Monday, March 30, 2015

Review- Mug Meals: Delicious Microwave Recipes by Dina Cheney!

Title: Mug Meals: Delicious Microwave Recipes
Author: Dina Cheney
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: March 4th 2015
Source: Taunton Press

Book Description via Goodreads:

The secret to fast and easy meals cooked from scratch is hiding in plain sight in your kitchen. The microwave oven is not just for reheating leftovers and making popcorn anymore. With pantry ingredients, a mug and a microwave, you can create a meal in minutes that rivals those cooked in the oven or on the stovetop. Mug MEALS! is the perfect solution for new cooks, busy families, singles, college students, teens, seniors or anyone who just wants a hot meal without all the cleanup.

Make a meal for any time of day. Breakfast options include Lox and Bagel Strata, Double Berry French Toast; for lunch try Moroccan Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew, White Bean Gratin with Olives and Lemon or Double Carrot Soup. Dinner entrees include Chinese Chicken with Noodles and Black Bean Sauce, Classic Shepherd's Pie and Lasagna; dessert selections feature Mango Coconut Crumble, Molten Chocolate Cake with Truffle Filling, Peach and Cornbread Stuffing and more.



I was really excited to stumble upon this cookbook. I am a college student who lives in the dormitories on campus. That means I have limited space and equipment to cook a meal. I do however have a mug and a microwave, so this book sounded perfect to me. All in all it's an okay book, but I was left a bit disappointed.

This book is organized in such a fashion that the recipes are grouped by course. In my opinion, the dessert and breakfast sections are on point: there are a lot of useful recipes that I would certainly use in my dorm room. My troubles with this cookbook were with the Lunch/Dinner section. There are a lot of recipes that call for things such as cooked rice, cooked noodles, cooked ground beef, and fresh vegetables. While these ingredients are simple, they are not things that I have on hand. If I had the equipment available to me to cook beef, for instance, I would just make a proper meal. As for the fresh ingredients, I have a mini fridge and a budget. Those aren't a common staple to me, sadly. Believe me, I wish they were. Speaking of a budget, a lot of these would be hard to do if you're on one, unless you happened to have the ingredients leftover or in your pantry. But I know that I don't have things like shrimp, seaweed, and goat cheese in my mini fridge.

That's not to say this is a bad book or anything- it's not. It just isn't what I anticipated. If I were a teenager or a busy mom with a full sized kitchen at my disposal, this book would be awesome. Almost all of the recipes that are included in this book have a picture to accompany them, which is a huge plus to me. I love seeing how my cooking is supposed to turn out. There are also a lot of healthy recipes in here, including ingredients like tofu, quinoa, and brown rice. The author also makes notes on how to make dishes vegan or vegetarian, so it's a book that's easy to adapt to your own personal tastes.

A few of the dishes that I'm likely to make in my designated living space include Black Forest Cake with Cherry Preserves and Coconut, Pumpkin-Orange Soup with White Beans and Sage, and Double Berry French Toast.

I'd recommend this to teens who have to cook for themselves, those with limited cooking skills who still want to eat well, and those who are too pressed for time to cook a large meal. This is also handy for those who are cooking for one. However, if you're in the dorms like me and have limited access to ingredients and equipment, I'd skip the middle chapter of this book and stick to the breakfasts and desserts.

I was provided a copy of this book by Taunton Press in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Eesh. The synopsis and title are very misleading. "With pantry ingredients, a mug and a microwave, you can create a meal in minutes that rivals those cooked in the oven or on the stovetop." Obviously not it you still need to use a stove-top to cook the ingredients in the first place. I thought it would be recipes that you COOK in a mug in your microwave, not recipes that you assemble and warm up in a mug. :\ Ha! I didn't even read this book and I'm getting fired up over it.

    1. I'm glad it's not just me! Like technically is there minute rice and can I TECHNICALLY microwave noodles? Yes. But then that requires multiple mugs and it's also not going to taste very good.

  2. Ahh well that's disappointing. I was thinking that looks like an awesome one! Thanks for the heads up on it :)

  3. So bummed that this turned out to be a flop, I was so hoping it would be something to liven up your dorm meals at the very least.