Sunday, January 29, 2012

Exactly Like Cooking - Microwave Bagel Sandwich

OK, starving grad students everywhere, Round 2!

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!)
cooking spray

1 egg
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. 


  1. These posts make me far too happy.

    I recently discovered that the diversity groups on campus have "Food for Thought" seminars where they serve free meals over talks about various minority issues. There are enough diversity offices that there is literally food every single day. It's bad when you've become a free lunch tourist, but I don't care as long as my precious, precious stipend can be squirreled away...

  2. This looks so delicious..
    Actually i am so interested in cooking. it is my passion to make new Delicious dishes. so i am always finding new ideas in any source. and this blog i found very interesting..Thank you for this wonderful post..Bagel Cafe

  3. Sir:

    I have successfully repeated this protocol, and offer the following notes for those attempting further repetition:

    -Conservative "eyeballing" of the milk is critical. Due to inherent time constraints, exact measurement is impractical, but excess milk leads to an amorphous product that is difficult to characterize. Milk should be kept to an equivalency that renders it limiting.

    -Addition of two strips of Schnucks brand pre-cooked microwave bacon adds but 10 seconds and $0.16 to overall prep but adds a key protein layer that has a synergistic effect in following reaction steps.

    -Despite its omission from the author's submitted prep, the removal of the egg from its shell stands as a key step in this process. Reproducibility was both higher and more pleasurable with this modification.

    With that, I offer my wholehearted support for this prep's publication in Organic Breakfast Synthesis.

  4. RE: Review - Dear CC - We thank you for your thoughtful review and helpful comments. However, we do not deem the current manuscript novel or compelling enough to warrant publication in such an esteemed Morning (TM) journal as O.B.S. Please reformat and refocus, and consider resubmission to our sister journal Eggsyn.

    -The Editors.

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