Most of the time, the microwave is a last resort in my home -- or it has been until now.
I don't like reheating food in the microwave, as it can ruin the texture of delicious leftovers. But with a clever twist, the microwave can be a powerful cooking tool that can whip up some tasty eats in 5 minutes or less.
Update, Nov. 2, 2017: First published on Feb. 16, 2016, this gallery has been updated with new recipes and a video.
A personal recipe of mine is a scrambled omelette in the microwave.
Crack two eggs into a coffee mug, add one sliced mushroom and a handful of chopped spinach. Add a half tablespoon of olive oil, salt to taste and powdered pepper. Stir thoroughly and pop it in the microwave for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds. At the 30 second mark, pull the mug out and stir again. Stir once more at the 1 minute mark.
Sprinkle some more pepper on the top and you have yourself a delicious, scrambled omelette in a cup.
Single-serve cakes in coffee cups or mason jars are perfect for birthday parties or for dinner dates with friends. Follow the instructions on the box for any cake mix and pour a small amount of mix into a mason jar.
Put the mason jar in the microwave for 1 minute. Keep in mind that the cake mix will expand rather dramatically in the microwave, so leave plenty of room in the cup or mug. Otherwise, you will be left with a giant mess to clean up.
Let the cake cool for a minute or so before serving with a scoop of ice cream on top.
You can also make pizza in a mug, and it's a lot quicker and easier than you might think. This recipe comes from Bigger Bolder Baking.
First, make the dough by mixing 4 tablespoons of flour, 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/16 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon of salt into a coffee mug. Pour in 3 tablespoons of milk and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the mixture and stir. You may need to use your hands to knead the dough.
Next, press the dough down into the mug with your fingers, add a little marinara sauce, cheese and the toppings of your choice. Throw it in the microwave for 1 minute, 20 seconds. (The time needed may vary depending on your microwave.)
Sit the mug aside to cool for a few minutes. After it has had time to cool, it's ready to eat!
Pancakes are super easy to make to begin with. But if you don't want to take the time to cook multiple pancakes for yourself, you can simply pour some pancake mix in a mug and nuke it for 45 to 90 seconds.
It won't have that golden brown crust to it, but it will still taste just as good. Add butter, drizzle on some syrup and enjoy!
Add one banana, 1/2 cup peanut butter, one egg, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to a blender carafe. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
You can then refrigerate this mix until you're ready to use it.
Fill a coffee mug halfway with the mix and pop it in the microwave for 1 minute, 20 seconds. You will have a fluffy -- and healthy! -- muffin, perfect for a busy morning on the run.
If you have a hankering for some sweets at night and you don't want to bake a whole batch of cookies, you can toss a single serving of cookie dough in a mug and place it in the microwave for 1 minute.
You can enjoy the cookie immediately for a warm, soft cookie. If you let it sit, it will begin to harden, especially around the edges of the mug. (It's like a corner piece brownie, cookie-style!) Either way, it's best enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
French toast in a mug is as delicious as it sounds. You will need a bread of your choice, one egg, butter, milk, cinnamon and two coffee mugs.
Add a small amount of butter to the bottom of each mug and place them in the microwave for roughly 15 seconds. Next, cut four pieces of bread (two per mug) into cubes and place them in the mugs. In a measuring cup, whisk one egg, 3 tablespoons of milk and cinnamon. Optionally, you can add a dash of vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture into the mugs, making sure to cover the bread as thoroughly as possible, and let sit for one minute. Place the mugs in the microwave for approximately 1 minute, 20 seconds.
First, add a teaspoon of butter to the mug and microwave it for 15 seconds. Then crumble two ginger snap cookies and pour the crumbs into the mug. In a measuring cup, mix 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, an egg, 1 tablespoon of milk and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
Add the mixture to the mug and microwave for 2 minutes.