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VEGETABLE RAMEN

Vegetable Ramen is a simple and easy-to-make meatless Monday meal all instant ramen lovers must try. (For you devout carnivores, just add your favorite meat, and you’re also ready to go!) Despite the bad press instant ramen gets about being unhealthy and generally bad for you, it is unquestionably two things: 1) tasty and 2) cheap!
I’ve come up with many innovative uses for instant ramen over the years, and this is one of them. Adding fresh vegetables and tossing the sodium and MSG-laden flavor packet makes this version of instant noodles more forgivable, right? It’s definitely a step up from my younger years when I would feel hungry coming home after school and eat the instant ramen straight out of the package. For all the people that have eaten ramen this way–you know what I’m talking about; and for all the people who haven’t–you don’t know what you’re missing!
Everyone has their own ramen brand that they like and they are readily available at the local grocery store. I remember in my younger days, they would go on sale for 6 cents a pack but even with inflation, I’d say they are still considered cheap at the price of a buck for 4 ramen packets. If budget is not the driving factor and you just like ramen noodles then go for some fresh ramen noodles at your local Asian grocery store.
Ingredients

  • 2 packages instant noodles
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional for vegetarians)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Fresh ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ¼ cup sweet red bell peppers or Holland chilies, julienned
  • 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 cup snow peas, cut in half at an angle
  • 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 2 scallions, split and cut into 2-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Open the instant ramen and discard the flavor packet. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for about 45 seconds to a minute, using chopsticks or a fork to stir occasionally. You want to just rehydrate the ramen until it breaks up from its rectangular form. It's important not to cook the ramen fully in this step! Once the ramen is rehydrated, immediately drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and get rid of the excess starch.
  2. Combine soy sauces, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper in a bowl and set aside. Heat your wok over high heat, and add oil and garlic. Immediately add the peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and..............................................
  3. .....................................................
       FULL RECIPES : thewoksoflife



How To Select or Choose The BEST health insurance Plan




For any person with money on their hands, splurging on food or travel is undoubtedly the most enticing thing to do, isn’t it? While spending is our forte, the thought of securing one’s future always tends to beat the back of our mind. Having gone through my share of I-need-to-save-money moments, I’ve indulged in some not-so-fun-filled research. This lengthy answer is an outpour of all the information stacked in my brain.



Let’s begin with what health insurance is, or for that matter, what Insurance essentially is. Quoting someone I’d call financially smart, “Insurance is a game of shifting risks, wherein you shift risks from your life onto insurance companies, who guarantee you coverage for these risks in exchange for a premium that you pay monthly. The premium is a fee paid by you and it varies according to the number of risks you insure.”



On that note, let’s get to the most basic things to keep in mind when purchasing health insurance:



1) Number of people to be insured: 


If you’re single, with no family to take care of, an individual health insurance policy would work just fine for you. However, if you’re a family man, a Family Floater Insurance policy should be your go-to. In simple words, in an individual insurance, you get the full benefit of the total sum insured, while in a floater, your family collectively benefits from a single sum insured.

2) Riders:

health insurances in most situations cover only a certain amount of healthcare risks. For example, OPD charges or maternity expenses are generally not covered under your regular health insurance policy. In these situations, it is best to add riders, that is, extra coverage for an added charge. However, to avoid stocking up on too many riders, look for policies that cover the most number of risks that you wish to insure yourself with.


3) Co-Payment: 

Some health insurance products have a co-payment clause, especially senior citizens’ health insurance plans. This means that, out of the total amount of your claim, some percentage of the payment would have to be borne by you. The percentage can range from anywhere between 10% and 20% of the total claim amount. To avoid a situation where you have to pay beyond your capacity at an older age, look for policies with lower rates of co-payment even if it calls for paying a slightly higher premium.

4) Research: 

Finding the perfect policy can either be an offline task or an online task. Many companies, such as OneInsure, offer free financial advice to people looking for insurance policies. I personally have had a positive firsthand experience with them, in spite of not being their customer. You can always reach out to them to clear all your doubts and get your queries answered. In a more traditional approach, you can visit offices of insurance companies like Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) or Religare health insurance to get more details.

I am one to believe in getting things done from the comfort of my own bed. I’m sure you would agree!

How To Select or Choose The BEST health insurance Plan

How to Select or Choose the BEST health insurance Plan? is one of the most common queries posted by the readers of this blog. I highlighted the importance of health insurance plan in my post, Why do we need health insurance? Let me admit that to select a health insurance Plan is difficult or complex compared to any other insurance policy. The reason being, a large number of deciding factors in health insurance Plan.

The plans like life insurance or critical illness plan are event specific.  On the other hand, there are a lot of ifs and buts in health insurance plan. To share an example, there is NO concurrence  or agreement among various health insurance rating agencies. One of the health insurance plan rated BEST by one of the rating agency is rated below average by another agency. Though each of them has their own ranking methodology and ranking can be manipulated. It leaves the potential customer high and dry.

health insurance Plan – Fix your requirement First
To simplify this entire process to select the best health insurance Plan, it is important to fix your requirement first. Here by requirement, i mean following factors to be decided first.

