You may know them as Ramen noodles or you may refer to them as Mister. Mr Noodles, that is. Either way most of us have eaten tonnes of these crinkly noodles in our lifetimes since they are a staple in the lives of poor university students. Whether we didn't have time to food shop because we were studying so very hard (um, sure) or we were just plain broke (that's more like it) these little packages of slurpy, squiggly goodness are a common occurrence in any campus housing.
I still vividly remember sucking back packages of these little guys while chatting with my friends. While I don't think I've eaten any since I graduated, this recipe gave me the opportunity to eat them in a different way. Yes, we're eating Ramen noodles in a more mature way by pairing them with a healthy (and rather large) dose of broccoli slaw instead of merely a can of Diet Coke like we did back in the day.
I came across this dish a few weeks ago at a family function that my parents hosted at their cottage. When I say 'family function' I mean we had a whole whack load of people over. With our family we always have a 'Go big or go home' mentality! We had my Mom's favourite cousin Steve, his wife Jeannie, their two daughters and 4 grandkids ... plus my sisters, brothers-in-law, our 10 kids and 3 dogs. What can I say, we're a bunch of breeders! With all those people you'd think it would be utter chaos and madness but it was a great time with lots of laughs. Nothing like reconnecting with the extended family! We come from good stock.
Anyway, one of the dishes that Jeannie brought was this amazing salad. Now, I've eated broccoli slaw before and it was just ok. I didn't, quite frankly, understand what the big to-do was all about regarding julienned broccoli stalks. It's just broccoli in a different shape, people! Nothing to write home about -- just kind of blaw. Who likes blaw slaw? No one, that's who. And then I ate Jeannie's salad and saw the flaw in my view of blaw broccoli slaw.
Jeannie's dressing as well as the additions of all the delicious fixin's took the salad up another notch on the flavour scale. So much so that my 3 year old nephew and 5 year old niece had PILES of it on their plates which they quickly went to work on and finished. Unheard of! Needless to say there was no leftovers of this salad after our families got into it. That's a good dish in my book.
So if you want to infuse a little bit of sass into your broccoli slaw give this salad a try. Perfect for a weekend BBQ or an easy side for a delicious picnic lunch on the beach!
1 (900g) bag of broccoli slaw (I used all but about 2 cups of the slaw)
1 1/2 cups Craisins
1 cup sunflower seeds (see note below for peanut-free options)
1 cup toasted almonds, sliced (see note below for peanut-free options)
1 1/2 cups green onions, chopped
2 Ramen Noodle/Mr Noodle (beef flavour) packages
3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 cup pure Maple syrup (Aunt Jemima does not belong in this salad!)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 packets of the Ramen noodle seasoning
salt and pepper - to taste
Place broccoli slaw, Craisins, sunflower seeds, almonds and green onions into a large bowl.
Remove seasoning packets from each of the Ramen Noodle packages. Place noodles into a large Ziploc bag and crush them with either your hand (if you're buff like me) or a rolling pin. Set aside to use as a garnish.
Prepare dressing: combine all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well.
Pour dressing over broccoli slaw approximately 2 hours before you will be serving the salad in order for the flavours to blend. Just before serving sprinkle the crushed Ramen noodles over the top of the salad and toss.
Note for those of you who have a peanut allergic person in your families:
Finding safe options for sunflower seeds or tree nuts that haven't been cross-contaminated with peanuts can be very difficult. I suggest looking into the Spitz brand sunflower seeds and the Blue Diamond Almonds. Here in Canada they are the only peanut-free option we have (that I know of). If anyone knows of other options PLEASE let me know. :)
Note: You can easily half this recipe if you aren't feeding a tonne of people or double it if you have a family that rivals the Duggars.
I've linked this recipe to the following parties: