This post is sponsored by Smartbowl
Microwave cooking generally isn’t something that is romanticized in the kitchen. Most people use their microwaves to reheat leftovers, and usually associate microwave cooking with soggy, unevenly cooked food. That stereotype is changing thanks to a new system called Smartbowl.
These bowls come in a set of three sizes and are made out of lightweight borosilicate glass—the kind scientists use in a lab. It has great thermal conductivity so it gets hot fast, which helps food cook faster. The bowls’ lids are made of medical grade pure silicone, so there’s no worry about them melting because they can withstand temps up to 450 degrees and there is no leaching or chemicals involved. The lid pops open when a certain amount of steam is generated, controlling moisture and temperature, ensuring juicy and evenly-cooked food. Together the glass bowl and lid simultaneously cook from the inside-out (microwave) and the outside-in (super-saturated steam). Pretty neat, huh?
Celebrity Chef, Art Smith (who was once Oprah’s personal chef!) developed 60 recipes using the Smartbowls for the brand’s cookbook. I would highly recommend getting the cookbook if you decide to order the bowls as it really teaches you how to use the bowls to make actual recipes instead of just using single ingredients. There are also many recipes on the Smartbowl website!
There are so many pros to using these bowls, from the drastic decrease in cooking time to the super easy dishwasher cleanup. I love how lightweight they are (about half as heavy as regular glass storage bowls), and they nest too, so storage is easy (even with the lids!)
I spent the past few weeks making dishes from the cookbook that comes with the bowls. My expectations were exceeded! Particularly with the seafood! In a Smartbowl you can poach an egg, cook seafood, crisp bacon, bake cakes, make party dips, and more. It’s ideal for so many things. The only thing they don’t recommend is anything you might want a crust on – like a steak. (Although I hear reheating steak in them is great!)
The first recipe I tried was the salmon and kale. It was simple and involved two of my favorite foods! Simply layer kale (or garden greens in my case) at the bottom of the large Smartbowl, drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper, top with a piece of wild salmon, put on the lid to release air, and microwave for two minutes.
I added hearts of palm and peppers!
And marinated mango-chili sockeye salmon from Whole Foods’ frozen case that I had thawed overnight.
Lunch ready in less than 5 minutes. Impressive!! The salmon was juicy and on point. This is going to be so handy for the winter when I crave hot foods for lunch but don’t want to spend 30 minutes cooking and cleaning.
I made another quick hot lunch a few days later with a pesto parmesan burger (also from Whole Foods) and layers of spinach and leftover sweet potato. All-in-one lunch bowl! The burger tasted great.
On the breakfast front I made Chef Art’s blueberry oatmeal. I can’t say this was all that different from how I would normally microwave oatmeal, but there was no bubble over or explosions, and oats are oats! Yum.
I was super impressed with this omelet recipe. It involved crisping bacon first (which worked pretty well) and then adding eggs and cheese, and microwaving and stirring in intervals until it was cooked through.
This was really good!
I think my favorite recipe was the sweet potatoes with marshmallows!!
Begin with tiny cubes of sweet potato, olive oil, maple syrup, and rosemary and microwave for three minutes.
Then add the marshmallows and bake in the toaster oven until they are brown.
Flashbacks to many happy Thanksgivings! Mazen LOVED this dish!
This side dish, zucchini with olives, herbs, and feta, was also really delicious.
My Smartbowl contacts told me that seafood was one of the best things to cook because you always want moist and juicy seafood. So I took a stab at shrimp for an easy dinner, especially now that it’s on Mazen’s favorite food list!
Shrimp + olive oil + garlic + 60 seconds…
Perfection! Delicate and sweet shrimps.
Guess who gobbled these down…
I also tried clams!! Plus olive oil, garlic, red pepper, white wine, and lemon.
So good!! Just like I’d get in a restaurant. I was just missing the crusty bread to soak up that good juice.
And finally…dessert. I could not resist making the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie in a bowl! I mixed a bunch of ingredients in the Smartbowl…
And then cooked it according to the directions. While the shape was rustic, eating this hot out of the (microwave) oven was so good!
So good I had to break out the vanilla ice cream : )
That’s a wrap folks! I’ll let you know in Lately posts if I try out any more recipes. I’ve been using these for storing and reheating leftovers too and am finding them very convenient. Spinach artichoke dip soon? I would highly recommend these to anyone who’s looking to eat better and fresher, without the hassle of traditional cooking: busy moms, college students, those cooking for one person, seafood fanatics, people who eat on the go or pack their lunch and use a microwave to warm it up!
A set of Smartbowls costs $49, and are available to purchase through smartbowlsystem.com. I have a set to giveaway to a lucky reader! Enter between now and Friday below.
Thanks to Smartbowl for sponsoring this post and the giveaway!