Learning to Cook with a Microwave Oven

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As my disease progresses, certain things have become very difficult. Cooking is now a challenge. Sometimes my hands don’t grip the way they should. A heavy pot is a recipe for disaster (no pun intended!). Chopping vegetables can be so painful. Standing by the stove kills my feet. I want to healthy meals, so I’ve had to teach myself news ways to cook.

My microwave oven has become my best friends. It is so much easier to put something in the microwave, sit down, and wait. I can’t really do this while pots are boiling on the stove. They have to watched diligently. The longer I stand, the harder it becomes.

Cooking in a microwave is a challenge and involves a whole new set of rules. Preparation must be considered if you have joint problems. I have trouble gripping a knife. My solution is to buy vegetables that don’t need to be cut. Frozen vegetables are a time saver, but baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, baby corn, and other vegetables can either be torn up by hand or cooked whole.

Vegetables that were thrown into a pot and left on the stove have to be done with care in the microwave. Baby carrots need to be covered with water or they shrivel up. Broccoli only needs a little water. Frozen foods are always done before the time on the bag. I feel like a chemist as I mess up one batch and the other comes out just right.

Vegetables are the easiest thing to cook in the microwave. Grains take more care. Pre-made mixes give you the directions, but cooking from scratch is much more difficult. I’m learning as I go. Couscous has turned out to be the easiest and quickest item to cook. A cup of couscous can be microwaved for a minute, then set aside for 15. Viola! It’s easy and perfect! Other grains like brown rice take almost as long in the microwave as on the stove, but they do come out better.

In addition to working out how to cook foods in the microwave, you need to find the right bowls and pots. Although plastic bowls are easy to use, they don’t always hold heat well. I have found that glass bowls work best for microwave cooking. They seem to hold heat, bring water to a boil, and cook evenly. There are also special pots that can be used in the microwave. I have a microwave cooker/steamer made of plastic that can cook up grains or steam veggies. I recently bought a microwaveable pot. It has a long handle like a regular pot, so it’s easy to grab. It also has a lid with holes that is placed on the pot while cooking. It’s a great feature because you don’t have to worry about spilling boiling water all over the place and it is easy to drain.

I am still in the early stages of my new cooking feats. I’ve yet to attempt pasta though I’ve heard it works pretty well in the microwave. I’m still attempting certain vegetables–and messing up more than I’d like to admit. It’s important to me to maintain good tasting meals that are healthy. I can’t get that from fast food or take out, so I’ve got to relearn something my mother taught me in elementary school.

Baby carrots can be microwaved whole. Make sure they are covered almost completely with water. A cup of baby carrots takes about 2 minutes 30 seconds.
Broccoli can be microwave in large chunks with stalk. Water does not have to cover broccoli. Depending on the amount, broccoli takes about 1-3 minutes.
Frozen vegetables come out much better in glass bowls than plastic. Vegetables are not soggy and the texture is more like fresh cooked.
Couscous can be cooked easily in the microwave. Use 1 cup of couscous and 2 cups of water. Microwave 1 minute then let stand 15.
Brown Rice cooks up much better in the microwave then on the stove. Follow the directions on bag/box.


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