So, cooking articles and ideas are great when you’re staying in a DVC villa with a full kitchen, right? I mean, it’s basically just like home. All the appliances are there and ready to go. But when you’re staring down a microwave and toaster in a DVC studio…what the heck are you supposed to cook that’s a step above a frozen dinner or waffles?
Well, I’ve found a few things to prepare that will surprise you…which wasn’t easy. I mean, microwaved food doesn’t have a great reputation, and there’s a reason for it. Ten seconds too long, and your dinner is vulcanized. But don’t despair. These meals, while not gourmet cuisine by any means, are decent. And they are definitely a step above nuking some chicken nuggets. Plus, they will absolutely save you money over eating in the parks or at the resorts. And maybe that will give you some extra cash to use at one of the many amazing restaurants in Disney World.
A caveat before we get to the recipes. All of this food was prepared in a 1,000 watt, medium-sized, microwave. If the wattage in your resort microwave is higher or lower, adjust the cooking time accordingly. I prefer using shallow, glass pans to cook in. Those heat up the fastest, and provide more even heating as well. Pack them in your luggage in bubble-wrap, and they should arrive in one piece. An 8×8 square pan or a round bowl with a lid are great for most recipes. If the microwave you’re using doesn’t have a turntable, rotate the dish halfway during cooking, to ensure even heating throughout.
Most recipes will require you to spray the pan with either non-stick cooking spray, or swipe it well with butter.
The recipes are divided between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but of course, eat them whenever you choose. Pizza for breakfast and eggs for dinner…it’s all good!
Ham and Cheese Frittata
This is a good one, because it’s so versatile. If you want to up the nutrient value, add some diced zucchini. It cooks well in the microwave and adds flavor.
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dried onion bits to taste (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham (if you don’t want to bother with ham, you can leave it out, or substitute bacon bits)
Diced zucchini (optional)
If you are adding zucchini, dice and place it in a 9-in. microwave-safe pan. Microwave, covered, on high for 3-4 minutes or until tender; drain.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, salt, pepper, and onions. Stir in cheese and ham (or substitute bacon). Carefully pour egg mixture over zucchini. Microwave at 70% power for 8-9 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
This makes an excellent dish to accompany your frittata.
2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
Dried onion to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Coat a 9-in. microwave-safe pan with cooking spray. Mix spices and seasoning together in one of the Styrofoam cups in your kitchen. Arrange potato and onion slices in pan; sprinkle with seasonings. Cover and microwave on high for 9-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Top with shredded cheese and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
This recipe has been around forever, and that’s because it’s SO good. It’s also super versatile, and perfect for microwaving.
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use the fresh shredded kind)
1 can (8 ounces) pizza sauce
Breadsticks, English muffins, etc.
Optional mix-ins: Pepperoni bits, onions, mushrooms, olives, etc.
Soften cream cheese to room temperature, then mix well with Italian seasoning. Spread in an ungreased 9-in. microwave-safe pie plate.
Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle half over the cream cheese. Cover it with all the pizza sauce, then top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese mixture. Here’s where you can add any additional toppings you choose like olives, pepperoni bits, etc.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is almost melted. Let stand for 1-2 minutes, or you will burn your mouth. Serve on top of a toasted English Muffin, scoop with breadsticks, or just use a spoon!!
Sweet ‘n Sour Meatballs
This is another easy one, and frozen meatballs do well in the microwave. You can serve this on top of rice (from one of those microwaveable pouches, easy-peasy), with a package of microwaveable steamed Asian vegetables, or you can put them on a sturdy sandwich bun, top with coleslaw, and have chips and raw fruit or veggies to accompany it. Your choice. Both work equally well.
1 bag frozen fully cooked homestyle meatballs, thawed
1 small bag, match stick carrots
Dried onion bits
1 small green pepper, julienned
Dash or two of garlic powder to season
1 jar (10 ounces) sweet-and-sour sauce
4-1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
Hot cooked rice
Place meatballs in a 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Top with carrots, onion, pepper and garlic. In a small bowl, mix the sweet-and-sour sauce with the soy sauce and pour over the meatballs.
Microwave, covered, on high for 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and meatballs are heated through, stirring twice. Serve with rice, or on a kaiser roll, topped with slaw.
Grocery List for all Meals
Eggs (although during my May trip, I found that eggs at AKL Kidani were only $4.00 a dozen, so I used theirs.)
Diced ham or bacon (I use the “real bacon, recipe pieces” in the resealable pouch. You can also get ‘pre-diced’ ham.)
One zucchini (optional)
One pouch shredded cheddar cheese (this will be enough for both the frittata and the breakfast potatoes.)
For salt and pepper, I usually bring the travel sized kind from my home grocery store, and toss it in my luggage, or you can include that in your food order.
Two medium sized russet potatoes
A potato peeler.
One package regular cream cheese
One cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup shredded parmesan (Get the fresh kind in the dairy section for the best taste.)
One 8oz. can/jar pizza sauce
Breadsticks, English muffins, garlic bread…whatever conveyance you want to use to get the pizza dip to your mouth.
Additional pizza toppings of your choice (pepperoni slices/bits, olives, jarred mushrooms, etc.)
One bag frozen, homestyle, meatballs
One jar of sweet and sour sauce
Small bag of matchstick carrots
Small green pepper
Small bottle of soy sauce
One to two pouches microwaveable rice (I like basmati or jasmine with this dish)
One bag of frozen Asian steamable veggies
Prepared coleslaw from a store with a deli, like Publix (a tropical kind would be nice).
Cooking Tools to Bring from Home
A decent paring knife
Microwaveable glass dish/bowl
A real fork or small whisk
So, there you have it. Three meals that can be fully cooked using only the microwave in your studio. Hopefully, this helps makes your vacation a bit easier, and helps your wallet out, too.
What meals do you like to cook in your studio? Include your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear how you put your “kitchenette” to good use in your DVC villa.