Mug Meals: Quick And Easy Winter Dishes You Can Make in the Microwave
Photo: istetiana (Getty Images)
When it’s cold outside, you crave warm, hearty meals, but the last thing you want to do is spend all day cooking when you could be curling up under a blanket. Well, look no further than your kitchen cabinet because the key to quick and easy winter meals is as close as your coffee mug. With its sturdy handle and ample depth, you can fill it to the brim with a variety of portable dishes that let you cozy up to a delicious mug meal with maximum flavor and minimal labor (or clean up!).
Fad diet takedown: Do Pre-Made Meals Take Out The Guesswork?
The most important meal of the day just became the most manageable by giving you a time-saving option for the start of your day. Eggs are a no-brainer. Crack a few yolks into a mug, whisk them, season to taste, and a two-minute trip in the microwave transforms those yellow yolks into a yummy soft scramble. You can also add in shredded cheese. chives, or sliced ham to kick the creativity up a notch.
Photo: Getty Images/Zoryanchik
For those times when you're craving a morning muffin, but don't want to bake a dozen (because you'll eat a dozen; we can relate), a single serving muffin is only 90 seconds away, soft and steamy like you just pulled it out of the oven. Simply combine flour, baking soda, sugar, coconut oil, milk, and fresh blueberries in a mug and hit the start button. Seriously, it's that easy.
Or, if French Toast is more your thing, just add two tablespoons of butter to the bottom of a mug and top with a whisked egg and splash of milk, then pile it high with cubed bread and a sprinkle of cinnamon before setting the timer for two minutes. Voilà. Fluffy bursts of baked bread are ready for syrup or fresh berries.
Photo: Getty Images/Anaiz777
No need to labor over lunch when you can languish effortlessly with a multitude of mug-worthy options. Got leftover tortillas lying around? Line the bottom of your mug, and top with salsa, cracked egg, shredded cheese, and any other toppings you desire. In under two minutes, you've got a restaurant-worthy dish with no dishes to wash! Garnish with sour cream, hot sauce, or fresh cilantro and your afternoon just got a spicy pick-me-up.
Photo: Getty Images/Rimma Bondarenko
Soup and Sandwich
Soup and a sandwich are the perfect lunchtime staples, and now you can prepare them in a single vessel. Just blend fresh tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, and chicken or vegetable stock, and pour into a mug for two minutes in the microwave to heat the mixture. Then, top with a piece of crusty bread like a baguette or sourdough that can stand up to the hot liquid and smother it with Swiss (or any stretchy cheese of your choosing) for a quick jaunt in the broiler to melt it down to a gooey golden brown. Boom! You've got the equivalent of tomato soup and grilled cheese, whose contents you can scoop out of a single cup. Some truly genius ideas were inspired by laziness, and this one tops the list.
Photo: Getty Images/Vallomay
Making dinner after a long day can be a daunting proposition, but it doesn't have to be, because you're practically a professional mug chef at this point, right? So, let's put those skills to the test with the ultimate comfort food -- lasagna. Layers of carbs and cheese normally take hours of cooking and prep to infuse all those rustic flavors, but you can mimic that slow-cooked goodness in under 15 minutes from start to finish with a simple spinach and ricotta filling.
Using fresh lasagna sheets that you just need to cut into squares to fit your mug, line each layer with a dollop of ricotta, chopped baby spinach, tomato sauce (or fresh plum tomatoes), and mozzarella cheese until you reach the top. Pop it into the microwave for two to three minutes and you've got spoon-ready sustenance without the fuss.
Photo: Getty Images/Tenkende
Another dish that typically benefits from slow cooking is rice, but we're all about big flavors with little time investment so give "Mug Fried Rice" a shot, ready in just three minutes. That's right, pillowy puffs of rice are only a few rotations in the microwave away.
Just whisk an egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, and onion powder in your mug, add in a cup of cooked jasmine rice, some frozen peas, chopped green onion, shredded purple cabbage and a pinch of mung bean sprouts and you've got flavorful fried rice in less time than it would take for the delivery guy to arrive.
Photo: Getty Images/Banar Fil Ardhi