Plastic-Free Microwave Steaming

11 Apr

ImageThere was a post on my local Freecycle list yesterday for a box of microwave steaming bags, which are essentially zip-top bags that have been vented a bit, so you can fill them with vegetables, pop them into the microwave, and have a steamed side dish. And all I could think was, “Yuck.”

Plastic and the microwave and your body are not friends. Something about nuking food in plastic seems to cause all sorts of chemicals and nasties to leach into your food. Plastic isn’t edible, you know?

Thankfully, you can nuke your veggies and get beautifully steamed lovelies without introducing all sorts of who-knows-whats into them. I thought that it would be a great time to chat about this again, what with springtime vegetables starting to make their way into markets and CSA boxes. It’s super simple, just as fast as microwaving in baggies, and without the ick factor.

All you do is place your vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl or covered dish–I use Corningware casserole dishes, which are well worth the investment for their amazing versatility. Put your food in the dish, season as you wish (I like a tiny sprinkle of olive oil and lemon pepper on almost everything), add a tablespoon or two of water in the bottom, pop the lid on (or cover with wax paper if your dish is lidless), and nuke it for anywhere from two to five minutes, depending on the vegetable and how much you have of it.

Once it’s done, take the lid off (watch yourself–steam is going to rush out and it can burn you if you don’t get your arm out of the way) and enjoy your beautifully steamed vegetables, without the chemicals. Win-win.

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