good cooking. I've been doing this since college days when we were all living on peanuts. Speaking of peanuts, we tossed them in with the instant ramen for the texture. Spam was another staple. Miraculously, we all lived. Actually some of the dishes we made were quite good. I still eat some of them. Thanks for the post.

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Spam is very delicious. It was the go-to meat for me when I was younger. My mom always coated them with scrambled eggs and fried them in the pan. With rice, it was very delicious.

Thank you for your comment :)

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Your mom sounds like my kind of cook. Another go-to canned meat for me was corned beef. And an real easy dish is to take hot rice and break a raw egg in it and mix it in. The heat of the rice cooks the egg, so it's like quick fried rice. Now I'm hungry. Have a good day.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

- Albert Einstein

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true words indeed!

Great idea.. I enjoyed reading it.. Keep up sharing :-)
I have the pleasure to follow you, and upvote this post.