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Top 10 healthy, creative and easy recipes to make in the microwave

Cooking in college can be a hassle, but these simple recipes will hopefully change that

<p>Who would have thought that your microwave was capable of serving you all of the perfect meals you have ever craved to help fuel your studies?</p>

Who would have thought that your microwave was capable of serving you all of the perfect meals you have ever craved to help fuel your studies?

1. Pesto pasta 

First up, we have a creamy pesto pasta. For this recipe, all you need is your favorite pasta, pesto and any toppings you want — I like to add frozen peas, frozen chicken and parmesan cheese. In a microwave-safe bowl, add about 1/2 cup of pasta and fill the bowl up with water, making sure to cover all of the pasta plus about one inch. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook the pasta for its recommended cook time, adding three to four minutes. I normally take the pasta out every two minutes and stir to make sure the noodles are being evenly cooked. Often I find that I do not need to microwave the pasta for the entire time, so be sure to take it out regularly to check its firmness. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add about a tablespoon of pesto. In a separate bowl, follow the directions on the box for any frozen toppings you want to add. Add the toppings to the pasta and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top or eat the pasta by itself — it’s delicious either way!

2. Savory sweet potato 

This is one of my favorite go-to snacks during the day, and it’s so easy! All you need is a sweet potato, almond butter or peanut butter, any type of granola and honey. Using a fork or knife, poke the potato all over four to five times. This allows the steam to escape while cooking. On a microwave-safe plate, put the sweet potato in the microwave and cook at full power for five minutes. Take the potato out of the microwave and, using a fork or knife, pierce the potato to make sure it is soft enough to eat. The potato is done if it is easily pierceable all the way to the center. If not, put the potato back in the microwave and cook in one minute increments, checking its softness each minute. Once done, cut the potato in half and add about one tablespoon of almond butter to either side of the potato. Top with granola and honey to make for a savory yet sweet snack. 

3. Baked potato 

If you prefer regular potatoes over sweet potatoes, this is the recipe for you. You need a potato, butter and salt and pepper. The process of cooking a potato is the same as cooking a sweet potato. Use a fork or knife to pierce holes all over the potato four to five times. Place the potato in the microwave and cook for five minutes on full power. Following the same steps listed above, check the potato’s firmness and cook further if needed. Once the potato is done, cut it in half and add your desired amount of butter to either side as well as salt and pepper. I like to add parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. 

4. Marinara pasta with turkey meatballs 

For this recipe, you will need your favorite type of pasta — I like to use gluten-free, chickpea-based Banza pasta — marinara sauce, frozen turkey meatballs, spinach and olive oil. In a microwave-safe bowl, add about 1/2 cup of pasta and fill the bowl with water, making sure to cover the pasta plus about one inch. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook the pasta for its recommended cook time, adding three to four minutes. Take the pasta out every two minutes to check its firmness — you may not need to cook it for the full time. Once the pasta is cooked, in a separate bowl, follow the directions to microwave the turkey meatballs. Add the turkey meatballs to the bowl of pasta, and in the same bowl you used to microwave the turkey meatballs, add a large handful of spinach and drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil on top. Place spinach in the microwave and cook for one to two minutes. Take the spinach out and stir — it should have a sautéed consistency by now. Add the spinach to your bowl of cooked pasta and turkey meatballs. Then, add a couple large scoops of marinara sauce and stir together. If you are a parmesan cheese lover like myself, top with parmesan, then enjoy! 

5. Fluffy eggs 

This recipe is for all of the breakfast lovers out there. You will need two eggs, cooking spray or olive oil, water and salt and pepper. Spray a microwave-safe bowl with cooking spray or coat the bowl in a light layer of olive oil or vegetable oil. In the same bowl, whisk together two eggs, a tablespoon of water — this makes the eggs fluffier — and add salt and pepper to taste. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 45 seconds. Take the eggs out, stir and cook for an additional 45 seconds. Remove the eggs from the microwave and add any desired toppings such as cheddar or mozzarella cheese, avocado and hot sauce. I like to pair the eggs with microwaveable chicken sausage or bacon.  

6. Asian rice with chicken and vegetables 

For Asian food lovers out there, this recipe calls for microwavable white rice, frozen vegetables of choice, frozen chicken and soy sauce. I prefer to use Tasty Bite’s jasmine rice. For this specific kind, all you need to do is tear the pouch two inches to vent and microwave on high for 90 seconds. Once the rice is done, in a separate bowl add about 1/2 cup of frozen vegetables. I like to use a mix of frozen broccoli, carrots and peas. Fill the bowl up with water, making sure to cover all of the vegetables. Microwave on high for around four minutes, allowing the vegetables to cook. Drain the vegetables and add the pouch of white rice. Follow the directions to cook your frozen chicken and add to the bowl of rice and vegetables. Top with soy sauce for a delicious Asian fusion dish. 

7. Mac and cheese 

This take on the classic dish is creamy, delicious and much healthier than any store-bought microwavable mac and cheese. For this recipe, you will need elbow macaroni, water, cheddar cheese and a splash of milk. In a microwave-safe bowl, put 1/2 cup of elbow macaroni pasta and water, making sure to cover the pasta. Stronger microwaves will need a little bit more water. Microwave the pasta for about six minutes, taking it out every couple minutes to stir. Drain the pasta, making sure to leave a little bit of pasta water at the bottom of the bowl. Add a couple large handfuls of cheddar cheese and place back in the microwave for 45 seconds. Once done, take the pasta out, add a splash of milk and stir. 

8.  Oatmeal with fresh fruit 

For a quick and easy breakfast, try this oatmeal recipe. All you will need is rolled oats, agave syrup or honey, peanut butter, granola and fresh fruit. In a microwave-safe bowl, pour 1/2 cup of rolled oats and fill the bowl with just enough water to saturate the oats. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 45 seconds to a minute — microwave for longer if you want a thicker consistency. Once the oats are finished, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Then, drizzle the oatmeal with agave or honey and top with a handful of granola and some fresh fruit. 

9. Sweet potato veggie burger with mashed avocado 

This is one of my favorite afternoon snacks. You will need a veggie burger, a sweet potato, an avocado and salt and pepper. The brand of veggie burgers I like to use is Dr. Praeger’s. On a microwave-safe plate, place the veggie burger in the microwave and heat on high for 45 seconds. Once finished, take the veggie burger out, flip it over and place back in the microwave to cook for another 45 seconds. Set the veggie burger aside and cut two thick slices of sweet potato. Microwave for two to three minutes until you reach a preferred softness — continue to microwave in bursts of one minute increments if sweet potato slices are not cooked through. Once finished, set the sweet potato slices aside and, using a fork, mash up one half of an avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mashed avocado onto the sweet potato slices and place the veggie patty on top of one of the slices. Place the other slice on top of the veggie burger and enjoy! 

10. Sweet and spicy popcorn 

This recipe will make for a great snack in-between meals. You will need microwavable popcorn, chili powder, cinnamon and agave syrup. Cook the popcorn in the microwave according to the packet instructions. Once the popcorn is finished, pour into a large bowl and sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon on top. Then, lightly drizzle with agave syrup. Using a spoon, stir the mixture together and you are ready to go. This recipe is best served warm and perfect for a snack or for a movie night with friends! 

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