Super-Easy Microwave Meals
Sticky Pork Spare Ribs
Makes: about 10 ribsPrep: 10 minutesMicrowave: 28 minutes totalStand: 10 minutes
Chicken & Artichoke "Risotto"
Makes: 6 servingsPrep: 15 minutesMicrowave: 24 minutesStand: 10 minutes
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Makes: 36 meatballsPrep: 15 minutesMicrowave: 15 minutes totalStand: 10 minutes
Flounder with Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce
Makes: 4 servingsPrep: 10 minutesMicrowave: 12 minutesStand: 10 minutes
Turkey & Spinach Manicotti
Makes: 14 piecesPrep: 20 minutesMicrowave: 28 minutesStand: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servingsPrep: 5 minutesMicrowave: 5 minutesStand: 5 minutes
Bittersweet Almond Chocolate Pudding
Makes: 4 servingsPrep: 5 minutesMicrowave: 8 1/2 minutesRefrigerate: 4 hours or overnight
How to Tell If a Dish Is Microwave-Safe
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.
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.