Prep Time: 25MINUTES Cook Time: 7HOURS Total Time: 7HOURS25MINUTES
This crockpot crispy caramelized pork ramen noodle soup with curry roasted acorn squash is some real deal Ramen. The mixture of flavors and broth – oh my!! Ramen has always been one of my favorite things to eat and now it’s one that I love to make AND eat – YUM.
Growing up I pretty much lived on Ramen Noodle Soup. Especially during the cold fall and winter months. If you live in northeast Ohio, especially along the lake, like I used to, you know that those months can be brutal. Comforting soup is the best cure-all. The rain, the freezing rain, the snow, the ice, the bitter cold – with no sunshine for days.
Ramen, and maybe a roaring wood burning fire, can restore sanity. I would come home from school, boil the water, add the noodles + seasoning and cuddle up on the couch with a big blanket (if I was lucky, the fire was going too), my hot bowl of ramen and either a re-run episode of Gilmore Girls or 7th Heaven.
Ok, that was my ideal day. I cannot say how often that truly happened because I had five other brothers living in the house as well. Getting the TV all to myself meant that I was probably still in grade three, four or five because for some reason those grades got out at 2:45pm. The rest of the grades got out at 3:15 (middle school + high school) and 3:55 (lower elementary school). For the record, Kensington (my upper elementary school) was by far my favorite school, for the sole reason that while attending, I got out earlier than all my siblings. This meant that I had at least an hour alone with my mom after school. With five other siblings + my dad all fighting for her attention, this was obviously the best thing ever to me. It was rare that it was just us girls in the house so I always loved that time after school. Unless of course I had a boatload of homework. Then I was stressed to the max and HAD to get it done right-away (issues).
It’s probably clear I was a total freak. No denying it. I mean what kid does their homework literally right after school? I wouldn’t eat or do anything till it was all done. Mental issues? Yes, yes, yes, I had them and still do, but now they are in different forms…
I have not actually had Ramen Noodle Soup, with the seasoning pack and all, in years because my mom and I sadly found out (at way too young of an age) that Ramen was basically a bunch of processed junk that we did not want to be putting into our bodies. I still remember the day my aunt Alyssa called and broke the news that our beloved Ramen probably wasn’t the best thing to be eating. Daily. And yes, even as a kid I never wanted to eat junk food unless my mom made it from scratch, meaning all her cookies, cakes, K-bars and pies where fair game. I didn’t even like chips. See, total freak.
Last year I made this Thai peanut chicken ramen that I still love and make all the time with angel hair pasta, but this fall it was time for a new Ramen. And um, I have to say that I have totally upped my Ramen making game.
The caramelized pork does the trick. It’s pretty awesome, but I still think the egg… or maybe the curry roasted acorn squash (can’t decide) are my favorites. Together they honestly make the most perfect bowl of ramen.
Bonus, the pork gets cooked all day in the crockpot too. It’s the best way to make this because not only does it make dinner easy, but the pork gets cooked low and slow and creates an incredible broth. Seriously, the broth is out of this world good. There is a little work to do before dinner, you have to roast the acorn squash and get the pork all crispy + caramelized in the skillet, but I promise the extra efforts will be so worth it. You do not HAVE to make the pork all caramelized and crispy. It’s still going to be good if you don’t, but I highly recommend taking the extra ten minutes to do so. It takes the meal to a whole new level. Plus, it totally makes this a Bahn Mi Ramen Noodle Soup.
And the squash, well it’s the perfect fall topping to add to Ramen. I wouldn’t do it any other way. So good.
And those noodles, while nothing will ever compare to real deal Ramen noodles.
Add the pork to the bowl of a crockpot. Pour the chicken broth, 1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce (depending on your taste), 1/4 cup rice vinegar and fish sauce over the pork. Add the thai red curry paste, ginger, sambal oelek, juice of 1 lime, Chinese five spice powder, black pepper and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours (I recommend going low and slow).
About 40 minutes before you are ready to eat, roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, curry powder, miso, brown sugar and a good pinch of pepper. Add the cubed squash to a greased baking sheet and pour the curry mixture over the squash. Toss well. Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing a couple of times during cooking. You want the squash to be lightly browned and crisp.
