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I hate to admit it, but until I moved into my new microwave-less apartment building a couple of months ago, I pretty much made every meal in microwave or toaster oven. Living in an art-deco that was built in 1929 comes with both architectural charm and well, challenges. After dabbling in the world of meal-making using the stove in my new place, I began to grow tired of the lack of convenience. So, I’ve recently retracted my anti-microwave stance and purchased one. I may be in the last year of my twenties, but that doesn’t stop me from shamelessly making “mug meal” recipes in the microwave. Apparently not only can oatmeal and eggs be whipped up with a good old-fashioned coffee mug and a few minutes in the microwave, but so too can roasts, pastas and even desserts.
Naturally, when I discovered that “mug meals” were an actual thing, (and not just some juvenile cooking method for those dodging the duties of adulthood), I was both stunned that I hadn’t invented this up-and-coming culinary fad and also, elated. Hence, it appears that I’m not at all alone when it comes to my love of eating everything from a mug. Ice cream, popcorn, soup, you name it — I like eating it from a mug. While I can’t explain the origins of this bizarre dining preference, I can tell you that if you’re like me, there are plenty of ways to spice up your mug meal game with the help of some of these creative cookbooks.
Clearly, this is great for college students, but also for those of us who are just simply helpless in the kitchen. I’ve been told by countless friends and colleagues that it’s time for me to graduate from the microwave to an equally as easy slow cooker, but I’m honestly not yet sold. While I’m not exactly advocating for lazy cooking habits, but it’s a fact of life that whether you’re a well-versed chef or straight-up clueless, we all have days where tossing together a fine meal just isn’t going to happen. So, the next time you find yourself having one of those days, consider these cookbooks your best bet.
1. 250 Best Meals in a Mug: Delicious Homemade Microwave Recipes in Minutes
Saulsbury’s comprehensive assortment of mug meal ideas spans across breakfast to dinner recipes, with plenty of nutritious and diet-friendly options to choose from. Some of my favorites include the low-carb almond flour muffin and the cauliflower and ham gratin.
2. Mug Meals: Delicious Microwave Recipes
Dina Cheney’s cookbook is full of 125 fresh recipes for single-serving mug meals (including desserts), all made with fresh ingredients. Some of my favorites include the Moroccan Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew, Lox and Bagel Strata, and the delicious Molten Chocolate Cake with Truffle Filling.
3. Mug Meals: More Than 100 No-Fuss Ways to Make a Delicious Microwave Meal in Minutes
Chef and author of Mug Cakes, Leslie Bilderback, composed this follow-up cookbook chock full of seriously easy meals that you can make in just five minutes or less. Whether you just want a quick snack or are cooking a dinner for one, these elevated recipes won’t taste like microwave mac and cheese. Trust me.