Making the most out of microwaveable meals

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Photo Illustration by Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

There are many recipes that students can make using only the microwave in their dorm room. 

Creating meals with only a microwave at hand can be difficult, especially when trying to be healthy. With no parents to help for the first time, why not learn to cook on your own? Instead of microwaving macaroni and cheese every night, here are some recipes for each meal of the day that can be made in a dorm room.

Breakfast

It’s easy to pour cereal or heat up oatmeal, but students can also cook an omelet with a mug in the microwave. Katie Farrell, founder of online recipe website Dashing Dish, wrote in a recipe on the website that the omelet can be made by beating together two large eggs, salt, pepper and two tablespoons of milk in a container.

You can add other ingredients such as Roma tomatoes, cheese or ham. Farrell wrote to spray a mug with cooking spray and pour in the beaten mixture. Microwave uncovered for one minute, stir, then cook for another minute. This is a simple recipe that can be done in a short amount of time for anyone who is in a rush before class.

RELATED: Guide to UA dorm life

Lunch

Students with access to a refrigerator can create a sandwich or salad without a microwave. Cauliflower macaroni and cheese is an option for those who are interested in a healthier and gluten-free side dish. 

Blog author Lisa MarcAurele of LowCarbYum.com wrote in the recipe that it is best to microwave 3/4 cup of frozen cauliflower florets in two steps. Microwave the cauliflower for a minute to defrost, then chop the florets into smaller pieces. MarcAurele wrote to microwave for another 50 seconds and add an ounce of shredded cheese in the last ten seconds. She then recommended to stir in a tablespoon of heavy cream, and that’s it. 

Easy, quick, and budget-saving.

Dinner

Pasta may not seem like an option with only a microwave, however students can easily make spinach ricotta lasagna in a mug thanks to a recipe by food blogger Lisa Lin on her website Healthy Nibbles and Bits. This vegetarian-friendly recipe requires more ingredients, but the outcome is worth it. Start with half of a lasagna sheet, cut it in half and then cut in half again. 

Lin wrote to put the sheets in a bowl and then pour hot water over the sheets to cover them. Steam 2 1/2 cups of spinach by placing it in a bowl and covering the top with plastic wrap that has been poked with holes and microwave it for one minute then allow to cool. Lin wrote to mix the spinach with 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, 1/4 of a diced yellow bell pepper, 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic, and salt. 

Then, start to build the lasagna. Begin with two tablespoons of pasta sauce at the bottom of the mug, then add a pasta sheet, spinach, two tablespoons of shredded mozzarella and another pasta sheet. Continue the layers until full, finishing with a pasta sheet and more mozzarella. Lin wrote to microwave the lasagna for 1 1/2 minutes, and indulge.

RELATED: Chef Omo: the man behind UA menus

Dessert

There are so many mug cake recipes on the internet that could be made in a dorm. One example is this double chocolate brownie recipe by Catherine McCord of website Weelicious. 

For this recipe, McCord wrote to start by mixing together 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of either light or dark brown sugar, two tablespoons of cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Then add 2 tablespoons of canola oil; 2 tablespoons of either milk, coffee or water; and 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips. McCord wrote to mix all these ingredients together and then pour the thick liquid into a mug. Microwave for around two minutes, depending if you like your brownies well done or gooey. 

Enjoy your dessert, and maybe top it off with some ice cream or whipped cream. This should definitely satisfy any sweet tooth.

Students living in dorms can still expand beyond the microwave. Many dorms are equipped with a kitchen on a specific floor, so check which dorms have one and take advantage of the extra appliances. Adjusting to the college lifestyle and dorm living can be difficult, but hopefully with these recipes students living in the dorms can adapt a little easier.


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