Meanwhile, remove the pork from the crockpot and add the mushrooms. Cover the crockpot and crank the heat up to high. Lightly shred the pork with two forks or your hands.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil. Once hot, add enough pork to cover just the surface of your skillet, do not over crowd the skillet. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the pork, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, toss. Allow the pork to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir and allow the pork to continue to caramelize, about 3-5 minutes total. Remove the pork from the skillet, repeat with the remaining pork. Keep the pork warm.
Add the Ramen noodles to the crockpot and allow them to cook 5 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, stir in only half of the pork. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with extra caramelized pork, curry roasted acorn squash and an egg. Season the egg with salt and pepper, Add the carrots, jalapeños, green onions and cilantro if desired. Happy slurping!
Brussels sprouts are cooked with bacon, parmesan cheese and black garlic in a cast iron skillet. Before I came up with this recipe, my wife and children hated Brussels sprouts. If needed, sprinkle extra Parmesan cheese on top.
An orange bell pepper-carved and ready for Halloween-becomes an edible bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Cut the tops off the peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and membranes. Put the peppers and the tops in the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Plunge the peppers into the ice bath. Once cool, remove them and use a sharp knife to carve a jack-o-lantern face into one side of each pepper.
Return the water to a boil, add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain (don’t rinse the pasta).
Heat the half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Continue simmering until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Whisk in the Cheddar until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Off the heat, add the macaroni to the saucepan and stir to combine. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. Season with salt if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes, then divide the mac and cheese among the peppers and cap each with a pepper top.
This hasselback aubergine parmigiana is delicious twist on a classic Italian dish. Crisp aubergine slices are baked in a rich tomato sauce and sprinkled with parmesan.
Get more inspiration with our 20 best aubergine recipes, including a tasty aubergine and feta frittata.
1 large onion
5 tbsp olive oil
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsp tomato puree
500ml tomato passata
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp caster sugar
Large pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
2 large aubergines
50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 mozzarella ball
30g dried breadcrumbs
Small handful fresh basil
Heat the oven to 200°C fan/gas 7. Halve, peel and slice the onion. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 8-10 minutes to soften. Add the crushed garlic, then cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute more.
Pour in the passata, chopped tomatoes, 2 tsp of the dried oregano, caster sugar, a large pinch of chilli flakes (optional) and some salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly reduced. Pour the sauce into the baking dish.
Take the aubergines and make widthways cuts at 1cm intervals, three quarters of the way through, so the slices are still attached at the bottom. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil, getting into the cuts. Spoon a little tomato sauce into the cuts, along with 30g grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Arrange the aubergines in the baking dish on top of the sauce and bake for 30 minutes until the aubergines are slightly charred.
Cut the mozzarella ball into 6-8 pieces, then dot over the aubergines. In a small bowl, mix the dried breadcrumbs with 20g grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp dried oregano. Sprinkle over the aubergines and bake for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is golden and the aubergines are tender. Top with fresh basil and serve with crusty bread or a green salad.
NUTRITION: PER SERVING
48.5G (17.1G SATURATED)
47.4G (32G SUGARS)
You’ll also need a 2-3 litre capacity baking dish.
You can make the parmigiana up to 1 day ahead. Cool, then chill, covered. Reheat in a low oven for 30-40 minutes to serve.
Prep Time:15mins Cook Time:40mins Total Time: 55mins
WHAT IS CURRY POWDER?
Since curry powder is responsible for all of the seasoning in the bowls, let’s take a minute to chat about it. If you’ve never had curry powder, it’s a warm blend of spices that are pre-ground and blended to mimic the fresh spices used in Indian cuisine. This blend usually includes cumin, turmeric, coriander, and other spices. Every curry powder blend is unique, so you may need to experiment with different brands or recipes to find one that suits your palate. If you’d like to try making your own curry powder, try this recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Upp.
ADD MORE TO YOUR CURRY ROASTED VEGETABLE BOWLS
I kept my curry roasted vegetable bowls simple because I like simplicity, but you can add more to make them a little more fancy, if you’d like. I think a light sprinkle of raisins would add an incredible pop of sweetness to contrast the savory curry powder and tahini dressing.
Slivered almonds would offer an amazing crunch to these bowls without competing with the already strong flavors.
If you want to add some meat, rotisserie chicken would be great, as would some Yogurt Marinated Chicken.
SWAP OUT THE VEGETABLES OR GRAINS
This recipe is super flexible. You can swap out the vegetables for anything you like. Try broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, sweet bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, or whatever vegetable you like.
The same goes for the “bed” for these bowls. If you don’t like brown rice you can swap it out with white rice, couscous, quinoa, your favorite grain, or even salad greens.
HOW LONG DO THE LEFTOVERS LAST?
Simple bowl meals like this hold up in the refrigerator for about four days, with the dressing kept on the side. Your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and the conditions within your fridge. I’ll link my favorite meal prep containers for meals like this in the recipe below.
1cuplong grain brown rice (uncooked)($0.40)
LEMON TAHINI DRESSING
1/2tsp ground cumin($0.05)
Begin the rice first because it takes the longest to cook. Combine the uncooked rice in a pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat onto high, and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for an additional five minutes.
Once the rice is started, move on to the curry roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice the carrots. Slice the red onion into ¼-inch wide slices.
Place the cauliflower, carrots, and red onion on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the curry powder and salt. Toss the vegetables until everything is evenly coated in oil and spices. Spread the vegetables out over the baking sheet in a single layer.
Transfer the seasoned vegetables to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes give them a good stir, then roast for another 15 minutes. Next, add the frozen peas and toss together with the roasted vegetables, then return the baking sheet to the oven for the an additional 5 minutes. Taste the vegetables and add additional salt, if needed.
While the rice is simmering and the vegetables are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Place the tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a blender then blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
When the rice has finished cooking, fluff with a fork. Place about ¾ cup rice into each bowl or meal prep container. Top with ¼ of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing just before serving.
A simple French Potato Salad with fresh herbs – tarragon, parsley and chives, with a flavorful Dijon Vinaigrette. Healthy, vegan and light with no mayo!
Savory, quick, and easy, this French Potato Salad is simple to make, yet deeply satisfying. It pairs well with so many things and is perfect for gatherings and potlucks.
It highlights fresh colorful potatoes that are abundant right now at local farmers’ markets- so many fun varieties to choose from!
Here we’ve used purple fingerlings, German butterball, red potatoes, and Yukon golds.Play around with different varieties for diverse flavor, shape, and color. Thin-skinned potatoes work best here.
Fresh herbs like tarragon, parsley, and chives enhance the flavors making it taste quite magical. Tarragon adds a unique complexity to the salad, and is a classic ingredient in true French Potato Salad – but if you wish, you can substitute different tender herbs like dill or basil.
The flavors are more intense warm or at room temperature but still quite good served chilled.
A perfect end-of-summer salad or side dish!
Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
‘Cover with water and add the salt.
Add whole garlic cloves to the simmering water.
While the potatoes simmer and soften (about 5 minutes) make the Dijon Vinaigrette and chop the fresh herbs.
Drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.
Then gently toss the potatoes in a bowl with the flavorful Dijon dressing and the fresh herbs.
Serve immediately or at room temperature, or feel free to chill it! It will keep for 4 days in the fridge.
We know you will enjoy the fresh flavors of this French Potato Salad and won’t miss the mayo one bit! Pair it with all your grilling this holiday weekend and please let us know what you think in the comments below.
Have a beautiful weekend!
2 pounds fresh potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick (little, thin-skinned potatoes work best here)
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
¼ cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, roughly chopped (or sub 1/4 cup dill or basil ribbons)
2 tablespoons fresh chives (or sub green onions), minced
Boil the Potatoes: Place the sliced potatoes in a large saucepan cover completely with cold water.Sprinkle in salt and bring to a boil.Add the 2 cloves of garlic, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.
Make the Vinaigrette: While potatoes are simmering, make the vinaigrette by whisking together dijon, oil, vinegar and pepper in a small bowl.Set aside.
Assemble: Drain potatoes and garlic.Place potatoes mostly single layer on a baking sheet to cool.Mince the cooked garlic and add to the vinaigrette.Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly over the warm potatoes.Let sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
Serve: Add to a serving bowl gently tossing with the chopped fresh herbs. Serve at room temp or refrigerate and chill.