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Noodles & Company Expands to the Northeast

Noodles & Company Expands to the Northeast

Hartford, Connecticut, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, locations first to open, with dozens more planned

Noodles & Company, a quick-service noodle restaurant with more than 300 locations in the U.S., is expanding into the New York metro area. The restaurant chain has teamed with Mascott Corporation to open its first New York metro area restaurant in East Brunswick, N.J., in early 2013.

Noodles & Company serves customizable noodle dishes along with sandwiches, soups, and salads, all priced around $8. The New Jersey location is part of Noodles & Company’s plans to expand into new territories. Noodles & Company opened its first Northeast location, in Hartford, Conn., on Oct. 3. Future locations are planned for Boston and Long Island, N.Y.


Quick, easy and cheesy. You’ll love this simple, delicious recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 3 packages of Maruchan Creamy Chicken Flavor Ramen
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 parsley, chopped

Instructions

Cook Noodles

Boil the Maruchan Creamy Chicken Ramen noodles for 3 minutes in 6 cups of water. Remove from heat and add flavor packets.

Drain & Toss Noodles

Drain noodles (save broth) and toss in olive oil.

Cook Garlic

Melt butter over medium heat in a pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add Noodles

Add noodles, parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the ramen broth to pan.

Garnish & Serve

Divide into bowls and top with parsley and parmesan cheese.

Cook Noodles

Boil the Maruchan Creamy Chicken Ramen noodles for 3 minutes in 6 cups of water. Remove from heat and add flavor packets.

Drain & Toss Noodles

Drain noodles (save broth) and toss in olive oil.

Cook Garlic

Melt butter over medium heat in a pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add Noodles

Add noodles, parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the ramen broth to pan.

Garnish & Serve

Divide into bowls and top with parsley and parmesan cheese.

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An Appetizer of Days Past

In the restaurants I worked in, the Chinese crispy noodles were freshly fried every few days. We served them as a free appetizer and with soups, as well as chow mein and chop suey dishes.

Fewer restaurants these days offer these freshly deep fried noodles, and they are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Over the years, I’ve learned from friends living in other parts of the country that while these crispy fried noodles may have been popular in the Northeast, they were a rare sight in American Chinese restaurants elsewhere.

You may recognize them as something similar to the crispy noodles in Asian-inspired American salads, i.e. as something of a crouton replacement. You may also be familiar with pre-packaged La Choy chow mein noodles.

That said, once you make these at home, I don’t think you’ll ever go back to store-bought!


How to Make Healthier Alternatives to Ultra-Processed Foods

You’ve heard the fuss over processed foods (they can have various negative health consequences, including suppressing your immune system)—but do you know what ultra-processed foods are? First off, know that there are different levels of processing when it comes to the things we eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables appear in stores in basically their natural form. Things like milled oats and canned or frozen vegetables are minimally processed and are still pretty nutritious.

Ultra-processed foods are exactly why they sound like. “Think products like boxed cake mixes, instant noodles, and chicken nuggets,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition. “These usually have a long ingredient list with additives and preservatives.”

Healthier Choices Here's How to Read and Understand a Nutrition Label If you’re like me, you rarely leave the house without a snack in some kind of plastic wrapper tucked away in a coat pocket or squished at the bottom of your bag. The unfortunate reality is that many of these snacks contain a bunch of added preservatives and opaque ingredients. They kind of need to, in order to stay “fresh” in their wrappers and boxes for so long. Obviously, these aren’t so great for your long-term health either.

In a recent study published in the medical journal JAMA, researchers in France tracked the diets and lifestyles of around 44,000 adults (age 45 and up). They found that eating a lot of ultra-processed foods was linked to a higher risk of death. Though more studies are still needed, their results echoed many previous studies that linked elements of ultra-processed foods—with ingredients like added sugars, saturated fats, and high amounts of sodium—to negative outcomes like diabetes and heart disease.

“It also makes it hard to have room in your diet to include foods that offer nutritional benefits,” Gorin adds, “such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.”

Does the thought of giving up your pita chips make you want to cry? Me too.

Many ultra-processed foods, though, have healthier versions that can be made at home, meaning that you control the ingredients that go into them (and your body).

DIY: Frozen Meals

Let’s start with frozen meals, one of the most convenient and time-saving options out there. Is it convenient to pop a TV dinner into the microwave and sit down to eat a mere three minutes later? Yes. The problem is that a lot of these options—even the ones that claim to be “healthy”—are ultra-processed and have a ton of sodium, saturated fat, and preservatives (not to mention excessive calories).

