So. In the sake of full transparency, it took me more like 30 minutes (because, kids). At any rate, this is a quick meal that does not disappoint! It’s easy to prepare, full of flavor, nutrient dense, and looks fancy. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you could even entertain with this bad boy over the holidays.
15 Minute Butternut Squash Ramen Bowl
(you can EASILY adapt by way of simple math to
accommodate the four solid food eaters in our crew)
1 cup veggie stock (pre-made or store-bought is fine)
1.5 cups butternut squash soup, without a nut or dairy base (I used Pacific Brand)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1 strand of thick rice noodles (about the size of the circle between your index finger & thumb)
1/4 cup medium soft tofu, rinsed and cubed (or Chicken, like leftover rotisserie chicken perhaps)
1 scallion, sliced diagonally, greens only
1/4 tsp Sambal Oelek (or sub Siracha)
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 handful fresh pea shoots (or sliced fresh spinach in a pinch)
Black sesame seeds for garnish (I skipped this just to simplify)
Start by combining the soup and the broth in a medium pot, and stir to mix well. Add the salt & soy sauce and heat gently until bubbling and hot (to a light boil), about 3-4 minutes.
While the broth is heating up, cube the fresh tofu into one-inch pieces or a little smaller, as per your preference. Slice the green onion, and wash and trim the pea shoots, removing the tough stems as they can be tough to digest and chew. Take the strand of dry rice noodles (about a finger round or golf ball diameter), and with your hands, snap them in half to shorten to noodle strands, and place them in a generously sized serving bowl of your choice*.
When the broth has reached a bubbling boil, remove it from the heat and pour all of it over the rice noodles directly into the serving bowl. Using a fork and a quick, firm hand, push any errant noodle strands under the broth to submerge any loose pieces. Cover the bowl immediately with a small plate, and set your timer for 6 minutes*.
*Since I quadrupled this recipe I used 3/4 box of noodles, and once the broth came to a light boil, I removed from heat and added the noodles directly into the pot. I covered and waited for the 6 minutes.
When the 6 minutes is up, remove the plate from the bowl and stir the noodles to break them up a little. To serve, push the noodles over to the side a little, making room for the tofu, scallions & pea shoots which can be arranged directly into the broth as you like. Place a little Sambal Oelek in the center of the bowl, and finish by pouring the toasted sesame oil into the bowl along with the black sesame seeds to garnish.
Adapted Kid bowl:
My girls ended up eating the soup broth, with noodles and leftover rotisserie chicken, and a side of green beans.
Tip: when presenting new meals like this to your kids, it’s best to serve alongside a tried and true favorite (the green beans and chicken in our case). Even if you don’t’ think they will go for it, serve them what the rest of the table is eating, but providing them an option you know they will like also. Often they will surprise you! And sometimes they won’t – I did have one that didn’t go for this (I served her leftovers when I was done eating). A child may have to try a new food 10-15 times before going for it! I will serve this again, as it was a hit with everyone else.
Oh, in case you missed it, here are some of my other healthy recipes full of hearty Autumn Flavor.
this link takes you to Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:: 5 Ways!
and this link takes you to Autumn Overnight Oats
Now go forth, drink all the pumpkin spice (or seasonal brews), and do the fall things – y’all! 😉