Some people just don’t believe you can cook anything decent and healthy in the microwave. But how about meals you can make that will save you time and money?
Microwaves can be extremely useful appliances. The microwave is good for a lot more than convenience foods. You can also use it to cook healthy meals and snacks at home, from scratch.
The good news is, you don’t need a lot of time to craft a balanced meal. You don’t even need a stove or an oven. In fact, just a few ingredients and a microwave can get you pretty far.
What factors affect cooking time in the microwave?
Total cooking time can be decreased by one-third to one-half of that in conventional cooking in an oven. Weight of meat mass, shape, composition, and temperature before cooking are factors that influence the duration of microwave cooking.
Cooking Raw Food
Can you cook raw food in the microwave?
Cooking raw meat in the microwave is safe but the food must reach proper temperatures. If food is thawed in the microwave, it must be cooked immediately.
Microwave cooking is one of the best ways to preserve nutrients in food. Because microwave cooking is fast, your food spends less time exposed to heat, which can break down certain nutrients, such as vitamin C. And because it requires so little liquid, it doesn’t allow nutrients to leach out into the cooking water the way boiling does.
Eating more Fruit and Vegetables
Everyone should eat more fruits and vegetables.
Having a microwave makes it a lot easier to get your daily dose of vegetables because it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook them.
Your microwave can give you a perfectly cooked serving of veggies every time if you follow these simple steps:
- Clean your vegetables and cut them into one-inch chunks.
- Put them in a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, or use one of the handy Sistema Microwave containers available at Household Plastic.
- Cook them for 30 to 45 seconds on high. This time will vary depending on your microwave and how much food you are cooking.
- Puncture the plastic wrap with a knife to let steam escape before unwrapping the bowl.
Cooking with Sistema Microwave Containers
- Wash the steamer before your first use.
- Always make sure the lid is locked on and the vent is open before cooking.
- When re-heating food cook in short intervals, 1-2 minutes so you don’t overheat the food.
- Cut raw food in small even sizes to promote a quicker cooking time.
- When cooking time ends, stir food and make sure it is cooked through. If it is not done, replace the lid and cook in 30 second – 1 minute increments until cooked through.
- If storing food in the steamer make sure to close the vent on top.
Read more about cooking vegetables and cooking times.
Microwave Mac and Cheese Recipe
We all love Mac and Cheese, don’t we? So how about an easy way to whip up a delicious snack. I’m sure the kiddies will be very excited, because they can do it themselves.
75g macaroni or other pasta
250ml cold chicken or veg stock , milk or water
2 tsp butter
50g cheddar, grated
Handful of spinach, fresh chives or 1/2 tsp Marmite (optional)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Find a mug that holds twice the volume of your dry pasta – the bigger, the better. Add the macaroni and your liquid of choice. Cover with cling film and pierce 3 times. Stand the mug in a microwave-proof bowl to catch any spillages, and cook in the microwave on High for 2 mins. The liquid will bubble up and over the sides, so tip any liquid from the bowl back into the mug (be careful as it will be very hot) and give it a good stir. Leave to stand for 1 min.
Repeat twice more or until the pasta is cooked (it may take longer depending on the pasta), then remove from the microwave. Stir through the butter, cheese and spinach or Marmite, if using. The heat from the pasta should melt the cheese and wilt the spinach, but if not, pop back in the microwave for 30 secs.
There are many fun things you can cook in a mug in a microwave.
2-Minute Frittata in a Mug Recipe
Beat two large eggs and add two tablespoon of cottage cheese. The cottage cheese keeps the eggs moist and fluffy–no toughness at all–and lends a cheesiness and significant protein with few calories. You can add any veggies as long as they are finely chopped – green onion, roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped broccoli, spinach, kale–go to town with your favourites, but keep the total amount to 1/3 cup (finely chopped) or less. Also season with salt and pepper to taste and if you want it to be extra creamy add some parmesan cheese.
Set the microwave for two minutes on high. Give the egg mixture a stir after 30 seconds, then again at 60 seconds; the results will be fluffy and tender.
As you get in the habit of using this handy appliance more, you’ll keep discovering new ways to use it. You can use the microwave to cook nearly anything – rice, pasta, bacon, corn on the cob – quickly and easily.
The microwave’s usefulness isn’t limited to cooking, either. You can use it to freshen up stale bread or sterilize your kitchen sponge so you don’t need to replace it as often.