Hi, hello! I cannot cook to save my life. No, no, no. You’re not understanding me. I’m not saying this to be endearing; I’m not being hard on myself. If the fate of the world depended on me cooking an average dinner tonight with a protein, I would warn you to make peace with your god and enemies because I would not be able to come through.
Let me offer some culinary background.
When I was 12 years old, my mom requested that I boil a pot of water for my little brother’s macaroni and cheese.
“I really don’t want to do this. Please don’t make me do this. I’m scared,” I said to my mother.
“I am literally asking you to boil a pot of water,” she responded. “Just boil... a pot... of water.”
Long story short, I attempted to do so, but I also accidentally set a roll of paper towels on fire in the process. Things haven’t gotten much better since then.
I’m an OK baker. I’ll make you cupcakes on your birthday! I’ve recently perfected an emulation of a banana chocolate chip muffin recipe from Pinterest. Sugar is my friend. Like, when something is too sweet, it’s like, “Oh, darn! Too much sugar! If that’s the worst thing that happens to me today then I’m doing great.”
Cooking meat or operating the stove in any other capacity is not my friend. What if you undercook it? What if you overcook it? What if the world finds out that you like your steak well done and with ketchup? What then?!
Microwavable meals have always been in my corner. You’re going to tell me that you’re going to give me a meal in less than five minutes, and all I have to do is boop-boop some buttons on my microwave? Boop boop is my new synonym for “press.” I am not a master of cooking, nor am I a wordsmith.
I’m all about deceit, so today I’m going to show you some of my favorite microwavable/pre-made meals that one could easily put on Instagram and impress the masses.
I’ve seen people make fried rice. It takes... time. Like, we’re talking distribution of eggs, meat, and rice. Do I look like someone who should be responsible for that many ingredients going well? Which vegetables do you add? When do you add them? How many eggs? What do you do with the leftover peas? I am stressed. Check out this fried rice that I “made”:
From this angle, the fried rice almost looks like it’s forming a HEART.
If I put this on instagram and said #quietnightin, #Mealforone or some other combination of three words, people would be like, “Oh, wow! Look at Katie! She can make herself a meal! She passes as an adult.”
I didn’t make this, obviously. It took me four minutes to heat up. Four minutes and it looks STUNNING.
This is like an Instagram America’s Next Top Model challenge for microwavable foods.
All you need for food to be Instagrammable is a good angle and portrait mode. I have collected data to prove my point.
These were all heat-up foods. I drizzled some barbecue sauce atop the pre-cooked chicken cutlets so everyone would think I was a prize.
The actual ingredients? Some microwaveable chicken, veggies, and your pal, Rice-a-Roni.
You can do this for any microwavable food — if you’re trying to convince the PTA moms that you too know how to make a nice chicken dinner; if you’re trying to impress your girlfriend’s mom who just started following you on Instagram; or if you’re just trying to prove that even microwavable food can be Instagram-worthy. I don’t know your life. Regardless, the microwavable food works for you! It was born to be Instagrammed.
Next, we have a meal I toiled over. It really took some blood, sweat, and tears to bread and fry these chicken tenders and recreate my grandmother’s famous macaroni and cheese.
I kid. These are your standard microwavable chicken fingers and mac and cheese, which I purchased from Associated. The angles really made her beauty pop, though. You can’t go wrong with portrait mode.
(Her, in her previous boxed glory).
I tried a different strategy for my next microwavable beauty. The closeup.
“Then I had to go to a special store to buy the mini bagels! They don’t have them everywhere, you know?!” I’d exclaim as I lied and walked through an entire process of making my Uncle Tommy’s famous baby bagels. I do not have an Uncle Tommy. These are your run-of-the-mill bagel bites.
With this age of technology, Instagram, portrait mode, your friends who have parents who own photography coffee table books, you can make any food photogenic.
So, don’t fret if you can’t cook to save your life or if you’re one of those people who legitimately sets rolls of paper towels on fire in an attempt to boil water. I’m no dietitian or food blogger, but I compel you to allow yourself a microwavable meal every now and again. They’re quick, easy, and they take a great picture.