Move over salad-in-a-jar,
we're completely sold on this ingenious, convenient way to eat our favorite ramen noodle bowl
and guess what, its easy, inexpensive, versatile, healthy and stands the ultimate test of travel,
Say hello to the new + rebooted: Ramen-in-a-jar.
How to save time + stay on your weight loss goals?
We know time is everything and in our busy, fast paced lifestyles, and cooking from scratch 7 days a week is out of the question. Staying healthy doesn't mean you have to make a gourmet, farmers market meal three times a day. Most health professionals agree though, just a little planning each week goes a LONG WAY when sticking to your goals! Choosing weekly menus, to prepping ingredients and keeping the freezer stocked, has proven to work for maintaining a week of healthy eating.
5 things Meal planning + Preparation Can Save You:
- Decrease food waste
- Unhealthy, last-minute “hangry” food choices
Ask the RD: How do you meal plan
and prep for the week?
When I meal prep, I typically prepare whole ingredients rather then specific recipes. That way, I have endless possibilities to diversify my meals rather then eating the same recipe 3 days in a row. I look at my schedule for the week to come, write down a general plan for meals/ingredients that meet each day's needs, and see how I can re-use leftovers as much as possible throughout. From there, I create a shopping list, head to the store and stock up for the week ahead. Just putting in a few hours one day of the week to do this helps reduce that stressful feeling and frustration of not knowing what to eat after a long day in the office. Either cooking for one or a whole family, I recommend always having frozen and fresh fruits and veggies, canned/frozen beans, batch cooked gains and protein on hand - it saves me every week.
Weekly Batch Cook + Prep Recommendations:
- Whole grains or starchy vegetables such as: quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat or brown rice pasta, potatoes, or root vegetables
- Wash and chop veggies for using raw or roasted such as: cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, etc. Do yourself a favor and spend a little extra on pre-cut veggies like matchstick carrots or squashes (acorn or butternut) - trust me it's worth it and such a time savor!
- Frozen fruit: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mango and pineapple for quick and easy smoothies throughout the week; Fresh fruit for easy snacks on the go such as: apples, oranges, bananas, grapes
- Pre-prep healthful proteins such as: hard boiled eggs (my sanity savors for breakfast in the morning or great topping to my salad), canned tuna/salmon, organic rotisserie chicken, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, or organic tofu
- Measure out single portion snacks into baggies or small containers for easy portion control during the busy work week or simply, go with whole pieces of fruit, the OG of convenience snacks!
- Measure out single portions of added fats (cheeses, nuts, dressings etc.)
On a hectic week night, you can simply throw together these elements into a soup, salad, gain bowl, stuffed into corn tortillas/taco shells, sandwich, used as toppings on a whole wheat pizza crust, flatbread or pita and the list goes on! This always helps me make a quick, healthy dinner, much like my Cup-O-Ramen or thai noodle bowl, which can then be used for lunch the next day!
RD Tip: Start off by prepping a small amount of different whole ingredients for your first week and if you go through that too quickly, you begin to know what works best for you so, decrease or increase your shopping list for next week!
make your own Cup-O-Ramen
Recipe By: Dietitian Taylor Johnson, RD, LDN
Recipe Type: Fast, convenient lunch or dinner
Dietary restrictions this recipe can meet: Gluten Free, Paleo, Plant-based, Vegan, Vegetarian, Diary free
Whether you’re in the middle of a weekday lunch rut or just in need of a nutritious recipe that's also a money and time savor, you're going to want to try this one! If you're on the paleo diet, whole 30, or have food allergies/ intolerances, this ramen is super versatile to satisfy anyones dietary restrictions or food preferences.
Choose whole gain ramen pastas like brown rice, black rice, millet, or buckwheat. These brands are all gluten free, minimally processed, have minimal ingredients (5 real food ingredients or less) and are taste approved!
RD Tip: For whole 30, paleo, or weight loss to cut back on calories, opt for zucchini noodles!
Suggested liquid stocks:
- Organic, Low Sodium Chicken stock
- Low Sodium Ramen Broth
- Organic, Low Sodium Bone Broth
- Low Sodium Vegetable stock (vegan)
- Water + seasonings (vegan)
Suggested Real Ingredient Noodle Brands:
- Thai Kitchen
- Bgreen brown rice
- Bgreen brown rice + Millet
- Rice Ramen forbidden black rice
- Rice Ramen Brown Rice
Choose in-season vegetables to get your dose of dietary fiber. Bulking up your Ramen with more of these low calorie + nutrient packed vegetables will aid in weight loss and keep you full! Go fresh if possible but, throwing in a frozen veggie mix will also work great and cut back on the cost!
Suggested Ramen Vegetables:
- Zucchini - spiraled or julienned
- Green cabbage
- Bok choi
- Carrots (I buy the pre-cut matchstick carrots to make it easier)
- yellow onion
- baby spinach
- snap peas /snow peas
Choose plant-based proteins and fats for added health benefits. Going meatless can be good for your wallet as well as your health and weight, since beans, nuts and seeds, and other minimally-processed vegetarian protein sources like tofu are often less expensive than meat!
- Organic pasture raised chicken
- Pasture raised soft or hardboiled egg
- Steamed shrimp
- Organic sprouted tofu
- Edamame beans
RD Tip: Top it with kimchi for some added heat and healthful probiotics! Kimchi contains the bacterium called lactobacillus kimchii as well as other lactic acid bacteria that are beneficial to our gastrointestinal as well as immune systems.
Bear in mind that if you're using a salty condiment, you should omit some of the seasoning packet. Choose low sodium soy sauces and try to load it with all the fresh toppings to really brighten the flavors of your soup!
- Green scallions
- Lemon or lime
- Black or white sesame seeds
- Bean sprouts
- Red pepper flakes
- Sriracha sauce
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Chopped peanuts
- To make the ramen on a stovetop: bring 2 cups of water, stock or broth of your choice to a boil in a medium saucepan and add your noodles. Simmer the soup gently, add in your choices of vegetables and proteins, seasoning packet and allow your soup to gently simmer for five minutes (don’t boil) until noodles are cooked. Ladle soup into individual bowls (or jars, sealed airtight, ready for on-the-go). Add toppings of your choices when ready to serve!
- To make the ramen on-the-go: layer jar with individual ingredients starting with your choice of a pasta base, vegetables, protein and toppings. Seal the prepped soup ingredients in an airtight container, ready for on-the-go. When ready to serve, add seasoning, pour hot water or broth into the jar, and add toppings of your choice. Let soup sit for about 10 minutes to cook the noodles. Reboot and Enjoy!
XO - ROOTS REBOOT
P.S. NEED TO RECHARGE + REFOCUS + RESET YOUR HEALTH?
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