If you want to buy your lunch every day when you go back to school, and the school cafeteria doesn’t tend to offer food you like, then you could look to your slow cooker for some cozy comfort food that will be waiting for you at the end of the day. Slow cookers are great for food that cooks for longer periods, but what about when you’re starving and you want something fast? That’s when you usually turn to your microwave, and microwaves are a must-have for many students who are living in dorm rooms or their first shared apartment.

What kind of foods come to mind when you think of microwave cooking? popping bags of popcorn? heating a can of soup? I’m sure you don’t want to live on hot soup and popcorn for an entire semester.

Microwaves can actually cook entire meals in minutes. Believe it or not, there are some amazing, healthy recipes with fresh ingredients you can cook up in a microwave. Here are a few suggestions for you to try:

Cinnamon Maple Breakfast Quinoa


There is nothing that revs up a morning like a bowl of hot oatmeal, but because quinoa is a super food that fills you up, it’s even better to start your day with a bowl of it. Try this breakfast quinoa recipe when you’re away at school and get every day off on the right foot. Recipe and photo from laurenslatest.com.


1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for garnish
2 teaspoons butter
milk or cream, to taste
maple syrup, to taste
banana slices


Place quinoa in water and rinse well.

Drain quinoa, then stir in 1 cup cold water, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon butter. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir and microwave 3 more minutes. Remove from microwave, cover with foil and sit 2 minutes. Fluff quinoa and stir in remaining butter. Divide between 2 bowls and top with milk, maple syrup, banana slices and cinnamon to taste.



Microwave Risottorisotto3.jpg

Simple, hot, and delicious for lunch or dinner, Risotto will be one of your favourite microwave meals. Recipe and photo from tastefullyjulie.com.


3 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1½ cups vegetable broth, plus extra if needed

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

¾ cup white wine

¼ cup grated Asiago cheese


In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat and saute the garlic and onions for about 2 minutes.

In a 3-quart microwave safe dish (I use a pyrex bowl) heat the vegetable broth for 2 minutes.

Stir the garlic and onion mixture and uncooked rice into the bowl of broth. Cover tightly and microwave on high for 6 minutes.

Stir in the wine, cover, and cook for 10 minutes more.

Since all microwaves are different, if the rice is not fully cooked add ¼ cup broth and cook for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the cheese and serve.



Microwave Pumpkin Oatmeal cookieIMG_4623_thumb.jpg

Late night study sessions call for a treat that will kick start your energy. This microwave pumpkin oatmeal cookie is a recipe for one, but you might want to whip some up for your friends too. Photo and recipe from fannetasticfood.com.


1 very ripe banana, mashed (or applesauce – 1/4 C)

3 Tbsp. Almond Breeze vanilla almondmilk

3 Tbsp. rolled oats

2 Tbsp. pumpkin (canned is fine)

1 Tbsp. nut butter (any kind)

3 tsp. raisins or other dried fruit

2 tsp. ground flaxseed

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. cinnamon


Combine and mix all ingredients in a lightly greased/cooking sprayed or nonstick microwave safe bowl.

Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy!

I’ll bet you can’t imagine not adding a microwave to your back to school packing list now. There are just so many different microwave recipes you can try, you’ll look forward to microwaving a meal.

Take a look at all of the microwaves that will be perfect for your dorm room.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag