I realized I don't have recipe ideas as I don't cook...I consume. And like me, most college students warm up food more than they actually cook it. I have microwave warming skillz because I have never cooked in my apartment #soproud. So here is the break down of how to make your microwave experience amazing. You're welcome.
Tip One: Frozen Entrees Estimates
My go to meals are basically anything from the Trader Joe's frozen aisle. Not only are they budget friendly, but they have super simple instructions on the back on how to warm them up – seems simple enough but be sure to always check your food after even if the estimated time is "3-5 minutes." Every microwave has different wattage and mine can take up to 6-7 minutes to properly warm up everything on the inside. So stir and make sure that its not freezing cold on the inside!! Trader Joes has some great frozen foods for lunch, dinner or snacking!
Tip Two: Reheating leftovers
NEVER warm up leftovers in those plastic containers they came in. Not only do you not know if they are BPA free but often they are not microwave safe. Also, never warm up food directly from Chinese takeout containers! To be sure, always transfer to microwave safe plates or Tupperware ( I find glass is best). If you are unsure about leftovers – maybe it's been 4-5 days – just throw it out... don't take the risk of food poisoning.
Tip Three: Putting foil in the microwave
DO NOT PUT ANY TYPE OF ALUMINUM FOIL IN THE MICROWAVE! ALSO ANYTHING WITH METAL... YES THAT MEANS THOSE PLATES WITH COPPER AND GOLD TRIM.
Tip Four: Tomato Soup or Marinara Sauce
If you love a good tomato soup or some red tomato sauce, just be wary before you microwave it. This very subject is actually what inspired me to write this article. I had tomato soup explode in my microwave far too many times than I would like to disclose. Try using a microwave lid, but if that doesn't work just go old-fashioned and use the stove. If you're hungry for some tomato soup right about now, learn to make some yummy tomato soup here!
Tip Four: Clean your microwave
This may seem obvious but I know so many college students who have never cleaned their microwaves... I share mine with three roomates and we all have different tastes so after a couple days there is lovely collection of different smells. One of my favorite tools to clean the microwave is a cute little "Angry Mama" steamer I bought from Amazon. I put a bit of lemon, water and sometimes for a good clean, vinegar and stick it in four a couple minutes and bam it's like a brand new microwave!
Tip Five: Defrosting
So as previously mentioned, I don't cook – but I do get frozen food from my mom (shoutout to my mother for cooking amazing food), and then I freeze it and then I forget how to defrost it. Defrosting is actually super simple, each microwave has a different defrosting setting and if your microwave doesn't, try looking for 50% power instead. I go by the simple rule of thumb: 7 minutes for each pound of food.
Tip 6: Don't use the Microwave if you don't have to
The irony in this is too real. I use my microwave at least once a day.. but the truth of the matter is a microwave is still a form of radiation (they are "non-ionizing" radiation but thats still radiation. I already sleep next to my phone so I'm trying to cut down on my DRI (Daily Radiation Intake). Anytime you have the time to use the oven or the stove instead even though it takes more energy and pots, just try and do it. Your body will thank you in the long run. Check out these simple non-microwave dinner ideas if you are feeling newly inspired!
Bonus Random Microwave Hack!
Whenever I get cramps, swelling or inflammation my heat wraps and hot water bottle magically disappear, but my microwave is my savior. Take a towel, wet it and put it in the microwave for one minute at a time, and repeat this 2-3 times and instantly you need a nice hot compress. This has saved me on multiple occasions.