Real Food from the Microwave

If you’re sheltering in place or self-isolating somewhere that offers only a microwave to cook, the ability to eat nutritious and flavorful meals may seem impossible. If you can expand your cooking tools a little, your options increase, but if a microwave is all you’ve got, you can do more than you might realize. Microwave dinners and canned soups, move over.

Grains

Microwaves actually do a fantastic job with cooking whole grains. Whether you want oatmeal for breakfast or brown rice with your dinner, a microwave is honestly easier and faster than stovetop cooking, especially if you’re cooking for one. Look for “instant” varieties to reduce the cooking time and follow the package directions for simple grains. Pick up one or two mixed spice blends and some of your favorite hot sauce to keep things interesting.

Vegetables

Frozen vegetables are going to be the easiest option to prep if you have freezer space for them. Most can be steamed in the bag these days, so cooking them is also a matter of following the package directions. Canned vegetables also honestly heat up as well in the microwave as they do on the stove: you just need a microwave-safe container to heat them in. Remember to look for 1, 2, or 3 Guiding Stars to help you find canned and frozen options with less sodium.

Bonus tip: Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be baked to perfection in the microwave, and veggies tossed with your favorite spice blend are a wonderful way to top them.

Proteins

Here’s where you’re not going to believe me, but honestly, you can microwave much more interesting protein than canned beans. You can microwave eggs in all kinds of fun ways, for example. While you and your neighbors might not thank you for the aroma, the microwave can also produce moist and tender fish. And last for this post, but decidedly not least, you can make chicken that has absolutely no business being at once both at tender and as crispy as it is.

Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal

Three Guiding Stars iconThree Guiding Stars indicate the best nutritional value. Top your microwaved oatmeal with your favorite fruit and nuts.

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Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Baked Potatoes

Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Baked Potatoes

Two Guiding Stars iconTwo Guiding Stars indicate better nutritional value. Enjoy a tender baked potato with simple toppings.

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Baked Potatoes Primavera

Three Guiding Stars iconThree Guiding Stars indicate the best nutritional value. Frozen veggies and a little fat-free sour cream are also a great potato topping.

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Crispy Baked Chicken

Crispy Chicken

Two Guiding Stars iconTwo Guiding Stars indicate better nutritional value. You will be astounded by how great microwaved chicken can be.

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Berry Baked Apples

Berry Baked Apples

Two Guiding Stars iconTwo Guiding Stars indicate better nutritional value. ”Bonus:

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