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The Single Guy’s Guide to Cooking With A Microwave Oven

As a single guy, your life has a level of simplicity that is often envied or mocked, but in the end, you’re looking for the same things that everyone else wants in life, and this includes good food. What better accessory to the single life than the microwave oven? Sure, there are naysayers that feel the microwave is nothing more than a tool to heat things up & takes up counter space. For the single guy, however, the microwave can be the ideal way to make a somewhat Spartan existence into a cosmopolitan affair.

First of all, establish the meals that you need on a day-to-day basis. Do you partake in meals throughout the day such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Are you a “snacky” kind of guy? By identifying these details, you’re better able to meal plan & buy groceries for your microwave-based culinary experience.

Maybe you work in an office setting & you need to skip breakfast in order to get to work on time. Missing that all-important morning meal can make for a rough first half of the day. Turns out that making poached eggs in the microwave is pretty simple and very flexible in its use. Fill a 1-cup microwaveable cup with 1/2 cup water. Crack an egg into the water, making sure it’s completely submerged. Cover with a small, microwaveable plate and cook on high for about 1 minute, or until the white is set but the yolk is still runny. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to a plate.

Sometimes being a single guy means you’re operating on a bit of a budget. Budget constraints can often spell disaster for flavor, but with the right items, even your basic mac & cheese can be something singularly awesome because it’s made from scratch. In a microwaveable mug or bowl, put 1/3 cup whole grain elbow macaroni between 1/3 to 1/4 cup water. Microwave for 6 minutes, stirring at the four-minute, two-minute, and one-minute mark. The pasta should be cooked, leaving a bit of thick, starchy pasta water in the bottom. Add 1/3 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese then pop in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Stir well and add a small splash of milk. Season with a little salt, pepper, and if you’re adventurous, cayenne pepper.

Maybe you’ve been seeing someone, and you both just spent a great time having dinner at your place. The music was perfect, you both look stylish but relaxed, and all you need is something sweet to end the night. Why not have some cake? Better yet, why not impress your date even more by making an indulgent cake in a mug courtesy of your microwave? Mind blown! In a 12-ounce mug (think your standard coffee-shop mug), whisk together milk, olive oil, and sugar. Whisk in flour until smooth, slowly whisking in oats, pecans, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon in some Nutella on top and push in gently so it is partially submerged in the cake batter. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds on high, and then use 15-second bursts until the top springs back when you press it. Let stand at least 5 minutes before eating, and add more Nutella if you’d like.

Being a single guy with a microwave oven doesn’t have to mean you aren’t savvy or resourceful — you just may be way cooler than you thought.

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