The reality is one afternoon of meal prep can make it so you never have to eat frozen Lean Cuisines again. Dishes like burritos, curries, and soups are easy to make in batches and freeze in reusable containers or plastic bags.

Try one of these ten Chowhound-approved burrito recipes, complete with tips for freezing. Or one of these cozy meals that freeze well, ranging from lentil soup to cauliflower curry and Swedish meatballs. They heat up just as quickly as a TV dinner would in the microwave. Just make sure that you’re thoroughly cooking meats before freezing, and don’t over-pack containers since the water in them will expand.

If it’s frozen pizza that you crave, pull yourself away to the produce aisle and stock up on the main ingredient in our Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe. Once you bake it, you can pop it in the freezer for up to two months (either fully topped or naked if you want to pick your sauce and add-ons at the last minute).

DIY: Instant Ramen

Another surprisingly fun and easy food to DIY is instant ramen, one of the top ultra-processed offenders. All it takes is a few mason jars, rice noodles or pre-cooked noodles, your favorite broth base, and toppings of your choice.

Vegetables like spinach and bean sprouts that can be eaten raw work best. Add hot water, wait a few minutes, and you’ve got instant noodles without all of the mystery additives. Get the Homemade Instant Ramen recipe.

Ball Glass Mason Jars, 12 for $8.98 at Walmart

DIY: Snacks

Now that meals are out of the way, let’s talk snacks. Though some granola and energy bars might be marketed as healthy, many of them have added sugar and artificial flavorings.

Thankfully, it basically takes the same amount of time to make granola bars from scratch as it does to buy a box from the grocery store, especially since most of the ingredients are pantry staples like oats and dried fruits or nuts. Simply mix the oats with a nut butter and sweetener like honey, dates, or maple syrup to bind, then fold in your favorite toppings. Lots of recipes are also no-bake, making them as quick to prep as a bowl of oatmeal.

If you’re more of a savory-snacks person, there are also plenty of make-at-home options for you. Swap out that bag of store-bought chips for homemade ones, which are as easy as slicing up your favorite vegetables and baking them. If you have a food processor, you can whip up your own version of goldfish with just five ingredients.

Homemade popcorn is one of the best-kept secrets of the snack world. Though it’s generally healthier than chips because it’s full of fiber, the added sodium and artificial butter flavoring found in many microwaveable packets cancels that right out. Instead, just pour a bunch of kernels into a paper bag and microwave. Voila—fresh, unprocessed microwave popcorn. Add some spices like cinnamon and butter or chili powder and a squeeze of lime.

DIY: Desserts

Last on our list (but first in our hearts): desserts. Admittedly, many homemade versions of things like Oreos, Pop-Tarts, and snack cakes are more time-intensive than simply buying them off the shelf. But wow, do they taste good. You can also control aspects like the amount of sugar or the type of flour. Try this homemade version of Oreos with an uncannily familiar filling, or swap out the fondant for your favorite flavor of buttercream.

If you’ve never tried to make your own pop-tarts, recipes like this one will blow your mind. Basically, it’s like making giant raviolis out of pie crust and filling. Just roll out your pie dough of choice, divvy up some filling like jam or brown sugar and cinnamon, and seal. They won’t last as long as the store-bought version, but then again, they likely won’t last long out of the oven anyway.

Choosing Products at the Store

Related Content These Feel-Good Snacks Are Eco-Friendly and Delicious If you’re just too pressed for time or energy to DIY some of these items, don’t worry—there are minimally processed options for premade snacks, foods, and even meals that you can find in the grocery store. In general, when checking out your options, make sure to look at the ingredients list.

“A processed food will be one that is closer to its original form,” says Gorin, “such as canned vegetables, frozen fruit, roasted nuts, or a bar with just a few ingredients and no preservatives.”

Dried fruit is a ready snack option, as are hummus and vegetables. Look for dark chocolate bars with high cocoa content to help curb your sweet tooth. Lots of grocery stores also have freshly prepared food like rotisserie chicken, which can help you save time when cooking.

If you’re really craving ice cream or chips or your favorite snack once in awhile, Gorin adds, just go for it. As long as they’re eaten in moderation, they don’t have to completely disappear from your life.


Chef's Notes:

Apparently, one of their "secret&rdquo ingredients is Maggi® Seasoning Sauce, which I decided not to use, since I'm not sure how easy it is for the average person to find. Besides, I think my assortment of savory, umami-rich substitutes did the job quite nicely, and everything in the ingredient list can be found at any large grocery store.

Virtually any noodle will shine in this, but I quite like good old spaghetti. Good options include Chinese egg noodles and ramen.


