Willamette University’s residence hall kitchens are an essential resource for students of all cooking abilities. The microwave oven, an often overlooked outlet for testing out new recipes, is a great option for students who want a meal that is both quick and efficient. Most meals that are commonly cooked on a stove top can easily be transferred to the microwave, from pasta and soups to cakes and cookies, with the right measurements and cooking techniques. There are countless microwave recipes available online for any meal of the day. All of these recipes, found on kimscravings.com and Buzzfeed Tasty, can be made vegan.
Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake
For breakfast or dessert. About a three-minute prep time. From kimscravings.com.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of milk of any kind, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon coconut oil or melted butter, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. In a mug, mix the rest of the ingredients to a smooth consistency. Microwave for one minute. Check the texture; if it is gooey, try another 30 seconds. Top with sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Quick and Easy Pastably Cheesey
For lunch or dinner. Five to ten minute prep time. From Buzzfeed Tasty.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup of pasta, water, salt and pasta sauce. Mac and Cheese: 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and milk. Optional: green onions and Panko bread crumbs.
Pour pasta (any except spaghetti) and a pinch of salt into a mug or bowl. Add water so that it just covers the pasta. Microwave uncovered. The time will vary depending on the pasta type and microwave. Try three minutes for pastas like elbow macaroni and up to six minutes for pastas like rotini. Drain when done. Add red sauce and enjoy, or, for Mac and Cheese, add a splash of milk, shredded cheese and an optional pinch of pepper to the mug of pasta. Stir and heat for 30 seconds. Stir once more. For extra flavor, add panko bread crumbs or finely sliced green onion.
For lunch or dinner. About a 10-minute prep time. From Buzzfeed Tasty.
Ingredients: one potato.
Coat a potato in oil and salt. Poke holes in the potato with a fork to allow it to cook. Put on a microwave-safe plate or bowl and microwave for seven to nine minutes uncovered. Let sit for two minutes. Cut open and add desired ingredients. Recommended toppings: pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese, bacon or crumbled tofu.
For potentially quicker meal options, there are many pre-made meals at Safeway that can be enjoyed in a couple of minutes. These include Minute Rice (pack of two for $3.39), three-minute Kraft or Velveeta Mac and Cheese (four for $5.69) and mug cakes in flavors such as confetti cake and brownie (four for $4.59).
When cooking the meals above, there are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind. Make sure all dishes are microwave-safe. If it is unclear whether the dish is, double-check the bottom of the dish for a “microwave-safe” label. During cooking, most foods can be microwaved uncovered, but it is always crucial to check recipes or the back of packages to see if the food should be covered with a plate or paper towel.
If a dorm does not contain a microwave, students can bring their pre-prepared meal to a microwave in the commons area of Goudy, the Bistro or the Fishbowl in the library. For more recipes, students should look at Buzzfeed Tasty’s website, and make sure their meal is being cooked in a safe way with the right utensils.