Watching my Wiscard balance dwindle throughout the semester continues to be one of my most terrifying daily occurrences. When I notice the number dropping precipitously lower, perhaps after a tater totchos binge at the Rathskeller, I try to think of creative ways to keep my Wiscard balance stagnant. 

Unfortunately, one can only eat at Qdoba for so long before risking credit card debt. Plus, hunger strikes without a moral cause do not last very long.

The easy solution to this problem would involve stove-tops and ovens, but who has time for that in the throes of midterms?

Luckily, my trusty friend  the microwave  always provides a quick cooking mechanism that saves my stomach in a true time crunch.

It’s time to think beyond ramen and start using your microwave to its full, fast potential.

All of these recipes can be made using ingredients from only Walgreens and Fresh Madison Market, so making delicious food won’t require much effort at all.

Cooking Sucks: An easy dish for a busy scheduleDo you hate to cook? If you answered no to this question and enjoy meticulously scrolling through Pinterest planning your Read…

Mug Mac N’ Cheese

½ cup fully cooked elbow pasta

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Your favorite variety of shredded cheese (as desired — I use about three handfuls)

  1. Pour elbow pasta, cream and half of your cheese into a microwavable mug, stir
  2. Lay the remaining cheese atop the pasta
  3. Microwave mug for 65 to 75 seconds
  4. Remove and enjoy cheesy goodness

Estimated cost per serving: $3

This recipe creates a mac and cheese that is pretty similar to what is available at Noodles and Company for a fraction of the price. It pairs well with Dino Nuggets for an added protein boost.

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Microwave Mash

⅓ cup instant potatoes

⅓ cup water

⅙ cup milk

A dollop of sour cream

A pinch of chives

Salt to taste

  1. Combine potato flakes, water and milk in microwavable container, stir
  2. Heat in microwave for 90 seconds
  3. Carefully remove from microwave and let sit for a minute
  4. Add sour cream, chives and salt, stir
  5. Enjoy starchy goodness

Estimated cost per serving: $1.50

Again, add dino nuggets for that brilliant protein pairing.

Cooking Sucks: Get lost in the sauce with this simple 30-minute recipeDo you hate to cook? If you answered no to this question and enjoy meticulously scrolling through Pinterest, planning your Read…

Penniless Pasta

½ cup rigatoni pasta

¼ cup marinara or vodka sauce

Water

  1. Fill microwavable container ¾ full with water
  2. Add pasta to water
  3. Microwave pasta for six minutes for al dente perfection, longer for softer noodles
  4. Remove pasta from microwave and let sit for three minutes
  5. If a strainer is available, strain pasta from container. If not, try your best to swish the water out of the container (desperate times call for desperate measures)
  6. Put pasta back into microwavable container and add sauce
  7. Microwave an additional minute
  8. Let sit for one minute
  9. Enjoy the carbs

Estimated cost per serving: $1.75

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I would heavily recommend trying the vodka sauce with this dish as it adds a different flavor not readily available at Gordon. Yet again, dino nuggets make an excellent compliment to the flavors of this dish.