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cooking on the cheap: ramen gourmet
by Michele Caldwell 1 2
continued from page 1

spinach salad
Okay, this one isnít exactly frugal, but when times are good, it makes a yummy summer treat. The dressing is the best part.

bunch of fresh spinach
1 cup blueberries  (fresh or frozen)
1 cup strawberries (fresh are better)
1 cup of pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
1 cup of almonds (there is no better deal at warehouse stores like Costco than nutsÖitís a total steal!)
1 package of ramen noodles

dressing (the best part)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white vinegar
1 chicken flavored seasoning packet from ramen noodles
1/2 cup sugar
pepper to taste

prep 5-10 minutes 
serves 2, but easily modified

For the salad all of these ingredients can be increased, decreased, or omitted. You could also add mandarin oranges or dried cranberries, whatever! The dressing is the best part and can be made in triple and saved in the refrigerator.  I bought an empty dressing bottle so that I could keep some on hand at all times. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Then, crush the dry ramen noodles in the bag and sprinkle them over the salad. Delicious!

cowboy stew
This is a good dish to make in a crock-pot.  If you donít have a crock-pot, I donít know what to sayÖIím disappointed in you! I would save my crock-pot from a fire. Itís that important to me. Seriously though, if for reasons I canít comprehend, your kitchen lacks this handy appliance, you can make this stew in a big covered pot over a low heat. Scrounge up all the snippets and scraps of vegetables that are threatening to spoil if you donít eat them soon, and throw them into the crock-pot.

2 potatoes, quartered
2 carrots, chopped
1 can of corn
1 can of frozen peas (I pour the corn in first and then use the empty can to measure out some peas)
1 small onion, chopped
2 packages of chicken, vegetable, or pork flavored ramen noodles.

prep 5 minutes to prepare, a few hours to simmer. 
serves 2, but also easily modified depending on the size of your crock-pot.

Throw all the veggies in the pot.  Fill the pot with water until the veggies are drowned.  Toss in two ramen seasoning packets.  Stir it up and let it stew.  When you are ready to eat, boil the noodles separately, then add them to the stew and enjoy immediately. 


Michele Caldwell is a graduate student of communication at the University of Cincinnati.

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