Waste not want not

I know I haven’t done one of these in a while but I’ve been uninspired. Until now that is.

I’m thoroughly and unusually enamored with THESE Rice Noodle Soup Bowls. It’s a pre-made food. But it’s rice, it’s vegetarian, it tastes good. I don’t normally like pre-made food. But this stuff is easy it’s simple and it’s what I want for lunch. Lunch for me is small. It’s broth with veggies and noodles or rice. Maybe some bread but not usually. Maybe a salad instead of soup. My favorite lunches though are just soup. This fits the bill and it’s fast. I try to pack as much into a work day as possible so I’m not working too much on my “free” time. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on lunch. I want easy.

In the beginning I was fairly happy with them just as they are. But the more I had them the more I found them lacking. Obviously the novelty wore off. I started to add ingredients. Scallions, mushrooms, other veggies or hot chili sauce. Now wait a minute. I’m turning something easy into something a little less so and why shouldn’t I just make my own if it’s going to be that way.

Right. Why don’t I just make my own? Why haven’t I been making my own all along?
soupbowls
And now I have 2 versions. 1 version that I can make and sit on a shelf for a few weeks in the shop and eat when I want or ones that I make and put in the fridge that need to be eaten sooner.

Shelf sitters ingredients:
Rice noodles
Organic Veggie Bouillon
Dehydrated Veggies
Powdered Garlic (plain and roasted versions)

Refrigerated versions:
Rice Noodles
Miso
Real Veggie Stock
Chili Sauce
Garlic
Veggies

All I do is put together all the ingredients in a plastic bowl. When I want to eat it, I just pour in 2 cups of water or if I’m using the real stock, I heat up 2 cups of it and pour it over the rest of the ingredients. Cover it up. 5 minutes later the stuff has mixed, the noodles are cooked and the greens I put in there are nicely wilted. Yum. Better than the stuff from the package.

I’m not sure I’m saving money because I’m buying organic and better ingredients but I am eating more like I want to eat. AND my bowls are reusable. There is no waste. I spend some time on Sunday getting a few ready for the week and then I don’t have to stress about food or what I’ve going to do, I just put a bowl in my bag and I’m out the door.

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23 Responses to Waste not want not

  1. janet says:

    The organic, better ingredients will save you money in the long run because they are better for your health.

  2. anj says:

    sounds delish!

  3. Manise says:

    Great idea making up several in advance- dump in a bowl, heat and pour. Brilliant.

  4. LaBean says:

    Wow, thank you for posting this.. I have to try this one day soon.. I like those soups too but if I can make them taste even better, why not?

  5. Ann says:

    I love those bowls (and the Trader Joe’s knock-offs). I do wonder how easy it is to make my own. Now I know. Thanks for the recipes!

  6. naomi says:

    Do you dehydrate your own veggies for them?

  7. Katie says:

    This is a great idea! And Naomi’s idea of dehydrating your own veggies is something to think about as I plant my garden this year. Hmmmmmm.

  8. Faith says:

    I need to try that. I have trouble making the time to eat, because nothing that’s fast and easy looks good…or I don’t even have time to throw it together. Pre-making servings in the fridge sounds like a great idea. Thanks!!

  9. Tikabelle says:

    What a clever idea. I may have to copy you; I do love those Thai Kitchen bowls, but home-made ones would be even better!

  10. Lisak says:

    If you need more blog fodder one of these days, you could post more details.

    Where do you get the veggie stock? rice noodles? What is miso?

    Any info would be great! Thanks!

  11. What a fab idea – and I thought I was pretty good at the money-saving healthful lunches – you totally beat me! I’m shopping for some of those ingredients this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Kristen says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing your secrets. I love me some organic noodle soup!

    One thought I had while reading was this though, maybe you want to use something other than a plastic container to let the hot water/broth and noodles set in. I’ve heard some not so nice things about the heated plastics releasing toxic stuff into the food. Maybe use a ceramic or glass bowl with a plate on top?

  13. farm-witch says:

    love that idea! Shitake mushrooms will HAVE to go in mine as all I want to eat these days is shitake mushrooms. I checked my feet to make sure they’re not growing hair so I’m pretty sure I’m not turning hobbit but, still, I’m eating alot of mushrooms.

    I’m voting that you ARE saving money, because you are paying for better ingredients and because there’s no price value for the benefit of getting to make things just the way you enjoy them. Off to make some soup!

  14. Susan says:

    Same as Ann, I like the Trader Joe’s one too. Being an ommnivore, I’m partial to using them as a base for leftover chicken with fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.

  15. maryse says:

    i love these types of soups too. so thanks for the idea. one question. do you dehydrate your vegetables yourself? or do you buy them. and if so, where.

  16. Rachel says:

    what is the brand of the veggie bouillon? I have been looking for a good one.

  17. val says:

    oh my gosh, i love this idea! If you don’t mind some bulk, Pyrex makes these glass containers that would be perfect for holding the soup. I think a set of 3 sizes w/lids is $10 at target. http://www.pyrexware.com/index.asp?pageId=103&pid=348

    Another idea is to do this with rice bowls. There are bento sites out there with instructions on freezing rice in individual portions. Add veggies and maybe toss in a frozen cube of broth so that it makes a sauce when you reheat it?

  18. Loopykd says:

    OMG how funny! I just started buying those too! I add scallions, cilantro, chicken (you wouldn’t like that one), cucumbers, etc. too. They are my new fave and my daughter’s as well.

  19. Amanda says:

    I haven’t seen the Boogie girls lately so I tagged you on my blog for sharing your Five Things you like most about being a Mom.

  20. Sandy says:

    Having celiac, I’ve been looking for ways to have lunches here at the office I can eat. These are great! Thanks so much for the ideas, I can run with this and even get DH (who I work with) to eat healthier stuff too instead of sandwiches every day!

  21. Sara says:

    Holy crap this is a freaking fantastic idea!

  22. Lamina says:

    My husband loves those bowls too. I think this will be a great alternative! Thanks for posting this and inspiring me!

  23. Mia says:

    You are saving money in the long run. The prepared bowls are expensive and high in sodium. Yes, the initial cost is higher but you get several days worth of soup for the price of a few bowls.

    How do you cut up your rice noodles? Do you attack them with scissors? I need to try making up a few of these since I love rice noodles.

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