10 Useful Gadgets for Gourmet Microwave Cooking
Fast and Easy Cooking
In days when processed food fast being outlawed as being unhealthy, and when we are all tired when we come home from work, it's wonderful to be able to put together a healthy meal in a few minutes. Whereas once I thought that cooking with a microwave made food unhealthier, I have found no evidence that it is so. Instead, over a period of a year, I stocked up with some pretty decent cookware and now preparing food is quick, easy, and tasty. What more could you want?
All the omelette makers look more or less the same and work the same way. So it's a matter of taste and budget as to which one you would like. Just a quick tip, though. I found that the hinges of the cheaper model were inclined to wear more quickly. They still produce a wonderful egg dish, though, so I had no qualms about buying one at budget price.
Recipe for Omelette
1/2 cup sliced ham and green peppers.
1/2 cup grated cheese.
Sea salt to taste.
1. Whip the eggs and salt with a fork.
2. Divide in two and pour equal quantities into each side of the omelette maker,
3. Leave the omelette maker open. Cook for about two minutes on medium until egg is partially set. It will be more cooked on the outside and less cooked on the inside.
4. Open microwave, stir egg so that the more uncooked egg on the inside moves towards the outer edge of the omelette maker
5. Scatter the ham and green peppers on top of the egg on both sides
6. Add the grated cheese to both sides.
7. Put back into microwave and cook for another minute (still open).
8. Remove omelette maker again from microwave. Close it and cook for about 30 seconds.
9. Remove from microwave and use an oven mitt to open if necessary.
10. Tip omelette onto your plate and enjoy!
If you love your eggs with your bacon, then it's important to get this handy gadget. It makes cooking bacon a breeze! Strictly speaking, you don't need the bacon rack and can just use any microwave safe plate, but I find it easier to have a gadget for each item I like to cook.
The important thing with cooking bacon in the microwave is to put paper towels (which absorb the oils and make it less calorie dense, therefore) on the rack, and then to put the strips of bacon on top of the paper towels.
Factor one minutes for each slice of bacon. They won't be quite done, but the bacon goes on cooking after you've switched off the microwave so it will be ready for eating by the time you have removed it and are ready to eat.
Read more about different ways to cook bacon.
Chocolate Melting Jug
Okay, you can't say the word chocolate in front of me without my mouth overtaking my brain and me heading for the shops to buy chocolate. After trying to cure my chocolate habit, I found a way around it. Serving chocolate sauce with baked bananas is a healthy tasty option. :)
Fried Banana, ice cream, and chocolate sauce
Recipe for fried bananas and chocolate sauce
Teaspoon coconut oil
2 sliced bananas
sprinkle of cinnamon
Between 3 and 6 squares of chocolate (depending on chocolate habit).
1. Heat coconut oil in pan at low heat.
2. Add sliced bananas and let simmer for two minutes.
3. While bananas are simmering, add chocolate squares broken into small pieces to chocolate melting jug.
4. Cook at low heat for a minute
3. Sprinkle cinnamon and flip bananas. Let simmer for another minute.
4. Remove bananas and put into plate.
5. Remove chocolate from microwave and pour over bananas.
6. Eat your feast.
Potato cooker or Sweet potato cooker?
I try to avoid potatoes ever since my naturopath told me that they weren't that good for my health. He suggested that I substitute sweet potatoes and that is what I do. I like the white sweet potatoes (not the orange ones which I think are more yams than potatoes). The advantage of the white sweet potatoes is not only that they are sweet enough to serve as desert, but that they are very high fiber, and with a dab of organic, salt-free butter, served with a green salad will keep you full, satisfied, and healthy! To my mind, the microwave potato cooker I'm suggesting in the very best. Read the reviews.
Heath benefits of sweet potato
Boil eggs without the hassle!
My late father had two soft boiled eggs every morning for his entire life. No cholesterol. And I must admit that if I'm not having an omelette, I like nothing better than a soft boiled egg, a slice of toast, half a grapefruit, and a cup of rooibos tea. :)
I will admit that I used about three or four microwave boiled egg cookers before I found one that worked for me. I don't know why I struggled but I did. So this is the one that I eventually settled for.
Vegetable and Fish Steamer
This particular item is probably one of the best cooking gadgets I have ever used. I like fast. I like easy. I like healthy. And I like cheap! No apologies. It's difficult to beat a veggie and fish dish in terms of health.
