For the Health of It - Article II

Welcome back! Article II of For the Health of It is here! 

Healthy meals to make in the microwave. 

To all my college gals still living on campus…this one's for you. 

With all the rules that come along with living in a dorm, I think the rule of only being able to have a microwave to cook with was the one that annoyed me the most. I have always enjoyed cooking for myself but going to the community kitchen kinda freaked me out. So I had to do the best I could with what I had. During my two years on campus, I learned to make quite a few things with just my microwave. Here are 5 of my go-to meals and treats! 

 

1: Pasta 

No, I am not talking about heating up a ramen packet in the microwave. I’m talking about real pasta! All you have to do is cover the pasta in water and microwave on high for about 4.5 minutes. Drain the water and let the pasta cool for a few minutes. After this feel free to add any sauce of your choosing, cheese, or my personal favorite: spinach, fresh tomato slices, and a few cracks of salt and pepper. Pop the pasta back in the microwave with your topping of choice for another 30 seconds and dinner is served. 

(This trick also works on high protein pasta if you prefer chickpea, or lentil pasta!)

 

2: Potatoes 

Now onto my favorite carb source: potatoes. Personally, I am a sweet potato gal but whatever potato you fancy will work just fine. Scrolling through Instagram my freshman year, I saw photo after photo of sweet potato toast that made me drool. Since toasters are illegal in the dorm world, I decided to use a microwave instead. I would thinly slice my potato into 3 or 4 pieces, then cook it on a wet paper towel for about 3 minutes, flip the slices over, and cook until the potato slices were cooked through but still firm enough to hold in your hand. I would add avocado slices with some sea salt or almond butter with honey drizzle. This quickly became a staple meal for me, and I find myself craving it to this day!

 

3: Fresh veggies! 

Yes, ma’am. No need to buy the frozen veggie packets at the store. You can cook your fresh veggies in your microwave! I am personally not a huge fan of fresh vegetables, but I love when they are cooked! When I would get a to-go box from the campus dining hall, I would pile my box with fresh veggies. Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, peppers—you name it, I smashed it in my box. Then, I would take it up to my room, put the fresh veggies on my microwave safe plate with a little spray of olive oil, and cook them for about 2-3 minutes. Take them out, let them cool, and you have some delicious steamed veggies for a side to your meal. 

 

4. Healthy mug cake 

There are hundreds of mug cake recipes online, but I found this one a few years back and pretty much have stuck to it since. I think I love it so much because there are only 3 main ingredients! 

First, I pour about 1 tablespoons of egg whites into the base of a mug and whisk in 2 tablespoons of water. Then, I pour in one spoonful of coconut flour at a time until I get a batter-like consistency. (Tip: Take it slow with the coconut flour. It will soak up the liquids the longer it sits.) Finally, I take ¼ tsp of baking powder and mix it in. After this step, feel free to get creative! I usually add strawberry slices and chocolate chips to mine but really any mix in would work. Microwave your mug for about 2.5 minutes on high and it's ready to eat! For a little extra sweetness, you can add maple syrup or honey on top! 

 

5. Apple pie in a mug 

This sweet treat is perfect for dessert, or even a little snack during the day! Plus, it only takes 3 minutes to whip together! First, thinly slice an apple and put all the slices in your bowl or mug. Then, take a spoonful of any nut butter of your liking and a tablespoon of honey. Mix thoroughly till all the apple slices are coated in the nut butter and honey mixture. If you have cinnamon you can add that on top too! Throw it in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through! It comes out tasting like warm apple pie, and it will make your room smell like fall. After microwaving you can add fresh or dried fruit, yogurt, or even a scoop of ice cream!