Your microwave isn’t just for making popcorn or reheating leftovers anymore. From melting chocolate to cooking vegetables, your microwave is a value and time-saving tool in the kitchen. These healthy recipes for dinner, desserts, snacks and side dishes can be made strictly in your microwave.
1. Sweet Potatoes With Warm Black Bean Salad
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Prick sweet potatoes with a fork in several places. Microwave on High until tender all the way to the center, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place in a baking dish and bake at 425 degrees F until tender all the way to the center, about 1 hour.)
Meanwhile, in a medium microwaveable bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, oil, cumin, coriander and salt; microwave on High until just heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan over medium heat.)
When just cool enough to handle, slash each sweet potato lengthwise, press open to make a well in the center and spoon the bean mixture into the well. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.
2 tablespoons canned nonfat refried beans
1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
1 tablespoon prepared salsa
1 tablespoon shredded cheese, such as Mexican blend or Jack
Spread beans on toast. Top with salsa, then cheese. Microwave on High until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot, about 45 seconds.
3. Microwave Potato Chips
1 ⅓ pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Slice potatoes into thin (1/8-inch) rounds. Toss the slices in a medium bowl with oil and salt to coat evenly.
Coat a large microwave-proof plate with cooking spray. Arrange some potato slices in a single layer on the plate. Microwave, uncovered, on High until some slices start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes (depending on potato thickness and microwave power). Turn the slices over and continue microwaving until they start to crisp and brown around the edges, 2 to 4 minutes more. Check frequently and rearrange slices as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer the chips to another plate and allow to cool completely. (They will crisp more as they cool.) Repeat with the remaining potato slices.
4. Chocolate & Banana
1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips
½ banana, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon nonfat vanilla yogurt
Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave. Top banana slices with the chocolate and the yogurt.
5. Tuna, Artichoke & Basil Stuffed Potatoes
4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 5- to 6-ounce cans chunk light tuna (see Note), drained
¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¾ cup shredded provolone cheese
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave on Medium, turning once or twice, until soft, about 20 minutes. (Or use the “potato setting” on your microwave and cook according to manufacturer’s directions.)
Meanwhile, combine tuna, yogurt, 1/2 cup basil, artichoke hearts, scallions, capers (if using), salt and pepper in a large bowl.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut off the top third. Scoop out the insides and add to the bowl with the tuna. Place the potato shells in a microwave-safe dish. Mash the potato and tuna mixture together with a fork or potato masher.
Evenly divide the tuna mixture among
the potato shells. (They will be very well stuffed.) Top with cheese. Microwave on High until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes. To serve, top each potato with a little tomato and some of the remaining 2 tablespoons basil.
6. Cherries With Ricotta & Toasted Almonds
¾ cup frozen pitted cherries
2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta
1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds
Heat cherries in the microwave on High until warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Top the cherries with ricotta and almonds.