Recipe for steamed fish and veggies
Fish of your choice
Veggies of your choice.
1. Put a little water (about a tablespoon) in the bottom part of the microwave steamer. Any more than that, and your food will be soggy. You don't want that.
2. Add veggies and fish (and whatever seasoning you would like) separated by some space if you don't want their tastes to intermingle.
3. Cook for about four minutes on medium power.
4. Switch off microwave and allow to sit for about three minutes. Remember that food in a microwave goes on cooking even after you have switched it off. If it isn't completely done, cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Microwaves, for reasons I don't understand, tend to have different quirks! ;)
5. Put onto plate and eat! Delicious and healthy! Also super fast.
Pasta Cooker with recipe book.
What would a meal be like without the occasional pasta. I am, of course, trying to be good and not have a diet high in starch (bread, pasta, pizza, cake, rice, etc.) But I'm human and my taste buds do strange things when I come near a nice a dish of pasta. So I caved in and two or three times a month, i will succumb to pasta temptation and cook up a meal made in paradise! And super fast as well!
The nice thing about this pasta cooker is that you don't have to wait for the water to boil. You just put in the water, put in the pasta, put on the microwave, and in minutes, it's done!
What I like about this particular pasta cooker is that it works with the Fasta Pasta recipe book. Of course, I still like my old spaghetti bolognese recipe. :) I recently tried this recipe, though, and I find it pretty good. :)
How to microwave pasta
Cooking rice in minutes
Brown rice is one of those incredible foods which you can mix with a multiple of foods, change the taste, is in the ph neutral (and therefore health), has loads of B vitamins, and brings the warmth and satisfaction of starch. So when cooking time is down to minutes, you can bet it's a good deal. Incidentally, you can also add frozen veggies to your rice, and it does a really nice job. :)
Incidentally, it's one cup of rice to two cups of water. :)
Cooking perfect rice in minutes
Cooking a stew...
This item is supposedly a pressure cooker, but I don't think it can be. I used to use a pressure cooker and, sure, they make the tougher meats very tender in no time at all. My issue with them was always that it was such a high temperature and that the higher the temperature, the more they kill minerals and vitamins.
This 'microwave pressure cooker' allows one to stew a meal in very little time. It's one of my favorites because I have always loved stews. Just think, carrots, broccoli, meat, onions, and more, all in the same pot. No pressure! :)
That said, I have to say in the interests of fair disclosure that I only use this when I have guests. (I am single and don't have family living with me.) When I cook a stew for only one, I use the teeniest slow cooker and go gallavanting during the day to come home in the evening to a nicely cooked meal. :)
Recipe for Beef and Wine Stew.
This takes about an hour and serves four people.
1/2 lb chuck beef cut into cubes. No bones.
1 cup sliced onions
3 tablespoons flour or thickening agent.
1 cup chopped potato
1 cup carrots
1 cup broccoli
1/4 teaspoon origano
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix all ingredients in your microwave dish.
2. Microwave for thirty minutes
3. Let it stand for about ten or fifteen minutes before serving.
1. Mix beef and flour in 3-quart microwave-proof casserole. Stir in remaining ingredients except parsley.
2. Cover. Microwave on high (100 percent) power 5 minutes. Stir.
3. Cover. Microwave on medium (50 percent) power until meat is tender and vegetables are soft but not mushy, 50 to 60 minutes.
4. Let stand, covered, 15 minutes. Garnished with fresh parsley and serve.
Beef and Red Wine Stew
If you like melted chocolate over your ice cream (or anything else), this is the most amazing item to melt it in a minute or two in your microwave. Does a perfect job! :)
So there you have it!
The perfect kitchen with nine useful cooking ware items and one great microwave cookbook can all be purchased for under $150, and if you do without the 'pressure cooker,' then it comes in at about $100 (on Amazon, anyway). Worth every penny. :) And they don't take up much space either.
If you haven't yet invested in a microwave oven, then it's probably a good idea to shop around. The cheaper ones don't have the range that the medium cost ones have (although they are a little simpler to use because there are not so many buttons). They do the job, however.
The other advantage here is that if you have a small space for your cooking area, a microwave is perfect because it is small and fits in anywhere. The 'pots and pans' can be fitted into a small cupboard. They are also easy to wash.