The microwave has been relegated to serve as a simple heater of leftovers, but it's good for so much more. No, we don’t mean they’re also a cancer-causing death trap — there’s little convincing evidence that microwave ovens release enough radiation to harm human beings . In fact, microwave ovens have been taking undeserved criticism for way too long: they’re called ovens for a reason, and they can create meals equal to anything from a standard oven.
Skeptical? We’ve put together a list of absolutely delicious meals — breakfast, snacks, dinner, and dessert — that will quickly make you forget all the disappointing, soggy pizza and rubbery leftover meat. Whip up just one of these beauties. You won’t believe your taste buds.
The original story has recipes for 40 microwaveable dishes; some of the dishes for various meals are here. For the full list, go to Greatist.com.
2. Crispy Microwaved Bacon Here’s a hint: This method doesn’t involve paper towels. If you really like your bacon crispy (and who doesn’t?), try heating the slices on top of an overturned bowl; the extra fat drips down the sides, leaving you with an extraordinarily easy breakfast that no one will believe came straight out of a microwave.
3. Vegan Blueberry Muffin Muffins that taste more like cake aren’t exactly a healthy breakfast choice, but this vegan version is definitely an exception. Made with fresh berries and coconut oil, there’s no need to fight this temptation — dig in!
11. Potato Chips Few people would put “crispy” and “microwave” in the same sentence, but nuked potato chips are a thing, and they use far less oil than your typical package of Lay’s. These are surprisingly simple; just remember they'll continue to crisp as they cool down.
12. Toasted Nuts Toasting nuts releases their essential oils, which gives them that oh-so-fragrant scent. But using the oven isn’t always necessary. Microwaving nuts won’t give them the same dark color as using the oven, but this method will give them a crunch and taste that’s nearly identical to the traditional method.
Lunch and Dinner
19. Flaky Microwaved Salmon This is a dish that really nails the message that the microwave is an oven and can make dishes so healthy, tasty, and fast that you’ll wish you’d taken advantage sooner. The sriracha mayonnaise adds a lot to this meal, but we recommend swapping the mayo portion for some protein-rich Greek yogurt.
20. Four-Minute Corn on the Cob The trick to making really simple corn on the cob is to leave the husks on — there’s no need for stripping, soaking, wrapping, or even a plate! After four short minutes, the corn is perfectly cooked, without the mess.
22. Quick and Easy Polenta Polenta is a wonderful and filling base for just about any savory meal, and it works especially well as a comfort food during cold, winter months. It turns out the cornmeal-based dish is super easy to make in the microwave, too. This recipe pairs the creamy stuff with sautéed greens for an easy comfort meal that’s rich in flavor and nutrients.
33. Chocolate Chip Cake in a Mug In less than five minutes, you can have healthy, gluten-free cake in your belly — and with this single-serving recipe, there’s no chance of overeating. This calls for a few tablespoons of xylitol or artificial sweetener, but feel free to sub for sugar or another natural sweetener if you’d prefer. The result — in the form of one larger serving or two more modest ones — is astoundingly good.
34. Healthy Oatmeal Cookie A great option for breakfast or dessert, this cookie comes in at under 100 calories per serving (well, if you skip the chocolate chips!). Made from whole-wheat flour, egg whites, and applesauce, this is the perfect choice for a light,high-fiber snack.
35. Pumpkin Buckwheat Microwave Cake Delivering plenty of fiber and pumpkin flavor, this gluten-free cake skips out on regular sugar in favor of stevia. The buckwheat flour is a nice touch, and adds a nice protein boost.
For all 40 things you didn't now ou could make in a microwave, go to Greatist.com.