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10 surprising things you can cook in the microwave

Oven broken or you live in a dorm? No need to opt for fast food as long as you have a microwave.

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Alina Bradford
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1 of 15 Taylor Martin/CNET

Microwave all the things

For a while, my mother and I were obsessed with trying to cook everything in the microwave. There were some hits and some misses. Here are 10 foods that come out great after being nuked. 

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2 of 15 Taylor Martin/CNET

Mugs are key

When cooking bakery items, using a microwave-safe mug is key. The ceramic helps the food heat evenly. 

For example, you can "bake" cinnamon rolls in the microwave. Grab a tube of cinnamon rolls, break one off and put it in the bottom of the mug. Nuke it for 1 minute, then add icing.

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3 of 15 Taylor Martin/CNET

Mug pumpkin pie

Pie isn't off-limits, either. Taylor Martin has a great recipe for pumpkin pie in a mug that is a go-to when you need a single serving of something sweet to eat.

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4 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Cook vegetables

There have been many times I was in the middle of cooking a meal and realized that I didn't have another burner to spare to cook some vegetables. Luckily, there are two easy ways to cook them in the microwave.

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5 of 15 Taylor Martin/CNET

Steam them

All you need to steam vegetables in the microwave is cling wrap and a microwavable bowl. Here are the full instructions for steaming in the microwave.

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6 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Boil vegetables

You can also boil vegetables in the microwave. Place your veggies in a microwavable bowl and fill the bowl halfway with water. Cook the vegetables on high for 3 minutes. 

When the microwave is done, pierce some of the vegetables to see if they are tender. If not, cook for another 2 minutes on high.

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7 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Homemade jam

I love making jam from berries that I find on sale, but I don't like standing over the stove. So, I started making jam in the microwave -- and it's super simple.

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8 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Making jam

To make jam, put two cups of berries into a microwavable bowl with two tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/3 cup sugar and a dash of salt. Mix the ingredients, mashing the berries with your spoon as you go. 

Microwave for 5 minutes on high and mix. Keep cooking in 5-minute periods, stirring between each cycle for a total of 20 minutes. Store your homemade jam in a jar in the fridge. 

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9 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Tea

Now, I'm probably going to get hate mail about this, but you don't have to make tea with a kettle. Microwaved water works, too. Simply fill a coffee cup 2/3 of the way full with water and heat it on high for 1 minute. Then, dunk your tea bag in to steep. 

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10 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Lentils

For meatless Mondays, my family's favorite is lentils. They are full of protein and cook much quicker than beans.

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11 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Cooking lentils

To make up a batch, mix 1/2 cup lentils with 1/2 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and one cup of water. Cook on high for 10 to 14 minutes. Stop the microwave halfway through the cooking time to stir the lentils.  

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12 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Rice

I've been cooking rice for my kiddos in the microwave for years, and it's really simple. It's not as fluffy as rice cooked the traditional way, but it's great for rice pudding or served with butter, sugar and a dash of milk.

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13 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Cooking rice

Put 1 cup long grain white rice, 2 cups water (sometimes I like to use 1 cup milk and 1 cup water for creamy rice), and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a microwavable bowl and mix the ingredients together. Cook it on high for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. 

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14 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Baked potatoes

When you want something hearty but quick, make a baked potato in the microwave. Clean the potato and rub the skin with butter. Poke it with a fork, then cook it on high for 5 minutes. Turn the potato over and cook for another 5 minutes or until the potato is tender. 

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15 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Microwave eggs

Usually microwaved eggs are rubbery, but I've found a way to nuke them so they are fluffy. 

Crack two eggs into a ceramic bowl or mug and whip them with a fork until they start to froth. Add 1/3 cup of grated cheese. Heat on high for 90 seconds in the microwave. Then, just salt and pepper to taste.

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