If you are tired or simply do not have the time to prepare a delicious meal for yourself, instant lunch can be an easy and quick solution to your problem. And one would think – “What better way to prepare instant lunch, than in a microwave!”, but can you actually microwave instant lunch?
Technically, you can, however we do not recommend it as it might end up exposing you to a lot more risks than benefits. In this article we will learn why microwaving instant lunch is not something we should do and how we should cook our instant lunches instead in a safer way.
Before sharing with you other ways of preparing instant lunch, let’s find out why we must not microwave it.
Why Not To Microwave Your Instant Lunch
Most instant lunches come either in plastic wrap or in a plastic cup. The cups, containing the lunches are made of styrofoam which is usually used in the building industry for isolation. It is made out of polystyrene and carbon dioxide gas. Does not sound very appetizing at all, right?
In order to cook the instant lunch, we have to boil it. So similar to the cup noodles, when the water inside any container gets heated up, it transfers heat to the vessel as well – in this case, the cup. Once the styrofoam cup gets heated, it releases dangerous chemicals and fumes such as styrene gas, which is known for affecting the upper respiratory tract, but it can also irritate the eyes and skin.
In this case, the best way of preparing such lunch will be in a glass or any other microwave safe bowl or plate. Just follow the instructions on the package – usually, it will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes to get the lunch cooked in a microwave.
A safer method, we recommend instead will be preparing the instant lunch in a wok or skillet on the stove. There are countless ways to enhance the dish and you can do so in a quick and easy way too!
Alongside with the instant lunch, you can reheat any vegetable or meat leftovers. Everything can be spiced a bit with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and a touch of soy sauce. Or if you are out of soy sauce, you can try to use heavy cream instead. Just stir it in with the hot leftover and the instant lunch and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and salt as per taste. A delicious meal, prepared for no more than 10 minutes!
Another way of elevating such a meal would be by frying some bacon in a pan. Make sure that the temperature is high enough. You can toss in some cherry tomatoes and cook them until their skin bursts. For more flavour add some minced garlic and curry powder. It will be a delicious garnish to your instant lunch!
Finally, for those who enjoy their instant lunch cold, how about a cold salad – grate 2-3 carrots, ½ purple cabbage, 1 cucumber and toss them in a bowl with 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp of olive oil, salt, pepper. Or if you do not like the taste of balsamic vinegar, substitute it for lime juice and add 1-2 tbsp of plain greek yoghurt. This will be the perfect salad to refresh your lunch!
To sum this up
Do not boil or cook instant lunch in their cup as the heat makes it release fumes, dangerous for your health. Instead what we recommend is to use a microwave or heat safe glass bowl, while the best option for preparing such lunch will be on the stove.
Instant lunches can taste bland sometimes so unleash your creativity and try to spice them up! Look through your fridge or pantry, try out a new flavour or spice combinations; this is a very forgiving item and even if you put too much soy sauce, you can add a drop of honey to balance it out, or if you put too much salt, pour some more hot water into the mix to compensate for the taste.
Even if it might not be the star of the menu you have prepared, you can turn it into a great salad or side dish with the help of a few veggies and extra seasoning and we all know that salads are the world’s healthiest snack, so nothing wrong with turning your instant lunch into a fresh new snack!
We hope you found this article interesting and that with our tips we managed to inspire you! We are sure that next time you buy an instant lunch, you will create something more delicious than ever! Check out our previous article “Can you microwave cup noodles” for more useful recipes and ways to improve and instant dish!
Stay safe while cooking and beware as more articles are on their way!