Friday, February 11, 2022

Keepin' it Easy: Steam the Veggies

"So, if I'm cooking, I'll be steaming vegetables, making some nice salad, that kind of stuff." - Paul McCartney

Steamed Edamame
Freshly picked and steamed edamame, lightly salted, ready to be devoured.

You get home from work, you're tired, you don't really want to cook but you're hungry and you have a lot of fresh vegetables.  What's the easiest and quickest way to prepare your vegetables?  Steaming is the way to go...

Take a pot, fill it with about an inch of water.  Throw your fancy vegetable steaming basket into the pot.  If the water goes above the basket, pour a little water out so the water is resting just below the basket.  Put the pot on your stove, set the heat to high (this is one of the very few times you get to put your burner on high heat).

While you wait for the water to heat up to a boil, take your fresh vegetables out of the fridge, wash them off and add them to the steaming basket.  Once the water is boiling, put the lid on the pot and set your timer for 5 minutes.  After the timer goes off, remove from heat and your vegetables are now ready to eat.

It really is as simple as that, leaving you with a full meal in less than ten minutes.  If you want a little more flavor, you can sprinkle on a small amount of salt and pepper but if your vegetables are local, you won't need that but it's always an option.

Steamed vegetables on their own can most certainly be their own meal.  A lot of people scoff at me while they devour their fast food burger when I say that but none of them have ever actually tried it.  Fresh vegetables that you grew yourself or got from a local farm will not only be very tasty on their own, they can and will be surprisingly filling.  If you fill your pot up to the brim with vegetables it can easily last for two or three meals for a single person, if you have a large family it's very easy to steam more veggies in a snap.  Your freshly steamed vegetables can always be added to a base layer of rice, quinoa, couscous, noodles, or really whatever you want which will give you a more typical complete meal.

What types of vegetables can you steam?

There are quite a lot of vegetables that can be cooked this way, the usual suspects are:

-Leafy greens that are on the thicker side:  Kale, spinach, chard, broccoli leaves, kohlrabi leaves, etc.  You can steam the thinner leafy greens such as lettuce if you want to but they'll break down so much in the steam that they won't be enjoyable.  The thicker leafy greens are better suited for steaming.





-Fava Beans

-Edamame (Soy Beans)

You can steam pretty much anything.  The best way to go about it is to add a little bit of everything into the pot, placing the thicker ingredients at the bottom of the basket and the leafy greens at the top.  That way the thicker ingredients get the brunt of the steam and your leafy greens get a light touch.  The cooking time stays at five minutes regardless of what you're steaming.  If you use less time your thicker ingredients will be tough.  If you use more time your ingredients will start getting soggy.  Five minutes is the sweet spot and everything will turn out just right.

Congratulations!  You now know how to prepare fresh vegetables in the easiest way possible which just so happens to be very tasty (assuming you're growing your own food or buying from a local farm).


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