Microwaves have been around longer than we have. As a result, most of us don’t realize just how lucky we are to have microwaves around to make our lives quicker and more convenient. And yet most of us tend to be pretty boring when it comes to making good use of this wonderful machine (even if we do question how healthy it is). Microwaves can do a lot more than just warm up pizza pops and TV dinners.
Here are 6 things you didn’t know you could make in the microwave.
1. Potato Chips
They’re healthier than regular potato chips too! There are actually kitchen “tools” you can buy for this specific purpose but don’t worry, you can still make them without spending the extra cash or giving up cupboard space.
1 pound of potatoes (it’s best to not peel them, just scrub clean)
2 teaspoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of salt
- Slice the potatoes thin (⅛ inch for thicker chips, no larger but thinner is ok.)
- Toss the potatoes in a bowl with oil and salt (you can add paprika or any other spices you like at this point, too.)
- Get a microwave-safe plate and spray it with cooking spray and arrange the potato slices in a single layer over the plate.
- Microwave, uncovered on high until the slices start to turn brown (2-3 minutes usually.)
- Turn the slices over and continue microwaving until they brown around the edges (can range from 35 seconds to 4 minutes depending on how thick the chips are.) You may need to rearrange the slices to prevent burning.
- Allow the chips to cool completely as they will crisp further that way. Store in a container for up to 3 days.
2. Cheesecake for One
Cheesecake is the perfect treat at the end of a long day. But honestly, who wants to spend the time it takes to bake a cheesecake? That would just make the day even longer, and who really wants that?
3 tablespoons of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of vanilla Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon of lemon juice
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 crushed graham cracker
- Mix the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar.
- Pour the mixture in a small microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Take out and stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
- Let the mixture cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then top with graham crackers.
3. Mac and Cheese
Kraft Dinner might be delicious, but it’s got nothing on the homemade stuff! Best part? It only takes one bowl, so way less dishes.
1/2 cup macaroni (or any small pasta)
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese (you can use any kind)
You can also add diced veggies, cooked cubes of meat, tofu cubes, salsa, or spices.
- Mix the water, pasta, and salt in a microwavable bowl.
- Microwave for 2 minutes on high, then stir. Keep an eye on the bowl to make sure water isn’t foaming over the sides.
- Keep microwaving and stirring in 2-minute intervals until the pasta is cooked (4-8 minutes total. If the water is all absorbed in the cooking process, add 2 more tablespoons.)
- Stir in the milk and cheese (also add any extra items you’ve chosen at this point, too.)
- Microwave on high at 30-second intervals to melt the cheese and stir in between. The cheese should form a creamy sauce. (Takes around 1 minute)
- Eat right away or refrigerate for later, adding a bit of milk before reheating.
4. Homemade Latte
You can buy all the mixes and machines in the world to help you make a latte. But, unless you’re willing to shell out a lot of money for an upscale machine or a separate appliance, you can’t make the frothy milk that defines a truly great latte. That is of course, unless you get creative with your microwave.
1. Pour 2% or non-fat milk into a microwavable jar. You should use as much milk as you would normally put in a cup of coffee. Make sure whatever jar size you use, you don’t fill it more than halfway.
2. Put a lid on the jar and shake it as hard are you can until the milk is froth and has doubled in volume.
3. Take the lid off and microwave for 30 seconds uncovered. The foam will rise and the microwave heat will stabilize it.
4. Use the foam right away as it will start to dissolve after a few minutes. Pour the warm milk into your latte and use a spoon to scoop the froth on top of the drink.
5. French Toast
Whether it’s for your breakfast or just a treat, french toast is always the right answer. But, it can be messy and time-consuming to make on the stove top. I think we all hate messy, so let’s just go for the microwave option instead.
Bread(2 pieces per cup)
½ an egg per cup
3 tablespoons of milk
Optional : 1 drop of vanilla extract
- Cut bread into cubes.
- Put butter in the mugs (you can rub the entire inside of the mug with butter or melt in the microwave and coat the mug that way.)
- Put the bread into the cup or cups, squashing it down a bit without compacting it entirely.
- In a separate cup or bowl, mix the egg, milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. (Also add the vanilla at this point if you’re using it.) Mix it all together with a fork.
- Add the mixture to your cup/cups and give it a minute to soak into the bread.
- Put your mug into the microwave for 1 minute to start. Add 10 seconds at a time until it’s cooked to your liking.
- Add syrup or whip cream and eat.
6. Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are a staple breakfast food. They’re pretty quick and easy to make, but scrubbing the pan afterwards is a chore. Best part about the microwave version? They’re extra fluffy!
1. Get a microwave safe bowl that is large enough for the number of eggs you want to make.
2. Crack eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork.
3. Cook for 1 minute, then stir. Next, cook 30 seconds longer and continue cooking in 30 second increments.
4. When the eggs are cooked to your liking, stir and put on a plate to eat.
Finally you can eat fresh food, but still cook it quickly. No more compromising your busy schedule or healthy diet, because if you rethink your microwave you can have both. Remember to always use oven mitts or towels when working with the hot dishes in the microwave so that you don’t end up in the ER at the hands of a 2 minute meal. Most importantly, enjoy your new recipe book of easy, delicious food!