(a) No of members to be insured: 


Normally, the potential policyholders are confused whether to avail individual or family floater plan. In another scenario, some would like to include their elderly parents in family floater plan. Please remember that premium of the health insurance plan is decided by the age of the eldest member under family floater plan. The health insurance provider will be more than happy to include elder members as it will increase the overall premium. The best solution is to avail a separate health insurance Plan for elderly parents depending on their requirement.

Lastly, Family floater plan is more economical compared to the individual plan/s.

(b) Coverage Amount: 


It is always good to have maximum coverage but remember that premium increases with the coverage amount. Recently, one of the readers of my blog Priyanka asked me the ideal coverage amount. She is 26 years and was married recently. Now for a young couple, it does not make sense to avail a coverage of higher amount of 9L.

Therefore, in my opinion, the young couples can start with lower coverage amount say 2L and may avail top up policy in future to increase the coverage. The probability of hospitalization is low at a young age. Moreover, a premium of health insurance plan is not locked thus monetary benefit to avail higher coverage at a young age is missing. I will discuss it in detail later in the post.

The coverage amount should be low for the salaried class as they are already covered by their employer. As financial planners always suggest opting for “personal” health insurance Plan even if you are covered by your employer. Therefore, if you are salaried then you should opt for lower coverage initially and may increase the same through a top up policy every 10 years to hedge the risk.

Lastly, you should opt for higher coverage at a young age if there is a medical history of the family in terms of genetic diseases/ailment. Though in medical terms, the genetic disease is more serious term i.e. caused by an abnormality in DNA but i am using it literally. For example, Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Skin Diseases etc are also genetic in family depending on family history. One of my distant cousins has all the diseases/ailments of her mother i.e. High BP and Migraine. Therefore, in such cases, it is advisable to opt for higher coverage at a young age.

(c) International Cover: 


Some people are globetrotter either professionally or by personal choice. If you are in IT field then there is a high probability of offsite posting abroad. Similarly, one of my uber-rich friends undertakes one foreign trip every quarter. Therefore for such people, it is important that health insurance Plan provides international cover. Please remember that not all the health insurance Plan provide international cover. Therefore, depending on your requirement you may include an international cover.

(d) Maternity Cover:


Personally, i suggest not to include maternity cover in your requirement list. Still, some of the young couples prefer maternity cover because of the high perceived maternity cost. You can do a simple maths to decide whether to include a maternity cover or not. Check the premium of health insurance Plan with and without maternity cover. In some policies, it is an inbuilt feature but still you can find out the premium difference by comparing similar policies.

Assuming the premium difference is Rs 6000 p.a. You are expected to spend between Rs 50k to Rs 75k towards the maternity expenses. From a financial perspective, it is too costly in a long run. Moreover, there is a waiting period of 3-4 years to avail maternity benefit.

(e) Add-on features: 


In order to make health insurance Plan more marketable and attractive some of the health insurance providers include add-on features like health checkup, alternative treatment, OPD, e-opinion, second opinion etc. Always remember that such add-on features add to the cost of the policy. Personally, i don’t foresee any value in these add-on features. I am not acting judgmental but you may include these features depending on your requirement. You may consider alternative treatment and health checkup provided premium is not increasing drastically. I strongly suggest against OPD as there are a lot of ifs and buts that i can write a separate post on the same.

Now you are ready with your exact requirement and let’s move to next section.


How To Select or Choose The BEST health insurance Plan?

As a first you step, from laundry list, you can shortlist the health insurance plan that fulfills and meet your requirement. For example, in my case, i was looking for a health insurance plan with a coverage of 9L. Therefore, almost all the plans of public sector health insurance providers were dropped during initial screening. Secondly, public sector health insurance providers are not so strong in cashless tie-ups that we will discuss later in the post. Now i was left with health insurance plans of private insurer fulfilling my requirement. I evaluated these plans on following parameters in same order

1. Premium of the Policy:


One of the most imp point about the premium of health insurance plan is that it is not fixed i.e. it is dynamic. Unlike term insurance policy, wherein the premium is fixed for the policy tenure, the premium of health insurance may keep changing (read: increasing). In layman terms, unfortunately, there is NO INCENTIVE to BUY health insurance Plan at an early age to LOCK the premium. Sometimes premium is low because of co-pay clause (Please check the point no 4).

In my screening activity, i dropped plans with the comparatively high premium amount.

In this post, i covered some of the important factors to be considered while selecting or choosing health insurance plan. I have a lot more to share. In one of the future posts, i will share how you can save on health insurance premium and medical expenses by selecting right health insurance plan/features.

As health insurance plan is a non-standard financial product. Therefore, you cannot select health insurance plan only based on the premium. Thanks to IRDA, if you are not happy with the existing health insurance provider you can opt for portability of health insurance.

Last but not the least, the medical history of the family can play important role in the selection of the right health insurance plan. The reason being, the probability of diseases/ailments based on family history is HIGH. Trust me it is true. In the case of my friend’s family, the entire family tree suffered from heart disease at some point or another.  Therefore, i suggested him to opt for health insurance plan designed for heart diseases/cardiac care. Alternatively, there should not too many strings attached to heart disease in health insurance plan.