By: Victoria Lopatka, Peak Associate
In our first recipe box, we featured simple, healthy recipes that any busy student can whip up. But for students who need quicker alternatives, what’s more convenient than the humble microwave? Throughout my time living in residence at SFU, I came to rely quite heavily on the microwave. I often didn’t have a lot of time to cook, so I valued its minimal pre-heating time and quick-cooking abilities. Within minutes, a busy student can have a hot meal. The one downside, though, is that a lot of frozen microwave meals aren’t very healthy and may contain ingredients you don’t want to be eating regularly. After a few initial weeks of eating frozen food in residence, I decided to branch out and research some easy, somewhat healthy, microwave-centric meals. Today’s recipe categories include recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Tasty Breakfast Recipes
First, breakfast; the most important meal of the day! This section includes your classics, like eggs and oatmeal, but also some suggestions for if you want to try something new, like a breakfast “cookie.”
2 Minute Egg Omelet in a Mug: Who doesn’t like a tasty, quick, and easy omelet recipe to start the day? It can be personalized to suit your tastes and the contents of your mini fridge; try adding cheese, bacon, sausage, spinach, onions, peppers, and more. This omelet only takes a few minutes to make, so it’s perfect for when you want a warm and healthy meal — but only have a few minutes before you have to leave for class.
Breakfast Cookies: Don’t let the label of “cookie” dissuade you from having this for breakfast: this “cookie” is made of bananas, oatmeal, and honey. This recipe is perfect for those that have a sweet tooth, but are trying to cut down on those sugary breakfast cereals.
Chocolate Oatmeal: Instant oatmeal from those little brown packets is good, but this is better: chocolate, nuts, bananas — what more could one want in your breakfast oatmeal? Before discovering this chocolate oatmeal, I never really had oatmeal for breakfast, but this recipe has converted me into a regular oatmeal-eater (an oatmeal-er? an oat-er?).
Banana Bread in a Mug: If you stand in line for 20 minutes at Starbucks every morning to get your banana loaf and coffee, save some time and money with this quick little recipe. You probably have these ingredients sitting around: flour, sugar, eggs, etc. Add some cinnamon and chocolate chips if you want something a little extra!
Easy Lunch and Dinner Recipes
Next, we have our lunch and dinner recipes. Whether you’re plant based or like some meat, a novice cook or a microwave-recipe connoisseur, have five minutes or 15, one of these recipes will surely satisfy you.
Quick Chicken Fajitas: When I first stumbled upon this, I was skeptical about how I could make chicken fajitas in the microwave — but this recipe is actually a gem, if you have about 15 minutes to spare. All you need is some chicken, spices, wraps, the vegetables and toppings of your choice, and a microwavable container with a lid. Just a quick note: every microwave is different, so double check that your chicken is fully cooked before eating it!
Vegetarian Burrito Bowl: A burrito bowl at Chipotle or Quesada can be expensive, not to mention how it’ll cost you the time you’ll spend walking or on transit, waiting in line, and returning back to your dorm. On the days where you don’t want to spend money and time, but want something warm and healthy to help you survive the cold Burnaby mountain winters, try this vegetarian burrito bowl.
Mac and Cheese in a Mug: So, you’ve just gotten back your final grades and you’re in desperate need of comfort food. You could reach for the box of unnaturally-orange Kraft Dinner . . . or you could whip up this quick mac and cheese. Plus, instead of having to wash a stovetop pot, multiple spoons, and a bowl, your only dishes tonight will be a single mug — which we both know you’ll leave in the sink to “soak”, anyways.
Microwave Risotto: This is the recipe you’ll want to post on your Instagram story to flex on your friends and family — no, you’re not just surviving on instant ramen and whatever food is being handed out in Convo Mall! This recipe includes options to customize the risotto with squash, sage, mushrooms, bacon, kale, or whatever other veggies and spices you may have. As a bonus, white wine is one of the ingredients, which, if you’re over the age of 19, you can sip as you cook.
Baked Sweet Potato: Your mom will be so proud of you that you’re eating a sweet potato. Some yummy possible toppings include: maple syrup, butter, mustard, kale, salsa, avocado slices, eggs, bacon, ginger, arugula, and garlic.
If you have a sweet tooth, this next section is for you: desserts and sweet snacks! It’s debatable whether these are “healthy” or not, but probably better than downing a bag of Skittles on your study break.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Mug Cake: Picture this: you’re all warm and cozy in your dorm room, bundled up before Netflix, Disney+, or whatever you watch when you’re procrastinating. Outside, the weather is horrible — as it always is on Burnaby mountain. It might even be snowing! You’re craving something sweet and chocolate-y, but you don’t want to leave your dorm. Enter: this mug cake.
Easy Carrot Cake Mug Cake: This has carrots in it, so it’s most definitely healthy. If you’re feeling boujee, you can put whipping cream, pecans, and shredded carrot on top.
Chewy Peanut Butter Cereal Bars: As I scrolled through the glossy pictures of these bars, I thought “there is no way this is made in a microwave.” Yet, it is. I do warn you, though, there are 15 steps to get to the completed product, so it’s for you elite microwave chefs.
At this point in this article, I’m running out of interesting commentary to make on microwave-friendly meals, specifically mug cakes. This is a mug cake with blueberries. It does not require eggs. Blueberries are good for you. Enjoy.