Ramen’s a good basic quick-cooking starch. If you leave out the often-overly-salted flavor packets, or use just one packet for two bricks of the noodles, you have noodles which go well with many different toppings. Also, adding vegetables and maybe some leftover cooked meat isn’t that expensive… and NO ONE, no matter how poor, can live for long on ramen without additives! (Two words: dietary deficiencies!)
I use a packet of the ramen flavoring per pot of rice, instead of using butter, cooking the rice in chicken broth, or whatever.
Planters in front of several public buildings in our town include kale. If you forage from planters, wash the leaves VERY well!
Onions are cheap and can improve many foods.
If you can afford packaged food like ramen, un-processed food (rice, veggies, beans) are actually a LOT cheaper per meal. You just have to learn to cook ‘em. It helps if you cook more than one meal’s worth at once, especially for rice and beans. Then you can add them to later meals (add rice to soup & it becomes a meal). A lot of the stuff in this article is expensive to add… but dietary-deficiency diseases are expensive too. At least add some greens to your ramen!
In a quart saucepan (preferably non-stick) saute’ 1/2 an onion (chopped) in either sesame oil, cocoanut oil, or olive oil. Add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of your favorite curry paste. Once the onions are starting to turn translucent, start adding handfuls of kale, stirring frequently. Once you’ve added at least three handfuls of kale (enough to nearly fill the pot, which then saute’s down small, repeat three times), you should have a mix of green and onion in your curry-&-oil. Crunch up the noodles in your ramen packet, and add them to the mix with just enough water to reconstitute the noodles (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup), and mix while the noodles soften. If you have other leftovers (cooked chicken, pork, or beef, or veggies), add them now.
Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and a handful of raisins.