24 High-Protein Breakfast Recipes to Power Your Day

Asian Noodle Summertime Salad

This refreshing recipe comes from Noshing With the Nolands. Grab a slaw mix from the grocery store, whip up a simple homemade dressing (swap the canola oil for coconut oil) and add your cold shirataki noodles. Skip the honey or add a liquid alternative sweetener if you’re keeping keto, and you may want to swap the rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar if it doesn’t fit in your macros.

If nightshades are no-go, use zucchini instead of bell peppers. While the original recipe calls for tofu shirataki noodles, shirataki made from white yam is a perfect substitute.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Shirataki Fettuccine Bowl

If it’s ever too hot to cook, this shirataki fettuccine noodle bowl from Miracle Noodle is the perfect simple meal. Steamed veggies, steamed sweet potato and chicken come together quickly and easily.

Note: “Dry roasting” the shirataki noodles in a pan is the best way to prepare it for this recipe.

Chilean Sea Bass With Lemon Basil Cream Sauce Over Shirataki

Since the Chilean sea bass in this recipe from Miracle Noodle can be high in mercury, swap it out for seafood like wild trout or salmon if you’re concerned about your mercury intake.

Try coconut cream instead of heavy cream for this shirataki noodle recipe if you don’t tolerate dairy, and adjust the black pepper for taste. We recommend using high-quality, whole peppercorns and grinding them yourself.


Introducing Keto Wheat Flour

If you’re following a keto diet, baking isn’t exactly easy. Sticking to the low-carb guidelines of the diet means that most traditional baked goods aren’t within reach. But does that mean keto baking is impossible?

Not anymore! We want everyone to enjoy baking (and eating), so our Innovation Team recently went to work developing a keto-friendly, low-carb flour that would bake like regular all-purpose flour. It took a lot of time, research, testing, and baking to get there, but we’re pleased to share a product that finally makes keto and low-carb baking easy: Keto Wheat Flour.

What is Keto Wheat Flour?

Keto Wheat Flour might sound like an oxymoron, but it actually exists! The key is that this flour is low in carbs and high in fiber so while many people on a keto diet don’t eat wheat because of the high carb content, it’s entirely possible to eat wheat-based products as long as the net carb total remains low.

Photo by Rick Holbrook

This flour also ranks low on the glycemic index, with an average value of 31. (For reference, foods with a glycemic index value less than 55 are considered to be low-glycemic index foods.) It also has a low glycemic load, at just 1 per serving. Similar to glycemic index values, glycemic load is useful for helping people identify which types and amounts of foods will produce relatively lower blood glucose responses after consumption. Glycemic load values of 10 or less are considered low.

Here’s why we’re excited about Keto Wheat Flour:

  • It has just 4g net carbs per serving.
  • Its total net carbs are 80% less than that of all-purpose wheat flour.
  • It can be used as a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour, making it incredibly easy to use for baking.
  • It contains no almond or coconut flour.
  • Because it’s wheat-based, it can emulate the flavors and textures of conventional wheat-flour baking.

Baking keto

Traditionally, keto baking relies on alternative flours like almond flour or coconut flour to keep recipes low-carb. And while they certainly enable some fantastic baking (have you tried Keto-Friendly Parmesan-Chive Muffins yet?), the only problem is that neither of these flours works well in yeast bread.

This Keto-Friendly Bread has the soft texture and wheat-y aroma you'd expect from traditional bread loaves. (Photo by Rick Holbrook)

We believe wholeheartedly in the power of bread — keto or otherwise — so one of our primary goals in developing this product was creating a flour that would work well in yeast recipes. Because the Keto Wheat Flour formula contains wheat, and thus gluten, it yields a strong, elastic dough and bread with a soft, tender texture similar to what you’d expect from a traditional loaf.

And bonus: it also has that classic wheat-y smell that’s oh-so-familiar in bread.

The flour also performs well in non-yeast recipes like muffins, cookies, brownies, cakes, and more, making all kinds of keto-friendly baking possible.

How to use Keto Wheat Flour

Keto Wheat Flour can be swapped 1:1 for all-purpose flour in a recipe by volume or weight. Seriously!

You can sub the flour with no additional changes in all cases and get good results, but if you want to take your baking a step further, we have a few tips to maximize success:

  • For biscuits with a softer, more tender texture, increase the liquid called for in the recipe by 25%.
  • For yeast breads, increase the liquid in the dough by 2 tablespoons per 1 cup (120g) Keto Wheat Flour. You should only need about 5 minutes of gentle kneading and mixing — this flour yields a strong dough.
  • For cakes or high-sugar, high-fat quick breads, double the number of eggs in the recipe.

