Friday, March 18, 2022

Sauté the Veggies

Sautéed Veggies
Thawed out veggies from the deep freezer being sautéed for a delicious meal!  Zucchini, yellow crookneck squash and kale.

Steaming vegetables is great but it can get boring pretty fast plus it's hard to steam the bigger veggies such as zucchini.

Sautéing gives you more options for spicing up your food along with being more versatile.  You can add tomatoes, juiced greens, etc. to your pan of sautéing veggies to boost the overall flavor and deliciousness of the meal.  That's hard to accomplish with steaming.

To do this sauté thing, it's really quite easy:

1) Add olive oil to a pan and turn the heat to medium.

2) As the oil heats up, take out your vegetables and greens that you wish to sauté.  Dice them up to your desired size, add them to the pan.

3) As the veggies start sizzling, stir them every few minutes so all sides get cooked evenly.

4) While the veggies are cooking, take out any onions, garlic, tomatoes, etc. that you wish to add and dice them up.  These are the ingredients that generally take less time to cook so we can prep them while everything else is cooking.

5) Once your veggies look to be halfway done (probably 5 to 10 minutes at most), add in your additional ingredients and keep stirring every few minutes.  If anything starts sticking to the pan, add more oil.

6) Take out any spices or additional sauces you wish to add such as soy sauce.  Once you guesstimate your veggies are within a few minutes of being done, add any additional sauces and spices you wish to appropriately spice your meal.  If you're cooking with fresh vegetables from your garden, less is more, a little bit of salt combined with the olive oil you're cooking in is all you need.  Try it if you don't believe me.  Once you get into wintertime and your cooking vegetables that have been frozen and thawed out, that's where getting a little more creative is more beneficial to your taste buds.

7) Keep stirring until the veggies are done.

8) Serve and Enjoy!

I like my sautéed vegetables to have a bit of golden brownness to them but sometimes I want them less done sometimes more done.  Play around with it and see what you like.  

If you are cooking any thin greens, such as spinach, with thicker veggies, such as zucchini you'll want to delay adding the thin greens until the thicker veggies are about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way done.  This will allow them to all be done at the same time.  If you add spinach from the beginning with the zucchini, the spinach would likely be burnt to a crisp.  Other greens, such as kale, are thicker and can be cooked longer with less noticeable effects but they're also great when cooked less.

This is the same reason you wait to add your sauces and spices until the end.  You want the taste of those to be intact, that's the whole reason your adding them.  If you add those spices and sauces from the beginning you have a greater chance of losing a lot of that spice taste to the heat.  As with everything, play around with it and see what you think.  

This is the ground work and as you can tell, it's far from an exact science and you really just have to go by look and feel, which comes with time.  So get on out there and get cooking your vegetables already!!!

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