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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ramen And A 40 - Trader Joe's Rice Noodle Bowl

I am known by my friends as someone who HATES spending a lot of money on food. I also don’t like cooking, because I’m impatient and when I’m hungry I’m hungry NOW and I don’t want to have to stare at food for 45 minutes while I’m making it. My favorite food is food that is tasty and yet can be made in five minutes or less. Today’s dish beats that requirement by about two minutes.

What I’m talking about is Trader Joe’s Garlic Rice Noodle Soup Bowl. This little beauty costs only 99 cents at Trader Joe’s market, which is the main place I get most of my food these days. It also comes in Spring Onion and Mushroom flavors, but I don’t like those as much. Basically this soup consists of exactly one cup of rice noodles packaged in a plastic bowl that comes with three little packets. One packet has dried green onions in it, another has some kind of funky orange colored oil, and the largest packet has powdered garlic seasoning in it. What you do is crack open the sealed top of the plastic bowl, empty the three packets into it, and fill it to just below the brim with boiling water. Let it sit for three minutes and it’s done! The instructions say you can microwave it but that never works well for me because you have to let it sit for an extra minute if you want the noodles to soften up. Luckily, at my work they have one of those water coolers that dispenses hot water that is exactly the proper temperature to cook this soup in a little less than three minutes.

I eat these at work every day, and I have yet to get sick of them. It’s nice because I’m saving up for tour right now and I only end up spending $4.00 for an entire week of lunches. This dumb tiny bowl does not look like it would fill you up, but rice noodles are surprisingly filling. The only drawback I can see is that this tiny bowl of soup has over 1300mg of sodium, which is over half of the recommended US RDA, but I don’t care because I love salty things! On the plus side though, it's gluten-free and Vegan, and it only has 260 calories and 4 grams of fat, which is important if you’re over 40 and in constant danger of your beer gut getting out of control. I wouldn’t know anyone like that though.

I love this soup bowl because it is intensely garlicky (which I love) and it keeps me from starving without making me feel over full. Plus it goes great with a tallboy of PBR occasionally (no I don’t have those at work, but I would if I could). For some reason PBR+extra salty things = YUM FTW! I plan on taking some of these soups on tour and pairing it with some PBR tallboys as an alternative to crappy gas station cuisine. What’s nice is that most gas stations have a hot water dispenser on their coffee makers that you can usually mooch from for this sort of thing. Also, the noodles get so soft that you can basically drink this soup straight from the bowl if there are no utensils around. Totally Punk Rock food! I love noodles!!
How much do YOU love noodles?

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