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Wianda Gilliland

One of the most terrifying questions you ask yourself long before your first year starts is: “What am I going to eat?” And then there’s the classic: “How am I supposed to make my own food?”

Fear not, new Maties, because it is not impossible. By using a microwave cleverly you can dish up delicious and healthy meals.

One trip to Checkers and you’ll have breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week. These recipes are merely here to inspire your inner MasterChef, because once you get the hang of it, you will have so much fun cooking and coming up with your own recipes.

Add some ingredients, leave some out, go crazy to transform these three easy dishes into what you love to eat and love to make.

Breakfast: Mug omelette

– 1-2 eggs (depending on the size of the mug)
– 2 tbsp milk
– 1 slice of ham, diced
– ¼ cup baby spinach
– 1 tbsp cheese
– Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1
Whisk the eggs and milk in a mug.

Step 2
Add the ham, cheese, baby spinach, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Step 3:

Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Omelette should have risen and become loose from the sides of the mug.

Step 4
Enjoy as is or eat it on a slice of toast.

Variations: Swop the fillings to anything you enjoy in an omelette – diced onion, peppers, feta, smoked chicken. Add some basil pesto or any fresh herb for some extra pizzazz.

Lunch: Chicken Couscous Salad

– ½ cup couscous
– ½ smoked chicken breast, sliced
– 1 cup baby spinach/fresh rocket
– ¼ cup feta
– ½ cup drained canned chickpeas
– ½ an avo, sliced
– ½ cup rosa tomatoes
– Dressing (optional), e.g. 1000 Island sauce or mayo
– Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1
Boil water. Pour couscous in a mug and cover with boiling water. Cover the mug with a tablecloth or a plate and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes. Use a fork to stir through cooked couscous. The couscous should be fluffy and dry.

Step 2
Add couscous to a bowl. Add all the other ingredients. Finish with some salt and pepper and a dressing of your choice.

Variations: Leave out or add anything you like. Cucumber, canned corn, sundried tomatoes, basil pesto, more cheese, some leftover chicken schnitzel. Anything goes! You can also leave out the couscous and put the fillings in a wrap.

Dinner: Baby Marrow Spaghetti Bolognaise

– ½ pack of baby marrow spaghetti (available at Woolworths Food and Checkers’ veggie sections)
– ½ jar of bolognaise sauce (or any pasta sauce)
– Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1
Place the baby marrow spaghetti in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 min 30 seconds.

Step 2
Add the sauce on top of the baby marrow and microwave for a further 1-2 minutes, until the baby marrow is cooked.

Step 3
Add salt and pepper to taste, mix the sauce with the baby marrow and enjoy!

Variations: add some smoked chicken and/or cheese.

It’s going to take a few practice rounds to start making your own food like it’s second nature, but keep at it and you won’t be sorry a few months down the line. Remember, if all else fails, ready-made meals at Spar are also a thing.

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