Overcoming Eating Challenges, Part 4 - Microwave Cooking with COPD
When it comes to cooking, for people with COPD a microwave can be your best friend. In this article I have several recipes all of which are cooked in a microwave oven. Most of the recipes are meals that can be cooked in a cup or bowl and take no more than 5 to 10 minutes from start to finish. I do however give a few at the bottom that can serve 4 or more people. With a little practice most can be adapted for more people, like the meatloaf in a cup. All you need do is use more ingredients a larger bowl and cook longer. When adapting a recipe the preparation time and energy use will be about the same it's the cooking time that has to be longer.
Many times the same type of food can be adapted to solve any problem you have with eating. Eggs are one such food.
Troubled chewing: Poach or soft boiled eggs, lightly toasted bread dunked in coffee, tea, or milk, to soften and a small glass of juice.
Underweight: Egg McMuffin, (see recipe below), served with vanilla latte or hot chocolate, and a glass of fruit nectar.
Overweight: Poached or scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast served with black coffee or tea, (if you must use skim milk and sweet with the small amount of honey) and a small glass of unsweetened juice.
And for those of you who think you don't have the energy to prepare any of those meals, they can all be prepared in 5 minutes or less. Eggs can be cooked in the microwave, scrambled or an egg McMuffin takes 45 seconds to one minute, poached eggs take the longest from 3 to 5 minutes.
All recipes are cooked in a 1100-watt microwave.
I was given a microwave egg McMuffin maker as a gift, I do a lot of these recipe in it or have container made for microwaved cooking that I have purchased, but you can do them in a microwave safe cup or bowl.
Egg McMuffin in a cup
- Cooking Spray
- pinch of salt
- English Muffins, biscuit,
- Ham (bacon or sausage)
Spray a microwave safe mug with cooking spray. Place one egg in the cup cover and microwave on high for 20 seconds, egg will still be soft. Add meat and cheese and cook for 30 second more. Toast your muffin, spread it or biscuit with desired amount of butter. Removed egg from place on muffin or biscuit enjoy.
- Run the water from the tap as hot as you can make it.
- Fill a microwave safe bowl with it.
- Add salt to said water and 1/2 tsp of cider vinegar.
- SLOWLY break an egg into the bowl place carefully in microwave.
- Then nuke it on high for 2.5-3 minutes depending on how hot the water is and how much water is used.
You may have to try a few times to get it right.
You can tell by removing it with a slotted spoon. It will jiggle and give. You eat it as is or turn it into egg Benedict by putting it on a toasted English Muffin, that has a slice of ham and cheese on it, then top all with Hollandaise sauce.
Quiche in a Mug
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk (substitutes: half and half or heavy cream)
- 1 teaspoon melted unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 4 small grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/8 cup torn pieces of fresh bread
- 1 tablespoon grated cheese (e.g., cheddar cheese, mozzarella, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs, plus more for garnish (e.g., green onions, Italian parsley, chives, etc.)
In a microwavable mug, add egg, milk, melted butter, salt, and pepper and whisk until thoroughly mixed and egg whites are completely broken up. Add halved grape tomatoes, torn bread, grated cheese, and chopped herbs on top of egg mixture, making sure ingredients are evenly dispersed and have not settled to bottom of mug. Ingredients will stay settled within the quiche mixture better if you do not whisk ingredients into egg mixture. Place mug in microwave, and cook on high for 1 minute, just until egg is completely cooked and quiche is slightly puffed, eat immediately.
Minute Microwave Cheesecake
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 2-4 Tbsp sugar replacement sub (taste as you go)
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high heat for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds incorporating all ingredients. Refrigerate about 60 mins before serving.
Optional: Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream and nut meal.
Makes one, one-cup serving.
Meatloaf in a Mug
- 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon onion soup mix
- 1/4 pound lean ground beef
In a small bowl, combine the milk, ketchup, oats and soup mix. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Pat into a microwave-safe mug or custard cup coated with cooking spray. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160°; drain. Let stand for 3 minutes. Serve with additional ketchup if desired. Yield: 1 serving.
Coffee Cup Chilaquiles
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sharp cheddar cheese
- 5 tortilla chips, divided
- 1 tablespoon salsa
- Sour cream
- Queso fresco (optional)
- Chopped green onion (optional)
Beat egg and milk with a fork in a coffee cup, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add cheddar; stir to coat. Break 3 or 4 tortilla chips into small pieces to fit in the cup; stir into the mixture. Add salsa and microwave on high until done, about 1 minute, 10 seconds. Garnish with remaining tortilla chips, sour cream
- 1 single portion salmon filet
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2-3 fresh cut lemon slices
Rinse the salmon and pat it dry. Season the fish with salt and pepper, (I use Mrs. Dash instead) mayonnaise an lemon slices. Place the salmon in a microwave safe dish and tightly cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave the salmon for 3.5 minutes. Pierce the fish with a fork in the center to check if the salmon is cooked through. If there is no bright flesh in the center, the salmon is ready to eat. If there is uncooked fish left, cook for an additional 30-45 seconds before checking
Microwave Recipes that searves 4 or more:
Pork Chop or Chicken Casserole
- 4 (1/2" thick) boneless pork chops, or chicken breast or thighs
- 1 sm. thinly sliced onion
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 (10 1/2 oz.) can condensed celery or mushroom soup
- 1 (1 lb.) can applesauce
In 10" glass skillet arrange chops in corners. Layer with onion, brown sugar and salt. Top with soup. Microwave High, covered, cook pork 12 to 14 and chicken 8 to 10 minutes rotating 1/4 turn halfway through cooking. Rest, covered, 10 minutes. In 2 cup glass measure, heat applesauce and spoon hot onto casserole prior to serving. makes 4 servings. When cooking pork or chicken make sure juices run clear, that how you'll know they are done. I eat this with rice, or noodles and a vegetable cooked in the microwave while the meat is resting. Since this recipe and the two below serves more then one I freeze the extra in indivisible meal containers and freeze. Better then store bought TV dinners.
Pot Roast and Vegetables
- 2 lb. pot roast, boneless
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. liquid beef stock
- 1 (24 oz.) pkg. frozen vegetables
Trim fat from roast, place fat in 10 inch casserole with lid, use cook cycle for 5 minutes. Place roast in drippings, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn roast over add liquid stock. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Turn roast again and cook for further 10 minutes. Add vegetables and cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. This is great for when I have guests. I don't have to do a lot, it's good and I don't get so SOB that everyone (but me) goes into panic mode, lol.
Microwave Chicken and Rice
- Microwave 1 to 2 quart casserole dish.
- 1 c. Minute rice
- 1 tsp. salted chicken bouillon or 1 pkg. unsalted
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 tsp. parsley
- 1/4 tsp. basil
- 1/4 tsp. dill weed
- 2 or 3 skinned chicken breasts
- Mrs. Dash seasoning
Place ingredients in dish as listed. Cook 7 minutes on High for each pound of chicken.
Crockpot cooking is also great for COPDers that have to cook for families or want to cook in bulk and freeze in in divisable portions for later. I have used it lately when the boys come over to visit. The grandkids love crockpot Mac & cheese, it's yummy. You can make the recipes above for from $.85 (Egg McMuffin) to $1.60 (Pot Roast) per serving. You can look online for all kinds of easy, inexpensive, and good tasting microwave or crockpot recipes, Bon Appetit. Breathe deep and easy.
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on March 2, 2018, Mary Ultes passed away. Mary was an engaged advocate for the COPD community who strived to help people live fulfilling lives. She is deeply missed.