The Best Ways to Cook Your Veggies

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2014-06-07 08:31:34 -0500
Started 2012-03-02 08:36:36 -0600

A Quick and Easy Way to Cook Vegetables: by South Beach Diet

If you’re pressed for time but still want to prepare healthy, South Beach Diet–friendly meals, try steaming. This cooking method is delightfully simple, incredibly speedy, and especially healthy, because more nutrients are retained during the cooking process (compared with other cooking methods). Plus, steaming brings out the natural flavor of your veggies. If you've never steamed vegetables before, here are two ways to master this technique.

On the Stovetop:

Add 1 or 2 inches of water to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
Prepare your vegetables for cooking: After washing thoroughly, cut them into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
Place your steaming basket (a specially designed tool that fits inside a pot and holds food just above the surface of the water) in the pot. Or use a bamboo steamer, which sits on top.
Add the vegetables and cover.
Cook until the vegetables reach the desired texture and tenderness. In general, most vegetables require only a few minutes of steaming, since steam is even hotter than boiling water. If you like your veggies tender, cook them a little longer; if you prefer them on the crisper side, cook for a shorter period. Be careful not to overcook, or you'll end up with mushy vegetables.
Carefully remove the lid (remember, the steam can burn your hands!) and remove the vegetables from the steamer. Serve them immediately with a South Beach Diet–friendly sauce or seasoning, such as lemon juice, any spice that doesn't contain added sugar, and/or fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley, basil, or chives.

In the Microwave:

Prepare your vegetables for cooking: After washing thoroughly, cut the vegetables into equal-size pieces to ensure even cooking.
If you have the plastic bags made especially for microwave steaming, follow the directions on the box; otherwise place the vegetables in a large, microwave-safe shallow bowl (a glass bowl, for example) and follow the steps below.
Add just a little water to the bottom of the bowl (about 1 tablespoon per cup of veggies).
Cover the bowl with microwave-safe plastic wrap and fold back in one spot to allow the steam to vent.
Microwave on high for 4 to 8 minutes (depending on the size of the vegetable pieces) or until your veggies reach the desired texture and tenderness. Serve with a South Beach Diet–recommended sauce or seasoning.

What are some of your favorite ways to cook your veggies. Share a recipe or two if you like or go check out our recipe section and try a new one tonight!

10 replies

GabbyPA 2014-06-07 08:31:34 -0500 Report

I just did some roasted beets. I had never roasted them before, I usually boil them. But roasting them kept all that lovely red juice inside. They were awesome. I didn't put anything on them but a quick rub of olive oil, Wrapped them up in foil and once cooled, just ate them plain. No salt, no butter, nothing but beets.

vivdg88 2012-03-07 21:23:49 -0600 Report

is put n the veggies in the oven the same as steaming them ? do they taste the same ?

GabbyPA 2012-03-09 14:40:19 -0600 Report

Roasted veggies are great. I do toss mine in a little olive oil and seasoning, put them in the oven and they are to die for. I like roasted better than steamed for some things. It depends on the vegetable I am using. Cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, asparagus and sweet potatoes are great roasted with some garlic.

For my mock mashed potatoes, I oven roast my cauliflower with some parsnips, mash them up with just a few potatoes and VOILA! less carbs, great flavor.

Broccoli, green beans and carrots I like steamed. They have a lighter fresher taste.

Caroltoo 2012-03-07 22:42:23 -0600 Report

Putting veggies in the oven would roast or bake them with a dry heat.

Steaming them cooks them with the moisure from a steamer or moisture in a sauce pan on top of the stove.

pixsidust 2012-03-07 21:56:51 -0600 Report

I can not imagine that they would its whole different cooking process.
I hear its good to brush them with olive oil and season them.
It makes the flavour wonderful

Young1s 2012-03-02 17:39:38 -0600 Report

Love steamed veggies. I have a have a standing strainer that doubles as a colander that I use. I can rinse the veggies in the sink in it, then set it in the pot no fuss no mess.

jayabee52 2012-03-02 11:28:03 -0600 Report

I used to love to steam veggies when we were raising our boys.

We had a 2 stack stainless steel steamer. That went to her when the household stuff was divided. I am gonna need to find a good steamer and start it again.

Nick1962 2012-03-02 11:17:14 -0600 Report

I do this often myself Gabby. I found a perfect sized strainer that fits in my small saucepan does the trick too - no need for a special strainer basket and the lid sits right on top.

GabbyPA 2012-03-02 17:33:15 -0600 Report

I love my steamer basket. Specially with green beans and broccoli. Those two veggies are my favorite steamed with just a pinch of salt. Oh so good.