I am looking for easy, inexpensive recipes that can be made in the microwave. My daughter will be leaving for college soon and the cafeteria is only open in the mornings on the weekends. She has a medical condition so she can't eat fast food (and it's expensive). They are not allowed any other cooking appliances other than the micro.
By Kim from Colorado Springs
The most important thing you can get your daughter for cooking in a microwave is a microwave bowl with plastic steamer inert and a lid. This should be a matched set.There are some available from your favorite food saver company. Can't use the name here.
Once you have your basic tools anything goes. Some people don't like steamed meat, but you can make it better with a little creativity. First, use spices on both sides of your meat. Then steam over a broth (low salt) with vegetables added at the end of cooking your time.
Frozen chicken will just take a little longer than fresh so watch until you figure out the timing for your microwave. With a 750 wt a frozen chicken leg will take about 4-6 min. Increase the time as you add more or larger pieces. Less for fresh.
This is Fast food, but better. This will work well with ham, chicken, beef, pork and fish (cooks very quick).
If you decide to fix vegetables separately try getting the old style Corel coffee cups. (the ones that are smaller at the bottom and have an open handle. For small servings these are wonderful. Check at Goodwill or any thrift-store for these. Sauces can also be made in these cups also. They are 6 oz. So if your watching amounts this is helpful.
There are new pans for cooking eggs that work very well. Read the directions fixing eggs. Wrong can have eggs blowing up. Butter substitutes are a good way of seasoning too. Frozen vegetables will take from 2 to 4 min. Again watch carefully your time may very depending on the density of the vegetables. Fresh will cook faster. Potatoes, depending on size will take from 2 to 6 min. and can be cooked pealed or not, sliced or not. Split the time on a whole potato and flip it over 1/2 way through. Be sure to poke a few wholes in a whole potato so steam can escape.
Check Goodwill for old microwave cookbooks. Those for a specific brand of microwave are the best. But all brands are good. Read the intros, they will tell you the wattage's used for this cook book, adjust accordingly.
Cooking in a microwave can be easy and fun, but be careful, use hot pads and open lids away from you. Steam is very hot!!! Plates can be used for reheating, but stay away from Styrofoam and paper containers. You'll find a section in your new microwave cookbook that will help you decide what you can use in your microwave.
When you purchase your microwave, size is important. First find out what the limits they have at school. Then get the highest wattage that you can. Also look at your cooking utensil to decide what size you need. Most college kids make the mistake of getting a microwave for popcorn and heating up food. From what you said this will not be the case for your daughter. So get the same kind of microwave that you would use at home. If it is too small you will be limited in what you can cook. Bigger won't take longer.
Have fun and get creative, if you have a microwave at home try out some of the recipes in the new cookbook before she leaves for school. Maybe you could teach her how to make her favorite breakfast in a microwave. Enjoy and have fun.
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