Random Ingredient Ramen

May 2020

Contributed By Lauren Rowsey

Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)

• 1 package instant ramen (or real ramen noodles if you are fancy)

• 2 cups (ish… alter if you want more or less ramen) mushroom or vegetable broth

• 1 tbsp basil pesto (if you have fresh basil, chop and use some!)

• 1 tbsp chili paste (this adds a lot of good flavor – and heat! – if you are not a spicy fan, use less or sub out for a bit of cayenne pepper)

• 1 tbsp minced garlic

• ¼ cup soy sauce

• 1 cup cubed tofu

• 1 or 2 eggs (fried, soft or hard boiled, whatever your fancy!)

• 2 spiralized zucchini

• ½ cup chopped bell pepper

• ½ cup chopped red onion

• ½ cup chopped mushrooms

• 1 tsp curry powder

• 1 tsp turmeric

• Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop vegetables and tofu and spiralize zucchini
  2. In large saucepan (needs to be 1-2 inches deep and make sure it has a wide bottom) over medium-high heat, heat a tbsp of oil and add in vegetables
  3. Once the veggies have cooked down a bit, add in garlic, tofu, and seasoning. Note, I season as I go so you may want to add half in the beginning and half as you add things to the pan
  4. While your veggies and tofu are cooking, whip up your Mr. Noodles (or equivalent) according to package instructions. If you are using real ramen noodles, you are a better chef than I, and I cannot help you there ;)
  5. Now would also be a good time to start boiling your eggs – if you are frying them, wait a bit longer
  6. Lower the heat and add in your zucchini. Depending on texture preference, cook them for about 2 min – less cook time means they will maintain a bit of crunch rather than blending into mush
  7. Now you will mix in your pesto, chili paste, broth and soy sauce
  8. Let that simmer down and get well mixed together, then add your instant ramen
  9. Once you’ve mixed your ramen concoction together, taste your broth. Does it need more heat? More soy sauce? More broth? Wing it and make it work for you!
  10. Top your ramen with your eggs in a bowl and voila!

I thought making ramen at home would be super difficult and was a bit intimidated to try. I had a pack of instant noodles but wanted to make a meal for two without making a trip to the grocery (stay home, stay safe folks). What I had in my fridge to beef it up (without the beef #vegetarian LOL), was a pepper going off, half a red onion kicking around, and luckily a ton of mushrooms. The mushroom broth adds a bit more umami flavor, but vegetable broth would work just as well. The big winner for me here is the chili paste – this stuff is gold. I picked it up from the Asian market uptown and boy oh boy does it pack a punch. This assortment led to what we have here… the best random ingredient ramen! I was shocked at how good it turned out. 

I hope y’all can get equally as creative and throw together a delicious dinner! 

(Yes y'all, Lauren is from Texas!)

Chickpea Smash Sandwich

April 2020

Contributed By Lauren Rowsey

Ingredients (makes 4-5 sandwiches)

• 2 cans chickpeas (bonus – save the liquid from the can for an egg white substitute in future baking / at home whisky sour)

• 2 dollops Greek yogurt

• ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

• 1 tsp basil pesto

• 1 tsp minced garlic

• 1 avocado

• Spinach

• Cucumber

• Pickled beets

• Pepper

• Paprika

• Bread slices of choice

• Hot sauce of choice (optional)


  1. Drain cans of chickpeas and rinse until water runs clear
  2. In large mixing bowl, mash chickpeas until desired consistency (I don’t mind a couple of whole chickpeas kicking around)
  3. Add in the avocado and mash/mix until well incorporated
  4. Add the Greek yogurt, pesto, garlic, and seasoning to your chickpea/avo mash and mix in until all ingredients are well incorporated
  5. Mix in feta cheese
  6. Toast bread slices
  7. Slice cucumbers
  8. Add healthy layer of chickpea mash to one slice, followed by sliced cucumbers, a few spoonfuls of pickled beets, and a handful of spinach
  9. Smash the top slice onto your delicious creation and enjoy!
  10. Save leftover chickpea mash in fridge for future sandwiches

This is one of the easiest and most flavorful sandwiches I’ve ever had! There is a lot of room for creative liberty, which is one of my favorite parts. If you don’t have certain ingredients, swap out for whatever is laying around! I think the most important aspects of this recipe are the tanginess of the Greek yogurt (could also use sour cream), creaminess of the avocado, and crunch of the cucumbers. If you’re lacking cucumbers (or forgot about them in the back of the fridge and yours have most definitely lost their crunch… not speaking from experience or anything), then the spinach certainly does the job. Not pictured in all photos are the pickled beets. These were a game changer in the best way, if you like pickled beets of course. Tomato slices would also go great on this sandwich.

If you haven’t guessed yet, really anything goes here. As most of us are staying home and not making many trips to the grocery, you may be limited on ingredients. Hopefully this recipe inspires you to get creative and whip up a healthy and delicious meal.