Cheap Recipe: Two-Way Baked Ramen Casserole

19 Nov

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Eat this sliced as a dinner omelet, or use it as filling in a delicious lettuce wrap!

A lot of people think of Ramen noodles simply as a cheap alternative to eating a real meal. I prefer to think of them as a helpful, inexpensive ingredient for making a larger, more wholesome recipe.

This meal, based on a variation of an Asian omelet I saw in Taste of Home’s Dinner on a Dime, turned out to be perfect served not only as a baked casserole in slices but also a clever and surprisingly delicious filling for some giant Boston

Eggs & egg whites.

lettuce leaves I found on sale last week at the store. Hence, Two-Way Ramen!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, whisk 3 whole eggs with 6 additional egg whites. Beat in 1 teaspoon cooking oil and 1 teaspoon sugar to egg mixture. Set aside.

Ah, Ramen. Is there anything it can't do?

In a medium or large saucepan, boil enough water to cook 2 packages of Ramen noodles (mushroom or chicken flavored). While preparing noodles, heat a skillet with 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil and about 1 teaspoon soy sauce.

Saute celery, mushrooms & 2 of the green onions in oil and soy sauce.

Dice 2 celery ribs and 3 green onions, setting 1/3 of the chopped green onions to the side for topping later.

Saute the remaining chopped vegetables in the oiled skillet along with an 8-ounce package of sliced, fresh mushrooms (I just used the white cheap kind; you could also use two drained cans of mushrooms instead if the ones in the produce section are pricey).

Use only 1 of the 2 Ramen seasoning packets.

To the skillet vegetables, stir in 1 teaspoon powdered ginger and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. (Of course, you can always substitute fresh garlic and ginger if you have them on hand.)

Mix vegetables and egg mixture into the noodles over medium heat.

Saute until celery is tender and mushrooms begin to darken a little; remove from heat.

Meanwhile, drain the cooked Ramen noodles and then stir in ONE of the two Ramen flavor packets, discarding the other. Add the contents of the skillet to the saucepan of noodles and mix well.

Top the casserole with remaining chopped green onion and ground cinnamon. Yum!

Slowly incorporate the liquid egg mixture into the saucepan, stirring well. Replace saucepan over MEDIUM burner heat for a couple of minutes, until the liquid egg around the mixture begins to form tiny bubbles.

Fresh from the oven!

Immediately transfer the mixture to a sprayed 8×8 glass baking dish. Top with the reserved chopped green onions and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Bake approximately 15 minutes, or until top begins to brown and all egg is discernably cooked.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely if serving as a sliced casserole, or else use a spaghetti spoon to dish up immediately into Boston lettuce wraps (while casserole is still very warm and

And that's a wrap!

 unsolidified). If serving as lettuce wraps, garnish with large wedges of sliced red bell pepper for a fresh and delicious combination of textures and flavors.

I’m really looking forward to working this meal into the regular lineup from now on. Hubby, who watched with great skepticism when he first saw Ramen noodles, cinnamon and lettuce all going into the same dish, wound up stuffing himself full on the finished lettuce wraps!

I’d also love to experiment with bean sprouts and water chestnuts as well–I think they’d be delicious thrown in the mix! This is truly a winning recipe, and so creative and attractive, too. Guests won’t believe their taste buds, and you won’t believe your wallet savings!

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