Super-Easy Microwave Meals

Think your microwave can't manage more than reheating leftovers? Think again. Our 6 superfast recipes will have you falling in love with that little oven all over again.

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Sticky Pork Spare Ribs

Sticky Pork Spare Ribs
Prep 10 m
Microwave 33 m
Stand 10 m
Microwave total

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Chicken & Artichoke "Risotto"

Chicken and Artichoke "Risotto"
Makes 6
Prep 15 m
Microwave 24 m
Stand 10 m

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Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Prep 15 m
Microwave 15 m
Stand 10 m
Microwave total

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Flounder with Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce

Flounder with Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce
Makes 4
Prep 10 m
Stand 10 m
Microwave 12 m

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Turkey & Spinach Manicotti

Turkey & Spinach Manicotti
Makes 6
Prep 20 m
Stand 10 m
Microwave 28 m

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Thai-Style Scallops

Thai-Style Scallops
Makes 4
Prep 10 m
Microwave 5 m
Stand 5 m

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Bittersweet Almond Chocolate Pudding

Bittersweet Almond Chocolate Pudding
Makes 4
Prep 5 m
Chill 240 m
Chill or overnight
Microwave 8-1/2 minutes

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How to Tell If a Dish Is Microwave-Safe

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Most glass and ceramic dishes are safe for the microwave, but if you have any doubts, here's a quick way to test:

* Place 1 cup of water in the dish. Place in the microwave and cook on HIGH for 1 minute. If the water gets hot and the dish remains cool, that means the dish is safe to use in the microwave.

* If the dish gets hot, then it's not safe — it may contain lead or other metallic substances.


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Microwaving Vegetables

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Trying to eat more vegetables but don't know how to cook them? Follow our quick and easy guidelines and you won't have any more excuses. (Studies show veggies retain more nutrients when cooked this way!)

* Place vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl with a small amount of water and cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Vent slightly and microwave on HIGH. Cooking times vary, so check for doneness.

* Leafy vegetables such as spinach require 1 to 2 tablespoons of water per pound and take about 5 minutes.

* Green vegetables such as green beans and broccoli require about 4 tablespoons of water per pound and take about 8 minutes.

* Dense vegetables such as carrots and diced potatoes require about 6 tablespoons of water per pound and take about 10 minutes.

Originally published in the October 17, 2008, issue of Family Circle magazine.