This week, I’m craving…

This week I’m craving… healthy food that can be cooked in the microwave.

The ceiling in our kitchen is being taken down this week. Cue everything in the cupboards being packed up and hidden away, lots of dust, missing utensils and a lack of kitchen mojo. I don’t want to clean a kitchen with a gaping hole in the ceiling that’s going to get dirty again the next day just so I can cook. Neither do I want to live off takeaways and ready meals. I need green food and inspiration!

We’ve moved our microwave into the spare bedroom and plan to make some meals with it. I can’t say I’m an aficionado…in fact I’ve only ever reheated leftovers in it (and jacket potatoes), grudgingly. The first time my boyfriend made scrambled eggs I was shocked and slightly repulsed to find out he’d done them in the microwave. But needs must and I’ve learnt a lot. When researching this post, every single recipe I discovered made me exclaim “I can’t believe you can make that in a microwave!” If you’re a relative microwave cooking virgin like myself, prepare to be amazed.

My culinary inspiration for the week ahead:

Vegetable crisps

Sweet potato and parsnip crisps
Image from The Cafe Sucre Farine

I’m a crisp fiend. If there’s a bag in the house, I’ll be on them before you can blink, happily munching away, cookie monster-esque, until suddenly the whole bag has disappeared. Vegetable crisps are even better because I can pretend they’re a healthy option and feel a little bit more virtuous. I suppose it’s not the worst vice to have…I can’t feel guilty about it. However, I’m flabbergasted that you can actually make vegetable crisps in the microwave without even needing a lick of oil. Crisp monster needs these now!

Mexican bean soup

Mexican bean soup
Image from BBC Food

There’s a reason I’m not planning to live off salads all week. It’s winter now. I need some warm food in my belly. Soup is a dinnertime staple for me at this time of year and I was mourning the loss of a home cooked bowlful until I came across this recipe. Mexican seasoning + soup + beans = some of my favourite things! I will be digging into this with dollop of sour cream and a handful of tortilla crisps on the side (if I can restrain myself).

Risotto primavera

Risotto primavera
Image from BBC Good Food

Risotto is one of those meals you feel a sense of achievement at making for the first time. I made my first when I was in University and distinctly remember my flatmates’ admiring glances and feeling quite proud of myself. I could probably cook a risotto in my sleep now. However, I’ve just uncovered a big risotto conspiracy…you can make it in the microwave! There are only 2 steps to this simple recipe and you can add whatever veg (or meat) takes your fancy. You could even make this with pasta (mac and cheese anyone?). Let your culinary creativity go nuts!

Baked aubergine

Baked aubergine
Image from Fitness Treats

There are mixed feelings about aubergine in my household. My boyfriend hates it (but will eat it if suitably disguised) and I love it, especially when it’s falling apart and slathered with garlic oil. I’ve never been able to get it just right in the oven. Judging by this recipe I’ve been doing it wrong. Clearly the microwave it the way to go for silky tender aubergine. Paired with some tabbouleh and mezze from the deli, you have a perfect dinner for one.

By the way, for any microwave sceptics like myself, this article is really insightful and has made me rethink my suspicions of this modern kitchen staple. If it helps people to eat more nutritious meals made at home from scratch, I’m all for it.

Do you use your microwave much to cook? What’s on your menu this week?

Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

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