Often the only thing that’s going to get you through a particularly boring working Wednesday is knowing that you have something exceptional waiting for you in the the fridge. Sometimes, foodie fantasy can be difficult to turn into reality. Enter every hungry office drone’s best friend - the microwave. Here are a few dos and don'ts for maximising your microwaveable lunches that will make every midweek lunch worth waiting for.
Do: Make it cheesey
Microwaves are great for many things, not least of which is melting exceptionally cheesy lunch time treats. For those lucky enough to have an office suitably equipped, microwaves hold the key to transforming last night’s sorry looking pasta into a glorious, gooey triumph. Just make sure that your cheese is grated prior to attempted melting. We recommend mozzarella, cheddar and red leicester - but don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild!
Don’t: bring bread to a carb fight
A microwave can be your enemy as well as your friend. Just as cheese can take your lunch to new heights, microwaved bread can reduce your meal to a sorry, soggy mess. As the microwave heats up the resident water molecules, the lack of circulation causes the water vapour to stay trapped within the bread, turning what should be warm and fluffy into steaming mush. Science sucks. So, no matter how perfect you think that bit of naan would be with your leftover curry, or how tasty that garlic bread was last night, resist! You will only be disappointed.
Do: Learn to love the potato
Anyone who ever craves a carby start their afternoon should have a shrine dedicated to the potato. Not only does the spud form the cornerstone of vast numbers of delicious dishes, they work exceptionally well in the microwave. Gone are the days of waiting for hours, staring balefully through the oven window at a particularly uncooperative specimen - a zap in the microwave is all you need to be transported to jacket heaven. Load up with your favourite toppings, whack on full and then enjoy the parade of jealous office faces that will greet your exit from the kitchen.
Don’t: Count your chickens. Or prawns.
Some food was born to be microwaved. Some, however, should be avoided like the plague. Chicken is one such food. Whatever you do to it, put it anywhere near a microwave and it will dry out. If you want to avert a mouthful of stringy sawdust with your lunch, have the pre-cooked meat cold, or not at all. The same is equally, if not more true for seafood, which becomes distinctly boot-like after even the shortest blast. Spare your beautifully prepared fishy feast this indignity and instead gently heat it when you have an oven or hob to hand.
Sticking to these rules is a sure fire way to guarantee that your microwave experience ends in merriment rather than misery. Pay heed! Use or abuse of a microwave can make or break your lunch time - use wisely and give this mighty machine the respect that it deserves.