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Cookbook review: 'A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal' offers something for everyone
"A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal" is by Amy Sherman and illustrated by Nate Padavick. - photo by Tequitia Andrews
"A MICROWAVE, A MUG, A MEAL," by Amy Sherman, illustrated by Nate Padavick, Gibbs Smith, $14.99, 110 pages

College students, busy singles or anyone wanting a quick, easy meal will appreciate "A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal" by Amy Sherman, with illustrations by Nate Padavick. This compact cookbook is actually color-coded laminated recipe cards enclosed in a heavy cardstock swivel case.

Sherman, a San Francisco-based food writer and recipe developer, has put together 100 recipes ranging from the simple, such as Cheddar Bacon Oatmeal, to the sophisticated, such as Mediterranean Seafood Stew, all prepared in a soup mug and microwave. Sherman provides basic instructions on microwave cooking and provides a list of global pantry staples that are inexpensive and easy to find. Most recipes can be made with common pantry staples.

"A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal" offerings include breakfast foods, appetizers, soups and stews, sandwiches and salads, seafood, hearty main dishes, vegetable sides and desserts. Vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are individually labeled, as well as those that with a little tweaking have the potential to becoming vegetarian or gluten-free. There are also several kid-friendly snacks and desserts, such as Italian Meatball Sliders, Fluffy Vanilla Oatmeal and Double Chocolate Cake.

The logistics of the swivel page encasement may be a little troublesome. However, it provides sturdiness as the pages become worn from overuse. Each section is color-coded and that helps to find the type of recipe needed quickly.

"A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal" has enough variety and appealing recipes to keep a home cook satisfied for months.


Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese is very creamy without the need for bechamel sauce. Use macaroni that indicates a cooking time of 5 to 7 minutes.

cup macaroni

1/3 plus cup water, divided

pinch of kosher salt

teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon whole milk

2 tablespoons canned diced green chiles

1 teaspoon Neufchatel or cream cheese

cup shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese

Combine the pasta, 1/3 cup water, salt and oil in a soup mug. Cover with plastic wrap, vent, and microwave at 300 watts for 5 minutes.

Add cup water, cover, vent, and microwave at 300 watts for another 5 minutes.

The macaroni should be moist and the liquid mostly absorbed. Stir in the milk, green chiles and cheeses until well combined.

If necessary, microwave at 1,000 watts for an additional 30 seconds to completely melt the cheese.

"A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal," by Amy Sherman, illustrated by Nate Padavick, reprinted with permission from Gibbs Smith
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