Keto Wheat Flour is particularly great for baked goods with a soft or moist texture, such as muffins, pancakes, or bread. On the other hand, it’s best not to use it for any baked good with a crisp or crunchy texture, as it won’t yield a final product that breaks with a snap. So recipes like crackers or shortbread aren’t the best way to put it to use — instead, stick to soft chocolate chip cookies or fudge brownies.

For you sourdough bakers out there, we’re still testing to see if you can create a sourdough starter with this flour (stay tuned!). At the very least, however, Keto Wheat Flour can be used to feed a starter.

The secret weapon for keto-friendly baking

Swapping in Keto Wheat Flour for all-purpose flour is a fantastic way to lower the net carb count of baked goods. But flour isn’t the only ingredient contributing to total carb count — sugar also has plenty of carbs. So in addition to using Keto Wheat Flour, make recipes keto-friendly by subbing in our Baking Sugar Alternative for the sugar in a recipe.

Many of our keto-friendly recipes were developed with both Keto Wheat Flour and Baking Sugar Alternative to ensure the baked good is low carb enough to be incorporated into a keto diet if you’re substituting to make a conventional recipe keto-friendly, we highly recommend swapping for both the flour and sugar to lower total net carb count.

Keto-friendly recipes

Keto Wheat Flour can be subbed for all-purpose flour in your favorite recipes for a quick switch. But we've also developed plenty of recipes designed specifically for this flour, keeping total net carb count in mind so that the final recipe remains entirely keto-friendly.

You can search “keto” on our recipe site to browse all the options, but here are a few of our favorites:

Keto-Friendly Rolls

These soft, spongy rolls make the perfect side for any low-carb dinner. Enjoy with a smear of butter, piled high with sandwich fillings, or to mop up sauce and gravy from a full plate.

Keto-Friendly Pie Crust

This buttery pie crust is the ideal vehicle to fill with all sorts of keto-friendly fillings — go sweet with a classic pumpkin pie, or make a low-carb, keto-friendly quiche full of protein-rich eggs and colorful vegetables.

Keto-Friendly Pancakes

Boasting a light, fluffy texture, these pancakes are a fantastic homemade option with better results than a mix, and they’re particularly welcome if you’re getting a little tired of typical keto breakfast foods like eggs and bacon. To avoid adding extra carbs, top with sugar-free jam and whipped cream for an extra-decadent meal.

Adjust your expectations

Keto Wheat Flour can easily be subbed into all-purpose flour recipes and performs similarly when baked. But at the end of the day, it's a different product than the regular flour you might be used to, which means your final baked goods will also turn out a little differently, both in texture and flavor. So for the most successful keto-baking experience, start by managing your expectations accordingly.

These Keto-Friendly Muffins are tasty enough to enjoy plain. They also make the perfect blank canvas for a variety of mix-ins like berries or nuts. (Photo by Rick Holbrook)

Will a recipe baked with Keto Wheat Flour yield the exact same muffins or cake you’d get if you’d baked the recipe with all-purpose flour? The flavor and texture won’t be entirely the same — it will likely have a stronger "wheat" taste and sturdier texture, for instance — but the baked product will still be delicious. After all, you bake up a slightly different version of a recipe any time you substitute ingredients, and that’s totally OK!

If you understand that your keto-friendly baked good won’t be exactly what you’re used to, you can be open to all the possibilities that keto baking can offer.

Baking for everyone

From gluten-free to vegan to low-sugar — and now keto-friendly! — we want to encourage everyone to bake, no matter the style.

Top our Keto-Friendly Pizza Crust with savory sauce and melty cheese for the ideal low-carb dinner. (Photo by Rick Holbrook)

With Keto Wheat Flour, classic favorites like sandwich bread and chocolate chip cookies can be part of your keto diet. So don’t stash away your spatula or dough whisk just yet. Pick up a bag and start experimenting with low-carb baking that’s still decadent and delicious.


Snacks

liveGfree
Gluten Free Sweet Chili or Black Sesame Brown Rice Crisps

liveGfree
Gluten Free Multi Seed Crackers Assorted Varieties

liveGfree
Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Soft Baked Cookies

liveGfree
Gluten Free Bites Assorted Varieties


Using Its Noodle, Xi'an Expands

From a tiny food stall in a Flushing basement, Xi'an Famous Foods made a mark on the city's culinary world with its hand-pulled noodles and spicy Chinese fare.

Five years later, the father-son team behind the food with a cult following has four postage-size restaurants and plans for many more.

