Steaming Without the Steaming

24 Aug

You know how you start the new year out with a resolution and the best intentions–all kinds of fired up to eat better or exercise more or stop smoking or lose weight–and by mid-February, it’s all out the window?

That used to be me once a week, in the produce section.

I’d hit the rows of fruits and veggies hell-bent on bringing healthier food into my house and transforming our family’s diet with natural vitamins and fiber, and then four or five days later, I’d chuck wilted celery and yellowed broccoli into the trash. Because when push came to shove, it was just too much of a pain in the neck to haul out another pot or pan and a knife and everything else I’d need to cook fresh vegetables in their traditional ways.

Then, gratefully, I discovered the magic of the microwave.

The microwave is a miracle for fresh vegetables. That’s because you can steam them with a single bowl or microwave-safe dish and nothing else. No steaming rack. No grill pan. No heat in the room.

Honestly. It’s that easy. And now when I bring asparagus or green beans home from the market, it’s actually eaten, and it’s delicious.

To steam vegetables in the microwave, you’ll need:

A microwave-safe dish or bowl, either with a cover of its own or a sheet of wax paper (never use plastic wrap in the microwave–it releases all sorts of toxins when nuked)

Veggies of your choice: broccoli, asparagus, green beans, baby potatoes, squash…almost anything.


Place your veggies into your dish in layers, using seasoning between layers if you’d like to.

Add about two tablespoons of water to the dish; I try to ensure it gets to the bottom, underneath the food.

Put the lid on or cover tightly with wax paper.

Nuke it. About 2-3 minutes for beans, broccoli, squash, zucchini. About 3-5 minutes for corn (off the cob) or asparagus. About 5-8 minutes for small potatoes or cut-up sweet potatoes (mmmmm…sweet potatoes!)

Wait a minute or two. Remove the lid, season as you like, and yum.

Notice that the water is gone from the dish, and there’s no green liquid left behind. So you didn’t lose all the vitamins and goodness that you would using traditional steaming methods. Now wasn’t that easy? 😉

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