A quick and healthy meal is always possible, even if you
don’t want to get out a single pot or pan. The microwave can be used for much
more than just reheating leftovers or popping a bag of popcorn. It can be a
great tool for getting delicious and nutritious meals out on the table in
minutes. You can eat healthy all day long – including some healthy snacks –
with these microwave recipes.
Breakfast: Microwave Poached Eggs
There’s a reason eggs are considered the perfect breakfast
food: They’re packed with protein. A single egg will start your day off with
seven grams of high-quality protein, five grams of fat, and only 75 calories. A
study found that people who ate a protein rich breakfast had less hunger cravings and
snacked less throughout the rest of the day. Nutritionally, an egg offers
vitamins A, D, E, K and a host of B vitamins, including choline. Choline is
used to build cell membranes and is important for brain development.
If you’re tired of the same old scramble, it is time to up
your egg game with poaching. The traditional method for poaching eggs involves
boiling water in a pan with salt and vinegar, stirring the water to create a
vortex, and dropping a cracked egg in. This method involves watching the egg
carefully and pulling it out at just the right time. By using the microwave,
you can achieve a perfect poach without the mess, fuss or time commitment.
Simply fill a microwave-safe bowl with hot tap water, and
add a pinch of sea salt and ½ tsp of white vinegar. Crack an egg carefully into
the water, being careful not to break the yolk. Microwave the egg in water for
two to three minutes (depending on your microwave’s wattage), until the egg is
firm yet jiggly. Enjoy as is, or serve on top of greens or a sprouted grain
Snack: Microwave Granola
Granola can often be misleading. It seems like a healthy
snack, but if you pick up a bag of grocery store granola, the nutrition facts
often read more like a candy bar – it’s full of sugar and high in calories. To
enjoy the wholegrain goodness of granola, make it yourself at home in an
individual, lower calorie, portion.
Granola can be a heart healthy snack. Oats are a great
source of beneficial beta-glucan fiber that has been shown in studies to have positive effects on
cholesterol levels, and antioxidant avenanthramides linked to reduced cardiovascular
Sweeten your granola with a touch of maple syrup, and add a
serving of chopped nuts for protein and omega-3s. Microwave granola will have a
slightly chewy consistency, and adding nuts will give it a bit of a crunch.
In a one-cup microwave safe-bowl, combine ¼ cup whole rolled
oats (not instant), 1 tablespoon water, 1 tsp maple syrup, and three to four
chopped nuts (such as almonds or walnuts). Stir to combine, and microwave on
high for three to five minutes (depending on your microwave’s wattage) until
all the moisture is gone and the granola looks golden.
Lunch: Microwave Southwest Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa is a protein-packed grain bursting with
heart-friendly fiber and beneficial nutrients, including iron, manganese,
magnesium, vitamin B2 and lysine. Adding corn, bell peppers, cilantro and lime
to quinoa makes it a tasty southwest-inspired lunch that can easily be made in
the microwave. Bell peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange, and cilantro
is more than a tasty garnish – it’s also a green with detoxifying power.
In a microwave, cook frozen bell peppers and frozen corn
according to the package directions. Alternately, you can cook fresh bell
peppers and corn by placing cut and washed vegetables in a microwave-safe dish
and adding water until it just covers the vegetables. Place plastic wrap over
the bowl. Cook for two to three minutes, stir, and then cook for another two to
three minutes. Continue this process until the bell peppers are soft and can
easily be pierced with a fork. Set vegetables aside.
Rinse one cup of quinoa thoroughly in the sink, and then add
it to one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl with high sides. Cover loosely
with plastic wrap, and cook for three minutes. Remove carefully and stir. Return
to the microwave for another three minutes, then stir. Depending on your
microwave, an additional two to three minutes may be needed. When the quinoa
begins to spiral apart and the outer white ring becomes visible, it’s ready.
Add the cooked quinoa to the steamed vegetables, then
garnish with chopped cilantro, the juice from half a lime, and a sprinkle of
Dinner: Microwave Salmon with Steamed Vegetables
Salmon is chock full of inflammation-fighting omega-2
essential fatty acids, and a single serving contains plenty of vitamin B12, B3,
vitamin D, selenium and phosphorus. The nutrients in salmon have been
associated with vision health, joint health and even improved mood.
Season one salmon filet with sea salt and cracked pepper,
and place in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for one to two
minutes until the edges of the salmon look flaky, and the middle is cooked
through. Serve your salmon with microwave-steamed vegetables, and garnish with
The next time you feel short on time, don’t sacrifice your
health by heading for the nearest drive-thru window for a quick meal. With
these quick and easy microwave meals, you can stay on track with your healthy
eating plan, without a ton of effort.