Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ode to the Steamer

Today, I sing the praises of my steamer:

This cheap little contraption has made a huge, positive impact on my eating habits. It is simple to use and produces some mighty tasty veggies. It even saves money when I buy fresh veggies on sale and, by pre-steaming and then freezing them, cuts down on waste due to early spoilage.

Here's how I use it:
  • Roughly chop up veggies and throw them in the basket.
  • Fill a large pasta pot with about 1-2 inches of water.
  • Cover pot and bring to boil.
  • Drop veggie-filled basket in pot of boiling water and cover. Keep it boiling.
  • Leave in pot for 5-6 minutes and remove.
That's it.

Most types of veggies are cooked perfectly enough so that they're neither too crisp or too mushy. And the colors are eye-popping. They transform into technicolor versions of themselves after just a couple minutes in the steam bath.

This weekend, I steamed a bag of baby carrots, two stalks of broccoli and about 3/4 lb of green beans. I then portioned them into 5 separate containers of some spicy thai-style brown rice that I whipped up earlier and popped them in the freezer. These bad bundles of veggie goodness will now serve as part of my lunch for the rest of this week. And it only took me 15 minutes.

I really prefer this over buying frozen. The convenience factor variation between fresh and frozen is negligible. Plus, I am in control since I choose not only the type of vegetable, but where it comes from. Thus, I can make better ethical decisions about the food I eat, including buying organic, from local farmers. With frozen vegetables--hidden in those wasteful plastic bags--you simply cannot tell where the vegetables were farmed and processed.

And the bonus? The steamer made adding extra portions of veggies into my daily meals effortless and enjoyable.

I could practically make love to my steamer. Maybe I should give it a name. Maybe I could call it...Xavier. Or Brock.


  1. I've been thinking about getting a steamer for a while now and you have just convinced me that I NEED one. Thanks so much for giving me license to shop. :)

  2. I'm weird in that I don't like any veggies cooked. I'll eat them raw all day long. Oh wait, I DO eat them raw all day long.

    Wish I liked the steamed version, because you're right: they're bee-yoo-ti-ful.

  3. If you poor a little Chicken Broth or Veggie Broth with the water it will give your veggies a nice taste as well and it is still healthy:)