Gone are the days of using a microwave merely to heat up a bowl of baked beans or warm up some leftovers from yesterday’s takeaway. For 2023, the humble microwave (or “micro-wav-ay” if you're Nigella Lawson!) meal has been given a new lease of life thanks to food expert and bestselling author Justine Pattison.
In her new book PING!, Justine shares 100 fresh and modern recipes that can be whipped up in popular kitchen appliance. What’s more, besides being quick and easy to make, they’re bursting with flavour in every bite.
From fragrant curries to creamy soup, give your microwave meals a makeover with our pick of Justine’s delicious recipes…
Thai chicken coconut curry
Serves three, ready in under 20 minutes
A fool-proof Thai-style coconut curry that’s a doddle to prepare. Serve with rice or noodles alongside.
- 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 25g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 tbsp good-quality Thai red or green curry paste
- 1 × 400ml tin coconut milk
- 175g mixed mangetout or sugar snap peas and baby corn, halved diagonally
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (around 350g total weight), cut widthways into 5mm thin slices
- Small bunch of fresh coriander (around 15g), roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
Tip: Add any other vegetables you like – fine green beans also work well – just keep the weight roughly the same. A few makrut lime leaves or sliced fresh red chillies are good additions too.
Cream of tomato soup
Serves two, ready in 15 minutes
An utterly delicious soup that makes the most of fresh tomatoes and is almost as easy as opening a tin. Use any kind of tomatoes – those soft ones in the fridge that aren’t quite good enough for a salad will shine.
- 350g fresh ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 250ml hot vegetable stock (made using ½ stock cube)
- 2 tbsp double or single cream, plus extra to serve
Tip: If you don’t want to use cream, simply leave it out or add a few fresh basil leaves before blitzing for a fresh-tasting alternative.
Makes four, ready in under 15 minutes
A breakfast bowl of yoghurt, granola and fresh blueberries can be turned into light and fluffy muffins.
- 50g butter, cubed
- 50g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 50g Greek-style yoghurt
- 50g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g granola, clumps broken up
- 50g fresh blueberries
- 15g mixed seeds
Tip: Making just four at a time, instead of baking a tray of 12 in the oven, is quick and easy, but you could double or triple the quantities and cook them in batches, if you prefer.
Extracted from PING! Cook, Bake, Create Using Just Your Microwave by Justine Pattison (HQ, HarperCollins, £20), out now.
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