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22 August 2013

recipe :: microwave magic

i grew up with 'microwave meals', but not in the traditional, cook from frozen sense. you see, my mum uses her microwave to cook, a lot. i remember her making some wonderful meals in her microwave; cakes, soups, baked potato, roast chicken (no, i'm not kidding),  it was a matter of 'the quicker the better' as far as she was concerned. i remember coming in from school on wednesday arvos (wednesday was roast chicken day) to the sound of the microwave already cooking. no-one else would be in, but she will have pre-set it that morning to turn on at a certain time. it was normal to me growing up. i've since discovered that not everyone had the same microwave-appreciative mother.
i've realised also, that her penchant for microwave meals has not rubbed off on me. i all too often pull the pots and pans out of the cupboard when i could just turn the microwave up and save myself both some time, and some dishes (who am i kidding; i don't do the dishes). so, when spread it fast asked me to test out a few of the recipes from panasonic's faster chef student challenge in the microwave, well... you guys know i love a challenge - especially a foodie one, and especially especially a thrifty one!
i checked out the recipes in the challenge, and was shocked at the range of meals being made in the microwave. the first of the recipes i found was cous cous. i love cous cous; it's quick and easy, and a filling and healthy side option to any salad or bit of grilled meat. this one is more like a meal on its own, so is perfect for the end-of-week, when there's bits and pieces left in the fridge - but nothing really cohesive. this one is a maybe from me.
the second one i found - controversially, was chilli con carne. yes, despite my disgust of mince meat, when i saw this chilli being made in the microwave, well i was curious! or, dubious, more like it. i get nervous cooking mince meat on the stove top - but, in a microwave? i doubt this is any quicker in the microwave than on the stove, and i quite like the control i have over how well the meat is cooked when i'm cooking on the stove, so i don't think this one will be made anytime soon. i also don't like adding pre-made sauces; i make all of my own usually. this one is a raging no from me.
and the last recipe i found was salmon and chilli mango salsa.... i luuuurve anything mangoed, so this one was a given. curious (dubious?) again about cooking fish in the microwave, i do remember my mum cooking it in the past, so will be prepared to give it a go. the mango salsa looks diiiivine, and will definitely be a regular side to my dinners. mango, avocado, prawns and corriander are some of my faaaave ingredients, ever, so these are always in stock in my fridge. i'm not so keen on salmon, so not sure if it will be made in it's entirety, but the salsa get's a major yes from me!
so, two out of three ain't bad. i won't be attempting the chilli, but the others all seem straight forward and worth a try! am i convinced that microwave cooking saves time and dishes? occasionally. do i believe that the microwave is a good substitute to traditional stove-top cooking? some of the time. will i be living on a diet of microwaved cous cous and chilli and mango salsa? abso-bloody-lutely.
are you a fan of microwave cooking? have you tried any of these recipes?

*written in collaboration with brand*

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  1. Neat! I've tried very little microwave cooking (the only thing I really cheat time on is baked potatoes in the microwave), so I'll be curious to hear how these go!

    Ladyface Blog

  2. I literally only use my microwave to warm things up, I had no idea it could be used to actually prepare meals... clearly I don't spend much of my time experimenting in the kitchen ;)


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