For the first few years of school, I got by with what I thought I could best afford: Pop-tarts, cereal, trail mix, yogurt, or corn meal mush. I realized (much later) that these foods, cheap though they were, wouldn't sustain me for the long morning push of reaction set-ups, group meetings, and seminars. It's also not a great idea to supplant the need for proper nutrition with more coffee - not if you want to sleep at night! (Do chemists sleep, anyway?)
Thus began my long experiment to find alternative (cheap!) breakfast ideas. Early on, I realized that the little café a few blocks from campus had it right: they microwaved egg mixture, slapped some cheese on it, and popped it onto a bagel...and charged you $4.50! I thus embarked on a quest to learn how to construct a bagel sandwich for myself, using only what was in our lab break room: a fridge, plastic forks and spoons, a microwave, and a toaster.
|Delicious and Cheap! |
Source: For the Love of Cooking
Microwave Bagel Sandwich (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
Equipment - paper towel or napkin
small, round poly container (think side-dish containers from take-out food!)
5-10 mL (1/2 oz.) of milk
handful shredded cheese
pinch of salt, pepper, parsley, curry powder, or hot sauce
1 bagel, toasted
Procedure - Spray inner surface of small plastic dish with cooking spray. Mix egg and milk together with plastic fork in dish, add spices to taste. Fold paper towel in half lengthwise, and cover dish by "wrapping" towel over the top and tucking ends under the bottom (in case egg explodes from excess heat).
Place bagel in toaster and commence toasting. In the meantime, set microwave (assumes a 120V, 2 Amp microwave) for a single cycle of 48 seconds at 60% Power. Remove dish, lightly "shake" to ensure cooking is even, re-cover with towel, and place in for a second cycle of 50 seconds at 90% Power. Now add your cheese, and microwave one last time (uncovered, this time) for 10 seconds at full power. This should melt the cheese.
Did your bagel finish toasting? Great! Take one half of the bagel, and place it over the plastic dish. Invert the entire thing (a "puck" of cooked egg should slide out), and top with final bagel slice. If this still isn't enough food, consider adding some spinach leaves, apple slices, or microwaved bacon / ham to augment.
Total Cost: Bagel ($0.50-$0.80, in pk. of six), + egg ($0.20) + cheese ($0.25) + milk ($0.10) = About $1.25 per serving.