Northwest Pearls: Living without a Microwave

No Microwave, No Problem

When I moved to my most recent rental, it came furnished. But didn’t have a microwave. The house was old, over 100 years old, and while the owner assured me that it could handle a microwave, I wasn’t so sure based on none of the outlets working with my fast charger. Between that doubt and me being too busy to read reviews for microwaves online, I never got around to getting one.

The previous two and a half weeks I’d been petsitting for a friend who didn’t have one and I’d gotten used to it. I just had to heat thing up on the stove, in the oven, or not at all.

So living without one actually wasn’t a huge adjustment.

The biggest adjustment was waking up early enough to heat up the oven to heat up my breakfast burritos. I’d been doing that while petsitting, but his oven worked. The one at my house? It stayed on once every fifteen times you turned it on. I wish that was an exaggeration but it’s not. There were days it just wouldn’t stay on, no matter how many times I started it. So I just ate something else for breakfast.

But I heated up soup on the stove, milk for hot chocolate on the stove, leftover thai on the stove… And it all worked pretty well! There were a few things I chose to eat cold, but they weren’t bad cold, they were just meant to be hot.

Overall it wasn’t a huge adjustment to live without a microwave. I didn’t think I could do it, but it was pretty easy. I understand that not everyone has the time or the budget to do it, the fact that I had the time to wait for the oven to heat up and for it to heat my food says a lot. And honestly, environmentally-wise, and utility-wise it may not have been better to use the oven than the microwave. Someone else might be able to figure that out; it’d be interesting to see what difference is.

And finally, adjusting to living without a microwave makes me think I could adjust easier than I think to other lifestyle changes. Like a smaller house or less stuff. 

Has there been anything you’ve adjusted to living without?

Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Northwest Pearls: Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Recently I wanted to cook  spaghetti squash to see if it really was a good spaghetti substitute.

  • I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut the squash lengthwise from stem to end. Scooped out the seeds.
  • Then I placed the squash cut-sides down in a pan and added a little bit of water to the pan so it would help soften the squash.
  • I cooked the squash for about 45 minutes before pulling it out and making sure it was soft enough to pierce with a fork. It was so I took a fork and started to separate the flesh into strands.Northwest Pearls: Cooking Spaghetti Squash

I liked it but it definitely wasn’t as good as spaghetti. It’d be good with a hearty red sauce, but it wasn’t my favorite with pesto or just with butter and parmesan.

Do you have any spaghetti squash tips?

Mashed Cauliflower

Northwest Pearls: Mashed Cauliflower

We had a head of cauliflower that I needed to cook so I decided to try my hand at making mashed cauliflower!

I broke apart the cauliflower and steamed it until it was tender. Then I blended/mashed it up and added milk.

I melted butter and powdered garlic together and added that mixture to the cauliflower before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

It was a pretty good dish and I’d totally consider serving it at Thanksgiving or bringing it as part of a potluck! I ate it as a side with some roasted chicken and a salad.

What’s a dish you like to make that’s a healthier variation of something else?