Jason Wang and his father, David "Liang Pi" Shi, are in the process of building a commissary in a vacant warehouse in East Williamsburg. The 5,000-square-foot space will have a model kitchen, training center and a production facility for frozen food they eventually hope to sell at local grocery markets. They project that it will be up and running in the next three to four months.

"At least a dozen restaurants can be serviced from there," said Mr. Wang, 22 years old and a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.

Xi'an Famous Foods is a family-run business with no outside investors and a secret spice mix and sauce that it holds under lock and key. Plans for the commissary include a locked chamber where Mr. Shi will make the family recipes that are an integral part of Xi'an's dishes.


Macro-Packed Intermittent Fasting Dinner Recipes

If you wait until later in the day to grub during your one-hour eating window, you’ll want to make sure to get all your macros in before you go back to fasting.

Get creative in the kitchen with these Bulletproof-inspired recipes, so you can go all out for dinnerand enjoy dessert, too!

12. Cauliflower and Ribeye Steak Fajitas

For added smokiness, add some cumin to your seasoning mix before you throw your ribeye on the grill. Once you sink your teeth into these fajitas, you won’t think twice about not having black beans and rice on the side.

Meet your macros tip: While a serving of this Dark Chocolate Collagen Pudding recipe does contain 8.5g net carbs, its creamy consistency and amazing flavor are well worth it—as long as you can account for it!

13. No-Bean Keto Chili

When you’re craving delicious comfort food, simmering a batch of this no-bean chili is, well, a no-brainer. A tablespoon or two of Collagelatin will work out the thickness.

Meet your macros tip: Scoop up any remnants of leftover chili in your bowl with a Keto Bacon and Zucchini Muffin that checks in at just 1.7g net carbs per serving! (Two, please!)

14. Keto Fish Cakes With Avocado Lemon Dipping Sauce

A lighter option for those who don’t want to make meat the main star, these keto-friendly fish cakes pair perfectly with a zesty, creamy avocado-lemon dipping sauce that will tantalize your taste buds with every bite!

15. Zoodles With Keto Alfredo Sauce

Achieve the classic alfredo vibe without all the carbs by using zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta. Plus, you can’t go wrong with an intermittent fasting dinner recipe that includes crispy bits of bacon and onions on top of this homemade, keto-friendly Italian classic.

Meet your macros tip: Wrap up your dinner with No-Bake Protein Brownie Bites for dessert. You’ll sleep better knowing you’ve indulged sensibly!

16. Easy Baked Meatballs

Easy to make (and even easier to eat), these baked meatballs can be prepared well in advance. Finish them off in a hot pan with olive oil for even more texture and flavor.

Meet your macros tip: Pair these easy-to-assemble meatballs with Thyme and Zucchini Fritters for a well-rounded meal that you can enjoywithout the guilt.

17. Turmeric Pulled Pork Curry and Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

Fire up your instant pot and get ready to take curry up a notch. Paprika, ginger powder, red curry paste, red peppers and fish sauce lay the foundation for a dish that will surely leave your belly satisfied.

Meet your macros tip: Cap off your evening meal with gluten-free Coconut and Lemon Sugar Cookies that include quality fats like grass-fed ghee and MCT oil.

18. Keto Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef

Maximize your productivity with this slow cooker OMAD dinner recipe that does most of the work for you. By the time you’re ready to eat, the beef will be so juicy and tender you won’t even need a knife at the dinner table. And, the best part is, you can customize your meal. Try a shredded beef taco salad or lettuce wraps, or stack the meat high on one of these Fluffy Keto Buns!

Meet your macros tip: Treat yourself to some Chocolate-Covered Bacon for dessert. You deserve it!

Meet your macros tip: This Cobb Salad recipe is an incredibly simple side dish that delivers a refreshing crunch to dinner. And because, veggies.

19. Slow Cooker Pot Roast and Brussels Sprouts

Talk about making your one meal count. Between the melt-in-your-mouth forkfuls of pot roast and a heap of caramelized Brussels sprouts, how can you go wrong?

Meet your macros tip: Strawberries and Cream Panna Cotta is the ideal way to end your day. Plus, there’s Collagelatin that contains the building blocks for healthy bones, joints, skins, hair and nails!

The bottom line: OMAD break-fast recipes should include macro-friendly ingredients that fall in line with whichever diet you follow. And, don’t forget to invite Bulletproof into your kitchen to support your OMAD journey with products that can round out various types of delicious dishes, no matter the time of day!

Interested in learning more about eating just one meal per day? This OMAD guide ensures you’ll make that one meal count!