The microwave is an underrated kitchen tool capable of doing much more than just heating up leftovers and thawing frozen vegetables. While conventional ovens heat foods slowly from the outside in, microwaves cook food quickly and more evenly by sending energy through foods.
The Food and Drug Administration reassures us that this cooking method is perfectly safe, and that “microwaves don’t make foods ‘radioactive,’ or ‘contaminated.’” Harvard Health Publications goes as far to say that steaming vegetables in the microwave is actually one of the most effective ways of preserving their nutrients because they’re only briefly exposure to heat. But the microwave is most celebrated for its ability to cut the cooking time of almost anything — grits, grains, fish, eggs, and potatoes can be ready to eat in minutes.
Use this versatile appliance for these three very healthy meals you can make in your microwave.
Frittata is an Italian word derived from fritta, "fried" — but you can make this breakfast/brunch staple without even turning on the stove. Customize your own frittata by including your favorite vegetables, cheeses, or meats, but it’s best (and healthier) to forget the meats, omit or cut down on the cheese, and mix in quick-cooking vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, or peppers (because the egg sets in only a few minutes). A small salad on the side completes the meal. Click here for the Microwave Frittata recipe.
Microwaving salmon is a full-proof way to consistently produce moist and flavorful fillets. To cook salmon in the microwave, simply wrap it in plastic wrap along with a few slices of lemon and cook it for three to five minutes, depending on how rare you like it. Put it on top a bed of salad greens for a complete lunch or dinner. Click here for the Microwave Salmon recipe.
Microwave Minestrone Soup
On a cold and dreary evening there’s nothing more satisfying than a steaming bowl of soup. Traditional minestrone requires one to four hours of cooking, but this microwaveable version can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes. Making minestrone in your microwave from scratch is a healthier alternative to opening up one of those canned versions, which are high in sodium. For a satisfying meal, serve the minestrone with hunks of crusty toasted multigrain bread Click here for the Microwave Minestrone recipe.