Utilize what your microwave brings to the table

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Stephanie Buhrow

 

Maybe you live in a dorm and a microwave is all you have. Sure, there is popcorn, frozen dinners and Easy Mac— but did you know you could make French toast and homemade lasagna in your microwave?

Maybe your oven is broken and you still want homemade food. Maybe you are just feeling too lazy to get up and go to your dorm lounge. Fear not, because you can still get creative with that microwave right in front of you.

Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast that takes only five minutes to make—French toast in a mug. This recipe is good for two mugs, so maybe you can even surprise your roommate— or eat it all yourself.

What you’ll need: four pieces of bread, one egg, three tablespoons of milk and cinnamon.

Cut up the bread into cubes and split them evenly between the two mugs.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly blended then pour the mixture over the bread in each cup. Let it soak for a minute, then microwave for one minute. Add 10-second increments until it is done how you’d like.

For you veggie lovers, here’s a great way to cook up your favorite vegetables. Some people even say steaming vegetables in the microwave retains more of the nutrients because of a shorter cooking time.

This method works for a wide range of vegetables such as broccoli, green beans and asparagus. In a microwave-safe bowl or container, lay your vegetable down in a single layer. Add a little bit of water, allowing it to come up to about one-eighth of the veggies. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap leaving a hole in the top and microwave for two minutes. Check the veggies, flip them over, replace the cover and microwave for another four minutes.

“I love fresh vegetables but I don’t own a steamer. This technique made it a lot easier for me to enjoy vegetables the way I like them,” said senior Emma Schmidt.

If you have never tried puppy chow, make it now and your taste buds will thank you. “Puppy chow is so easy to make and everyone loves it. If I take it to a party, I never have any left over to bring home,” said Bloomington resident Marianne Buhrow.

Here’s what you’ll need: nine cups of chex-type cereal, one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, a half cup of smooth peanut butter, one-fourth cup of butter and one and a half cups of powdered sugar. To make it, put all of the chex in a large mixing bowl or a large plastic bag.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat up the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter for one minute, stir and then heat for another 30 seconds. When the mixture is completely melted, pour it over the chex cereal. Mix it up so the cereal is evenly coated, then pour on the powdered sugar. Spread it evenly.

Scrambled eggs is another easy breakfast to make and can be just as tasty as cooking it on the stove top. All you need are some eggs and milk— however much you’d like of each. Whisk the ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl.

Heat the bowl for 30-second increments, stirring in between each time, until eggs are how you like them. To make this recipe more exciting, you can add other ingredients like bacon or cheese.

The recipe for enchiladas is a bit more complex, but it is really worth it. Gather up one half of an onion (diced), eight mushrooms sliced and halved, one half can of sweet yellow corn, one 16 ounce can of black beans and a 12 ounce jar of enchilada sauce. Heat the chopped onion in a covered microwave safe bowl for one minute.

In a separate bowl, heat the mushrooms for one minute, stir, and then heat for one more minute. Then, combine the onion, mushroom, corn, beans and half of the enchilada sauce and scoop it evenly into six 8-inch soft tortilla shells.

After placing the enchiladas in a microwave safe pan, pour the rest of the sauce on top and heat for six minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top, heat for two more minutes and voila!—tasty enchiladas.

Fajitas are a popular favorite at Mexican restaurants, but it is possible to get that authentic taste at home without slaving away over a hot stove.

Here’s what you’ll need: red and green peppers, half of an onion, southwest spice mix and four chicken breasts. Cut up your veggies and put them in a two and a half quart microwave safe dish. Sprinkle some of the spice mix over them. Then, cut your chicken breasts into long strips and place them on top of your veggies, sprinkling more spice mix on top using as much as you’d like. Cover the dish, then microwave on high for ten minutes. You can serve them with tortillas and cheese, or whatever your heart desires.

Everyone loves the simplicity and taste of Easy Mac, but most people don’t think to use that same simple method to make all kinds of pasta. To make yourself one bowl, all you need to do is put one half of a cup of pasta and three-fourths of a cup of water into a microwave-safe bowl.

Heat that for six to eight minutes, stirring at two minute intervals. When the pasta is tender, you drain any excess water and add whatever sauce you want! “I love being able to choose whatever sauce I want. I like marinara and fettuccine sauce, but I would recommend pesto sauce. It is my favorite,” said junior Jenny Darrow.

If you enjoy the scrambled eggs, get ready to take it to the next level with your microwaveable omelet. “The thing I love about omelets is that you can put all sorts of different ingredients in to personalize it. The line at Saga brunch is just too long for me, so I love having an easy and delicious recipe I can make at home,” said junior Emily Considine.

To make your personal omelet, all you need is two eggs, two tablespoons of water and one teaspoon of butter. In a round nine-inch microwave-safe dish, heat up the butter and spread it around evenly. Beat together the eggs, water, and however much salt and pepper you like. Add that to the dish, and add any ingredient you want (if you add a meat, make sure it is already cooked). Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and leave a small area to vent. Microwave your omelet for one and a half to two minutes.

Vegetarian lasagna is a dish that screams homemade, and this recipe will make your mom proud of you. Here’s what you need: one cup diced onion, two cloves of minced garlic, two cups of thinly sliced mushrooms, one bunch of fresh spinach, one cup of tomato sauce, 15 ounces of ricotta cheese, an eight ounce pack of mozzarella cheese and five to six sheets of no boil lasagna.

Mix the onion, garlic, spinach and mushrooms in a bowl. In a microwave safe 9×13 dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce and lay down your first layer of noodles. Add a layer of your mix, then top it off with a layer of ricotta and mozzarella. Add more tomato sauce and your next layer of noodles, and repeat the process until you have as many layers as you want. Cover your dish and microwave for 15-20 minutes. Remember to let it stand for 10 minutes before you eat it.

Take advantage of your microwave, it can cook more than you’d ever know!