What do you use your microwave for? Do you even have one? Ours is used mostly for the boys to reheat meals that they’ve missed, and Mr E’s patented microwave bacon when I’m away. The rest of the time it sits forlornly in the utility, alone and unloved. And then Lékué came along and set me a little task: could I create a day’s meals using only the microwave and Lékué’s clever, colourful products. And you know I can’t refuse a challenge…
Firstly, a little more about Lékué – they’re a great brand who produce all sorts of products for things like microwave and steam cooking, providing quick and simple solutions to make everyday cooking easy and enjoyable. I was fascinated with the idea of making a whole day’s meals using only the microwave. Let me also say that we’re slightly weird in our eating habits (this is exacerbated by having teenagers who are basically vampires and like to eat at about midnight), so the traditional breakfast/lunch/dinner scenario does tend to go out the window. On this particular day, I was the only one awake at anything resembling breakfast, and the rest of them piled downstairs about lunchtime wanting breakfast (I know!).
Easy microwave chia oat porridge
I’ll be honest, making my breakfast in the microwave felt a bit weird. I like my little morning ritual of standing at the cooker, stirring my porridge while sipping my tea. Still, I popped my usual breakfast mix of 1 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp porridge oats, 1 tsp pumpkin spice mix (or cinnamon), 175 ml milk into a microwaveable bowl and microwaved for 2 minutes on full power. After that it needs a stir and another two minutes. Leave to sit while you chop the banana/prepare the fruit that you’re using, then serve, with the fruit and a drizzle of honey. It tasted exactly the same and was a bit quicker too.
Poached eggs on toast
When the hoards finally descended, I treated them to heart shaped poached eggs on toasted bagels for their brunchy/lunchy thing. They went down very well. The only thing you have to remember with the Lékué Ovo Heart, the little microwave egg poacher, is to butter the inside of the mould and not to microwave for more than 30 seconds or the egg explodes! Still, practice makes perfect, and after a couple of explosions, I had it down to a fine art.
It was just me and Mr E at tea time, so I cracked open the Lékué Spanish omelette maker. This is really flipping clever. You start by cooking 115 g onions with a tablespoon of oil and two tablespoons of water for three minutes, before adding in 300 g sliced potatoes with another 2 tablespoons of oil and cooking for a further five minutes. Finally, you pour over three eggs mixed with two tablespoons of milk and a little seasoning and cook for three minutes before flipping the whole mould over for the final minute. The result, although obviously not golden brown, was absolutely delicious, with soft, sweet onions and perfectly cooked potato:
We added a couple of rashers of Mr E’s microwave bacon (he squashes it flat with the upturned microwave spatter guard – it’s actually not bad at all) and some fresh tomatoes, plus a couple of slices of toasted sourdough and it was fab. We could see endless variations with this: red peppers, cheese, ham, mushrooms… And if you’re thinking it’s quite a light supper, that’s because of what came next… wait for it…
MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE CAKE!
Oh yes, the final flourish – and our favourite – was the Lékué MinuteCake – little moulds that produce the perfect, soft, tender, rich chocolate cake. All you have to do is melt 110 g chocolate and 110 g butter for two minutes (I stirred after one), then mix 90 g sugar and two eggs and add to the chocolate mixture, plus 70 g self raising flour. The mixture is divided between the MinuteCake moulds and the final touch is a square of chocolate pushed into the mixture (we used white chocolate). A minute in the microwave produces not the prettiest, but certainly the most deliciously decadent, easy dessert, perfect drizzled with a little double cream:
The verdict: I love a good challenge, and this one took me away from my beloved cooker in the most interesting way. The boys really enjoyed cooking like this and we thought it would be particularly good for students, enabling them to cook fresh, healthy meals (and some lovely treats) quickly and easily with just a microwave. The exploding egg was a bit frustrating, so I might stick with my traditional poaching method, but the microwave porridge was a revelation, and I can imagine that both the Spanish omelette maker and the cute little microwave cake moulds will get plenty of use too.
Thanks to Lékué for the lovely products and the great recipes! For more inspiration, check out the hashtag @myLekue.