The Panasonic microwaves are a great way to cook food quickly and safely. The days when microwaves were only used for processed frozen dinners or warming up yesterday’s leftovers are long gone. Many celebrity chefs no longer turn their nose up at using a microwave as part of their kitchen cooking tools and appliances, even though, with the microwave door shut, it doesn’t always make for compelling television cooking!
But there are certain healthy foods that are just made for microwave cooking. There is no reason why your microwave shouldn’t be a key mover and shaker in your healthy diet. Here are five of them.
- Broccoli. It’s a vegetable that is an excellent source of fibre, calcium and vitamins. However it can be easy to boil away all that goodness if you boil it in water on the hob. This is where the microwave comes into its own. The system of heating the food by moving the water molecules about means that considerably less of the goodness is lost when cooking in a microwave. Here’s a great recipe for a healthy mini-meal:
A head of fresh broccoli, cleaned and cut into florets
1 Tablespoon water
1 ½ teaspoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
½ garlic clove, crushed
¼ teaspoon red pepper or chilli flakes (or powder) – if you want it a little spicy.
Steam the broccoli in the water in a covered, microwave-safe bowl on high power for five minutes or until crisp yet tender. Mix the rest of the ingredients together. Completely drain the cooked broccoli and then pour the lemon/garlic mixture over it and move it about with a spoon to fully coat all the florets. Then re-cover the dish and let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow the heat from the broccoli to act with the raw garlic. Check it’s hot (if not pop it back in the microwave for 20 seconds or so) and serve. So simple. So tasty and so nutritious.
Fish can be cooked perfectly in the microwave. All you need to do is wrap your fish in microwave-safe plastic or paper, with a little seasoning (pepper and some lemon or lime or even orange) and cook for about 2 minutes on high power. I can’t say exactly how long you should microwave the fish for because it depends on the size of the fillet and the type of fish. It should be easy to flake with a fork when it’s properly done to a treat. Because fish is such a good source of protein and so lean, it’s a great and healthy food to cook in your microwave.
- Scrambled Eggs
This is another easy one, great for a tasty breakfast. Spray a mug or small cereal bowl with a non-stick cooking spray. Crack and whisk with a fork two medium sized eggs. Cook for one minute in the microwave. Stop, take out, stir, and then replace in the microwave. Cook for another 45 seconds or so until eggs are properly cooked. Add one or two of your favourite spices- I like a little black pepper and Oregano- and serve.
I’m not talking mash here, but a complete potato (including the skin) has less than 200 calories, plenty of fibre and vitamin C. Do not peel the potato, but scrub it and rinse under a hot tap. Then use a fork to poke several holes in the potato (unless you want your potato to explode and coat the inside of your microwave) and cook for about 5 minutes. Then turn the potato over (careful- it will be hot) and cook for another 5 minutes. Not only do you use less energy to cook this way (and save time) more of the goodness is retained.
This was a new one on me, but a friend showed me how you can toast cashew nuts (and other nuts, and coconut as well) to add interest to your stir-fry, steamed vegetables or Biryani. You just tip the nuts onto a microwave-safe plate and spread them out. Cook for a minute, stop and give them a stir/shake. Do this twice more (so three minutes in all. The smell and taste is great!