People sometimes consider ramen noodles a subpar food. But my kids love them! So I came up with this easy, healthy twist on standard ramen. Two things to keep in mind: first, don't use all the spice packs that come with the noodles, and second, cook the ramen for one minute or so LESS than the package specifies.

Jazzy Ramen Stirfry

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

2 cups cubed ham
2 T. sesame (or olive) oil
1 onion, sliced into long thin slices
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 cup slivered cabbage
1 cup broccoli, cut bite-sized
2 T. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 cup water
2 T. cornstarch
1 clove minced garlic
sprinkle of sesame seeds, optional
4 packets ramen noodles

Start water boiling in a medium pot to cook ramen and broccoli. (Iuse 6 packets or ramen for my family.) Slice ham and vegetables. Add asmall slosh of oil to wok or heavy skillet and let it get very hot. Addsliced onion and carrots. Do not stir for a minute or two, allowing thevegetables to get dark brown on one side before stirring. Stirfry onhigh for another minute or two. Add cabbage and minced garlic. Stirfryon high for 3-4 more minutes, stirring once or twice. Turn heat down tomedium.

By now water should be boiling in the other pot. Add ramen andbroccoli and boil for no more than 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse very briefly.Meanwhile, in measuring cup or small bowl, combine sugar, water, soysauce, ONE packet of ramen seasoning mix, and cornstarch. Mix till wellcombined. Pour over cooking vegetables in wok. Add sesame seeds and hamto the wok as well. Simmer for a few minutes, until liquid in wok isbubbly and thickening. Add the broccoli and ramen noodles, stirring tocoat all ingredients with the sauce.