The microwave oven is a winner when it comes to TV sporting events. There’s nothing better than watching a game while enjoying a delicious meal in a mug. It’s easy to hold and eat with a fork. And you can even prepare whole meals in a mug, and cover and refrigerate them until ready to cook at an appropriate time. Lasagne, scrambled eggs, omelettes and muffins can all be cooked in mugs.
It’s easy to accidentally overcook in the microwave. And if microwave food is overcooked it is as bad as when it is overcooked by conventional means. If you’re unsure of the timing, cook in short bursts. You can always add a few extra seconds or minutes of cooking at the push of a button.
Check the wattage of your oven. The higher the wattage the quicker it will cook food. If the microwave is a 1200 or 1400-watt oven it is sometimes better to cook on 50 per cent power especially when cooking eggs. My recipes were tested in an 800-watt oven.
To microwave an easy omelette for one, spray a large mug with oil.Add twomedium eggs,two tablespoons of milk plus black pepper and chopped chives to taste. Whisk until wellcombined. Microwave on highpowerfor 40 seconds. Stir well. Continue cooking for another 30 seconds or until just cooked.Top with two tablespoons of finely grated cheese.
BLUEBERRY MUFFINS IN A MUG
I used two smallish mugs measuring 8cm high by 7cm wide and holding about 1 cup. Serve with coffee or as a dessert.
2 tablespoons each: brown sugar, Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon each: baking powder, vanilla essence
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed, if frozen)
Brush two mugs with rice bran oil.
Beat the egg in a bowl, until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, yoghurt and peanut butter. Add the flour, rolled oats, baking powder and vanilla essence. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Gently stir in the blueberries.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the mugs. Microwave for 1-2 minutes in 30 second bursts, until just cooked. The mixture will pull away from the sides a little.
Great served with extra blueberries, beetroot bites and yoghurt. Makes 2.
These little gems are great for garnishing salads or desserts. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
1 large beetroot
Peel and thinly slice the beetroot preferably using a mandolin cutter.
Spread the slices in a single layer on paper towels. Microwave each towel of slices for about 3 minutes, until crisp-ish and a little curly. Do not overcook as the slices will burn. Makes about 1 cup.
LASAGNE IN A MUG
This is a great meal to enjoy while watching sport on TV. It can be accompanied by a crisp salad.
100g fresh sheet lasagne
4 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/4 red capsicum, diced
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
8 tablespoons tomato pasta sauce
60g fresh mozzarella, grated
chopped chives or spring onions to garnish
Cut the lasagne into 6 squares that will fit a large mug. (The corners will fold up the sides of the mug a little.) Place in a baking dish and cover with boiling water
Place the spinach in a microwave bowl. Cover and microwave on high power for about 1 minute or until wilted. Cool a little.
Combine the spinach, capsicum, ricotta, garlic and seasonings.
Place 2 tablespoons of the tomato pasta sauce on the base of two large mugs. Add a drained piece of lasagne to each mug, then top with half the spinach mixture and a little mozzarella. Add more lasagne, spinach and mozzarella followed by the last square of lasagne and the tomato pasta sauce and the remaining mozzarella. Garnish.
Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes in 30 second bursts. Check to ensure the pasta is cooked. Serves 2.
MICROWAVE TANDOORI CHICKEN
I cooked the chicken on a crisping plate in my microwave oven. Alternatively, cook it in a large round shallow dish and sprinkle with black pepper before serving to give it a better colour. Tested in an 800 watt microwave oven.
8 skinned and boned chicken thighs
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
2-3 tablespoons tandoori paste
salt and pepper to taste
chopped chives to garnish
Make two shallow slashes in the thick part of each thigh. Place in a shallow baking dish.
Combine the yoghurt, tandoori paste and seasonings. Pour over the chicken turning the pieces to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-8 hours.
Preheat a browning or crisping plate in the microwave according to the microwave instructions. Place the chicken in a single layer on the plate. Microwave for 4 minutes, turn each chicken thigh over and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, until cooked. Remove and stand for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Great served with a crisp salad and steamed rice. Serves 4.