Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls

Homemade Instant Noodle Soups (with Paleo Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet

By Natalia Gill, from An Appetite For Joy

Mason jar salads are a healthy and handy lunch idea. But as temperatures drop and we crave more warming foods, how about instant noodle bowls? Simply pack a few jars with savory Asian fixin’s. When you’re ready to eat, add hot broth and you have a satisfying umami-rich soup on the spot.

This quick meal idea was born when my husband and I caught a cold after a fun, rainy wedding weekend in Savannah. We needed something fast but even more so, we needed something restorative. This soup was perfect, two key ingredients being comforting stock and powerful turmeric.

Since then I’ve lined up a few in the fridge for easy lunches on busy weeks.

Incidentally, I like to eat the noodles with a fork or chopsticks while taking sips of broth straight from the jar or bowl. This is how my Japanese colleagues (from my previous life) ate noodle soups when I was in Tokyo. Pictured here are rice noodles, but there are a number of delicious gluten-free pasta options with which you can experiment!

Try mung bean threads, found in the Asian section of many grocery stores. They look and taste a lot like thin rice noodles.

Season with coconut aminos instead of tamari, and use kelp noodles. (If you haven’t yet tried kelp noodles, they are silky, soft and neutral in taste!)

Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls - The Nourishing Gourmet

Serves 1
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 cup cooked noodles (rice, mung bean or kelp)
  • ¼ cup chopped cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onions
  • hot peppers such as jalapenos or habaneros (sliced thinly, to taste)
  • 1 cup hot broth
  • unrefined salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
Fill a mason jar with all of the ingredients except for the broth, salt and pepper. Store in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, pour in the hot broth. Stir very well. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian-inspired
Serves: 1 serving
If you liked instant noodle bowls as a kid, you will love this easy healthier option. Perfect for quick, make-ahead lunches. Enjoy!
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 cup cooked noodles (rice, mung bean or kelp)
  • ¼ cup chopped chicken
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onions
  • hot peppers such as jalapenos or habaneros (sliced thinly, to taste)
  • 1 cup hot broth
  • unrefined salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
  1. Fill a mason jar with all of the ingredients except for the broth, salt and pepper. Store in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, pour in the hot broth. Stir very well. Adjust seasonings to taste.



Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Grain Free with Dairy Free Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet

Warmly-spiced pumpkin filling is spooned into a hollowed-out apple shell that softens and caramelizes as it bakes. Topped with a simple caramel sauce this is a a rustic yet elegant fall dessert to serve to family and friends!

No need to limit yourself to pumpkin. This filling is based on a sweet potato pie recipe. I have also made it with buttenut squash and next up is kabocha. Carrot pie is also intriguing! My kids won’t go near winter squash in the lightly salted, roasted version that I adore. But this is one of their favorite desserts of all time. That’s a win in my book.

I’ve recently become even more excited about carotenoid-rich vegetables after discovering a new health benefit. Current research is showing that those with the highest serum-levels of carotenoids were 20-30% less likely to develop breast cancer. It’s probably a bit early to tell whether this is because those with more carotenoids are likely to be higher in other nutrients as well, but there seems to be at least some link since it has been noted across multiple studies.

Concerned that the apple shells may be too tedious? It turns out that hollowing an apple is easier than it may seem. This recipe calls for four huge apples (or 5 large) and the whole operation takes no more time than it would to make a crust – a sometimes stressful endeavor, in my opinion. I use red delicious because they are softer. Just half them, hollow out each side with a knife, then scoop out the center with a good spoon (a grapefruit spoon works well).

When you finish putting these together you are left with the perfect amount of apple with which to make an apple pie! Just toss it with some lemon to prevent it from oxidizing and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to put it together in the next day or two. Or try one of the savory apple recipes that have recently appeared on The Nourishing Gourmet.

Here are some apple recipe ideas:

Cranberry Apple Mini Pies (GF, if desired)
Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce (DF)
Apple Clafoutis (Grain-Free)
Potato Apple Soup with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola
Easy Pan-Fried Cabbage and Apples

We usually prefer our pumpkin pie chilled, but we love these warm. And you won’t want to skip the caramel. It’s definitely worth the quick extra step!


Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (GF/DF)
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings (1 pie)
These rustic little treats are perfect for fall. Mix and match different orange squashes or use your own pumpkin pie filling recipe!
  • 4 very large apples (I use red delicious)
  • lemon (sprinkle on apples to prevent oxidation)
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 cups pumpkin or orange squash puree (here are instructions for making your own)
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼-1/2 cup coconut sugar (pumpkin and other orange vegetables vary in sweetness, you will have the chance to taste the filling and adjust so start with less)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional, for those who don't need it to be dairy free)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (preferably fresh grated)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, puree all pumpkin filling ingredients except the eggs. Taste and adjust sweetness and spices (remember, the caramel sauce will also add sweetness). Then incorporate the eggs.
  3. Carefully and confidently, hollow out the apples - slice them in half (from stem to bottom). WIth a knife, carve out the apple on each side leaving the core intact, then scoop out the core with a good spoon (I used a grapefruit spoon). Leave about ¼" of apple attached to the peel. Sprinkle each shell with a little lemon before moving on to the next step.
  4. Fill each shell with pumpkin filling and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until done.
  5. Serve warm with Easy-Peasy Caramel Sauce.

