So you just dropped your son off to college, and you’re a little nervous – the biggest thing he knew how to cook was toast. Plus, now he’s got exactly one appliance to rely on: a microwave. Here are some quick ideas for your college bound kid that are both microwave friendly & budget conscious – feel free to share on your son or daughter’s facebook with the buttons below! 🙂

Steam Vegetables

It’s easy to make delicious vegetables in the microwave. One of my favorites is to use a microwave steamer. Simply fill the bottom part with water, load the veggies in on top. Cut up a sweet potato & add a sprinkle of cinnamon, salt, and sugar – voila: a simple side dish that takes seven minutes to heat.

Corn on the Cob

Hand your son a pile of ears of corn & tell him to get to work a shuckin’! All you have to do to make succulent corn in the cob in the microwave is wrap an ear in a damp paper towel. Put it in for three minutes, and voila! Delicious, juicy corn that’s a healthy mid afternoon snack. And it can be drizzled up however you’d like – I love a little drizzle of taco seasoning and a squeeze of lemon for a Mexican corn on the cob fiesta!

Fancier Popcorn

Did you know that you can make a healthy, customizable option using just a paper lunch bag? It’s true! Just fill in a quarter cup of popcorn into a paper bag, spritz it with a cooking spray, fold down the paper bag top twice to seal it, then microwave as you would a normal microwave popcorn bag. I love adding lemon pepper to mine for a little salty punch, or if I’m in the mood for a little sweet & salty, then a drizzle of honey, cinnamon, and salt to toss it really hits the spot.

Chicken Pasta with Zucchini Noodles

This requires a little bit of prep work, but is absolutely delicious in a pinch. I use a julienne peeler to make noodles out of zucchini. Estimate one large zucchini per serving. It’s a nice way to keep your carbs low and your proteins high, which makes it a good way to keep the freshman fifteen out of your son or daughter’s life. Just use the peeler like you would a potato peeler – the small ridges in the julienne peeler do all the hard work for you. Ten minutes, and then you’ll have a pile of ready to cook zucchini noodles. I add in some herbs de provence, a little salt & pepper, then put in some frozen chicken strips or ready to cook grilled chicken, add in some pasta sauce of your choosing, and a little dash of garlic powder. Then pop the whole thing in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, and voila! A delicious chicken pasta dish that’s healthy, quick, simple – and tastes like it should be much more complicated than it is. The julienne peeler can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond or even on Amazon for less than ten dollars.

Dessert Mugs

There are a thousand and a half –approximately! Let’s estimate! — recipes for microwaveable brownies in a mug, microwaveable desserts in a mug. I love this recipe below because it’s simple and can be made with a packet of cocoa that your son or daughter might already have – from your latest care package! 🙂 Here’s how to do it.


6 tablespoons from your favorite cocoa packet
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips


Using a fork mix together the hot chocolate mix and flour in a coffee mug
Stir in the oil, water and vanilla until all of the ingredients are wet.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.

So there you go! Five fantastic microwave ideas to lend your son or daughter a home cooked taste during their dorm life diet. Enjoy!