Wednesday, 12 March 2014

250 Best Meals in a Mug

250 Best Meals in a Mug
Delicious Homemade Microwave Meals in Minutes
by Camilla Saulsbury
Paperback, 312 pages

Gone are the days I need to cook for five hungry people. Now it is often for one or two. It's hard to change your patterns in the kitchen. Kids grow up, move out. How do you cook for yourself?

250 Best Meals in a Mug gives you one dish meals that you can prepare ahead of time, stick in the microwave and have ready in minutes. No need to purchase microwave dinners or portion controlled meals, you have all that in the mug. Easy peasy.

Not that you would cook that way all the time. (Or maybe you would, what do I know?) But this is a very handy guide to getting you through those busy days that leave you feeling too tired to cook, especially since there is just you that day. Or me.

Homemade meals in minutes. In a mug. Perfect.


A sampling of the recipes:

Super-Fast and Easy Recipes:    Mushroom Barley Soup, Broccoli Basil Soup, Apple Pancake Puff, Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Mix, Cheese Fondue

Breakfast:    Banana Bread, Almond Flour Muffin, Green Onion Bread, Zucchini Bread, Apple Cinnamon Bread, Boston Brown Bread

Soups, Stews and Chilis:    Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Quinoa Minestrone, Miso and Mushroom Soup, Poblano White Chili, Koshari, Red Clam Chowder

Meatless Main Dishes:    Eggplant Parmesan Mug, Green Chile Quesadilla Mug, Chickpea Potato Masala, Curried Lentils with Yogurt and Tortilla, Korean Pajeon

Meat, Poultry and Seafood Main Dishes:
    Philly Cheesesteak Mug, Cauliflower and Ham Gratin, Shrimp with Roasted Peppers and Feta, Shepherd's Pie, Teriyaki Salmon

Dessert:    Sugar Cookie, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Blueberry Dumpling, Bananas Foster, Lemon Pudding Cake, Butterscotch Blondie, Panna Cotta.

Scrambled Eggs Florentine, page 82, Breakfast

You’ll return to this breakfast mugful again and again because it is so convenient and delivers serious satisfaction. The nutty accents of Parmesan cheese and nutmeg gently permeate the eggs, while the tomatoes and spinach proclaim freshness (despite coming from a can and the freezer).

12- to 16-oz (375 to 500 mL) mug
1 cup    frozen chopped spinach    250 mL
2    large eggs    2
Pinch    ground nutmeg (optional)    Pinch
Pinch    salt    Pinch
Pinch    ground black pepper    Pinch
1⁄4 cup    drained canned Italian-seasoned    60 mL
    diced tomatoes   
1 tbsp    grated Parmesan cheese    15 mL

In the mug, microwave spinach on High for 11⁄2 to 2 minutes or until thawed and warm. Using the tines of a fork, press down firmly on the spinach and drain off excess liquid.
Using a fork, beat in eggs, nutmeg (if using), salt and pepper until well blended. Stir in tomatoes and Parmesan. Microwave on High for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds or until eggs are puffed and just barely set at the center.

Tips

Opt for bags, as opposed to boxes, of frozen chopped spinach, as it is easier to remove small amounts at a time.
Freeze the remaining tomatoes in a small sealable freezer bag. You can freeze the entire amount in one bag, or portion out 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) per bag so that the tomatoes are recipe-ready. Be sure to label the bag with the contents. Store for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator or microwave before using.

Prep Ahead Option
Measure the spinach into the mug; cover and refrigerate (decrease the cooking time in step 1 to 30 seconds). Using a fork, beat the eggs in a small airtight container, then add the nutmeg (if using), salt, pepper, tomatoes and Parmesan; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Courtesy 250 Best Meals in a Mug by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2014 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

Barbequed Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps, page 208, Meat Mains

Ready-to-use Chinese hoisin sauce delivers a deep, round intensity to plain chicken, turning it into something sumptuous. Earthy mushrooms and a scattering of green onions ensure that each forkful is a hit.


16-oz (500 mL) mug
1⁄2 cup    frozen sliced bell pepper     125 mL
    and onion stir-fry blend   
1    can (5 oz/142 g) water-packed     1
    chunk chicken, drained and flaked   
1⁄4 cup    drained canned or jarred     60 mL
    mushroom pieces   
2 tbsp    hoisin sauce    30 mL
2    large iceberg, romaine     2
    or butter lettuce leaves   
1 tbsp    sliced green onions    15 mL


In the mug, microwave stir-fry blend on High for 11⁄2 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Drain off excess liquid.
Stir in chicken, mushrooms and hoisin sauce until blended. Microwave on High for 45 to 60 seconds or until warmed through.
Spoon half the chicken mixture into each lettuce leaf. Sprinkle with green onions and any of the suggested accompaniments, as desired.

Suggested Accompaniments
Toasted or roasted chopped almonds, peanuts or cashews; crunchy chow mein noodles

Tips
If a frozen pepper and onion stir-fry blend isn’t available, use 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) mixed sliced fresh bell peppers and onions and, in step 1, cook for about 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.
Hoisin sauce is a thick Chinese sauce akin to American barbecue sauce. Look for it where soy sauce is shelved in the grocery store.

Prep Ahead Option
Measure the stir-fry blend into the mug; cover and refrigerate (decrease the cooking time in step 1 by 30 seconds). Measure the chicken, mushrooms and hoisin sauce into a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate. Place the lettuce leaves and green onions in a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Courtesy 250 Best Meals in a Mug by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2014 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

Double Lemon Cake, page 277, Desserts

Heaps of citrus zing, minimal ingredients, delicious, ready in minutes — what more
could you want from a lemon cake?

16-oz (500 mL) mug, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

Cake
3 tbsp    all-purpose flour    45 mL
1⁄4 tsp    baking powder    1 mL
1⁄8 tsp    salt    0.5 mL
1    large egg    1
3 tbsp    granulated sugar    45 mL
2 tbsp    vegetable oil    30 mL
1 tsp    finely grated lemon zest    5 mL
11⁄2 tbsp    freshly squeezed lemon juice    22 mL

Icing
1⁄3 cup    confectioners’ (icing) sugar    75 mL
11⁄2 tsp    freshly squeezed lemon juice    7 mL

Cake: In the mug, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, beat in egg, sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice until very well blended.
Microwave on High for 11⁄2 to 2 minutes (checking at 11⁄2) or until risen and center is just set. Let cool slightly or entirely in mug. Eat directly from mug or gently remove to a small plate.
Icing: In a small bowl or cup, use a fork to stir confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Tips
Using oil, instead of butter, in this recipe helps to keep the cake extra-moist.
You can use 1⁄8 tsp (0.5 mL) lemon extract in place of the lemon zest.

Prep Ahead Option
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the mug; cover and store at room temperature. Whisk the egg in a small airtight container, then add sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice; cover and refrigerate. Prepare the icing in a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Courtesy 250 Best Meals in a Mug by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2014 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.