How to Make Nourishing Chicken Broth for Practically Free

How to make chicken broth for practically nothing. Nourishing Food doesn't have to be expensive!
Chicken broth is one of the most wonderful foods out there. It is full of flavor and incredibly nutritious! And it’s also very frugal to make, which is why it was one of the first things I mentioned in my 52 ways to save money on a healthy diet series. We actually save a lot of money when making soup based meals often because broth can be very frugal to make. Today, I want to show you an even more frugal method to making chicken broth!

As the contributing writers and I have been working on The Healthy $1 Menu series, we have struggled to put a price on homemade chicken broth – partly because we make it with slightly different methods, causing a fluctuation in price. One of my contributors choose to list hers as “free” because she follows a method which basically just uses food scraps! Broth is wonderfully adaptable, and this is one super-frugal way to make it.

I think that it is such a great method, that I thought I’d share how I make broth using scraps (you can also read my other method here). I’ve referenced this method before, but I thought it was worth showing step-by-step.

I basically have two freezer baggies, one for bones, and one for vegetable scraps. Whenever we do any type of bone-in-chicken (like these Lemon Garlic Drumsticks), we save the bones by placing them in the freezer bag and putting them in the freezer. When I am peeling carrots, have bits and pieces of leftover celery, onion,mushroom stems, etc, I put them in the second bag and also freeze it. When you have enough to make a pot of soup, you dump everything into the pot, add whatever herbs or other additions you want, and then cover with water, bring to a boil, and after a long simmer, they are done! Here are pictures of that process.

Making nourishing chicken broth for practically nothing out of scraps!… 

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Curried Lentils with Apples and Onions (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Curried Lentils with Apples and Onions - under $1 per serving!

By Lindsey Proctor, Contributing Writer

What’s your most favorite food in all the world? I always had such a hard time answering this question, until one day I was discussing it with a co-worker, and she rephrased the question this way – “When you’ve had a hard day, what’s the thing that you want to go home and eat? What’s your comfort food?” and I thought for a moment and answered “I do believe that would be curry.” I love the simplicity and ease of making it, the distinct spicy flavors, and the warmth that comes with it.

These curried lentils have all of those qualities – spicy, unique Indian flavors tempered with some creamy coconut milk, ease of preparation, and the ability to warm and comfort you on a chilly day, plus the added benefits of being quite nutritious! Dr. Weston Price considered lentils the most nutritious legume, and they are high in calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins.* They don’t have a lot of flavor on their own, which makes them great for dishes such as this because they take on the flavors of the other ingredients and seasonings you add to the dish. After a short soaking period to neutralize the phytic acid, (so plan ahead) lentils pack a lot of nutrition at little cost.

And little cost is what we’re looking for! When Kimi asked us to come up with a recipe for October that cost no more (or not much more!) than $1.00 per serving for the Healthy $1 Menu, my mind automatically went to the standard frugal staples  – beans and rice. I knew I needed something with lots of flavor and spices to take it from boring to interesting, and curry was a natural choice for me. The two apples sitting on the counter were a last-minute addition, and I’m glad I added them, because, along with the onions, they add good texture to the dish.

Here’s the cost breakdown for each ingredient, total ingredient cost, and the total cost per serving. All prices are taken from a nation-wide department store chain – the blue one. 😉

Lentils – 1 1/4 cups (8.5 oz) dry lentils = $0.60 ($1.12 / lb)

Jasmine Rice –  2 cups (14.4 oz) uncooked rice = $1.00 ($1.14 / lb)

Apples  – 1/2 lb (2 medium) apples = $0.75 ($1.50 / lb)

Onion – 1/2 lb (1 med-large) onion = $0.50 ($0.98 / lb)

Coconut Milk – 1 cup (a little over half a can) = $1.07 ($2.14 / 14 fl oz can) (or you can make your own for even less!)

Garam Masala Seasoning – 3 tsp = $0.70 ($2.30 / 1.7 oz jar)

Curry Powder – 1/2 tsp = $0.29 ($3.48 / 1 oz jar)

Ginger – I couldn’t come up with an estimate for this. I used about a teaspoon of fresh-grated ginger root and it didn’t even register on my gram scale. I do know the average price for ginger root is $3.00 – $4.oo per pound, and if you peel it and keep it in the freezer and grate some off as needed, like I do, it lasts through many, many meals.

Coconut Oil – 2 TB for sautéing – $0.50 ($6.98 / 14 oz jar)

Total Ingredient Cost = $5.41

This recipe makes 6 servings so the total cost per serving = $0.90

*Fallon, Sally Nourishing Traditions  pg. 507

Tip: Since this recipe only calls for half a can of coconut milk, why not double the amount of lentils, freeze both them and the coconut milk (in separate containers of course! :) ) and then you’ll have a head start the next time you want to make this dish!


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