Easy microwave recipes for college students

Whether you’re working long hours at your first “adult” job or cramming for university exams, the hunger pangs are bound to strike. And there’s nothing worse than working on an empty stomach. Having to manage daily cooking or ordering takeout aren’t very helpful ideas. So, the one thing we recommend having wherever you move is a microwave. Yup, that nifty appliance (which in our list ranks right after having a proper bed in your rental space) is not just for warming leftover Chinese food or getting popcorn ready before a Netflix binge. This is something you can use to fix yourself some delicious grub. 

Of course, if food is such a hassle, a smarter alternative would be to stay in a professionally managed accommodation like Stanza Living. Unlike your usual PGs or hostels in Chennai, they’ll give you fully furnished rooms with extensive amenities and healthy and delicious meals. In fact, their new Covid protocol includes a contactless meal service means you can enjoy good food and great vibes without worrying about any risks. You can read about all their amazing offerings on stanzaliving. While meals are already a highlight here, if you still would like to fix yourself something at any time of the day, their buildings come stocked with shared amenities like toasters, microwaves and induction tops as well. 

But if you haven’t made that smart choice, doesn’t mean you have to fret. Or go to bed hungry. We have some quick, yummy, healthy and filling meal suggestions that can be easily managed in a microwave:.

1. Noodles

No matter the weather, no matter the mood, in times of hunger there’s always been one thing that’s there for you – Maggi. Masala, chicken, cheese, atta noodles, no matter what your poison is there’s a version of instant noodles for you. But that doesn’t mean you have to put yourself through the ton of sodium and little nutritional value of that seasoning packet. Skip it instead and create a quick soup or sauce of your own by adding in some handy condiments. Keep it simple with cheese, or microwave some frozen vegetables for your health factor. If you’re really experimental, you can try a mixture of soy sauce, hot sauce and peanut butter for a Thai flavour profile. Don’t forget the toppings – a bunch of spring onions can go a long way – they’re inexpensive, and it’s easy to chop one or two stalks for added flavor. You can even plant them on your windowsill to keep your supply growing! Try it, you’re only two microwaving minutes away from a delicious dish.

2. Rice

Are you tired of surviving on ready to eat meals? Did you never actually master the art of making round rotis before leaving home? Have no fear, because you can actually cook rice in the microwave in a jiffy. Just put 1 part rice to 2 parts water in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 15 minutes. Cover and let it rest for 5 more, and you’ll have perfect rice. And if you’ve already got leftovers, why not mix them up with soy sauce and frozen veggies to create a microwave “fried” rice. The possibilities are endless, and the best part is you can customize it to your taste.

3. Mug Cakes

If you’re like us, you probably spent your lockdown trying out banana bread recipes. And there’s no reason you should stop just because you only have a microwave. Yes, that’s right. Probably the best thing invented since sliced bread, we’re talking about CAKE in a MUG. And not just cake – you can try your hand at cookies, cheesecakes, brownies and even pie. Try our recipe for banana bread in a tenth of the time for proof. Simply mash ½ a banana (right in the mug) and mix with 2 tbsp milk, 1tbsp butter, 3 Tbsp of flour, 1 of sugar and ½ a teaspoon each of baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix it all well and nuke for 1-2 minutes. You’ll know it’s done (and delicious) when the top is firm to touch. We bet life seems much sweeter now.

And it’s not just cooking that you can use your microwave for. Here’s a couple of hacks you can use to save time and effort during the week:

  • Put oranges and lemons in the microwave oven and heat on high for 15 seconds – this makes the fruit easier to squeeze and also helps yield more juice.
  • Fruit like pears and mangoes can be ripened quickly. Set in the middle of the microwave oven and heat on medium for 30 seconds. Leave to cool, but use the same day otherwise they will over-ripen.
  • If you have leftover coffee made with ground beans, keep it in the refrigerator – microwave 1 cupful at a time for 11/2 minutes. Result – fresh tasting coffee – instantly!

We’re not saying you should break out the Gordon Ramsey recipes just yet, but there’s no reason that you can’t upgrade your ready-made or quick cooking favorites when the cravings hit. Especially with post-pandemic worries about restaurants living up to sanitization standards, leave the risks behind by making the most of your microwave. (And let’s not forget, it’s way cheaper than ordering in, and your entry-level salary or college allowance is going to be super grateful.) So whether you’re in a flat, dorm room, or a ladies hostel in Chennai (or anywhere else), these healthy hacks should have you covered. 

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