Perfect (almost) Steamed Veggies
My husband and I started a diet, four weeks ago this Sunday. We’re on NutriSystem, which so far, has been one of the better diet’s we’ve tried. We’ve tried Atkins (lost pretty decently, gained it back and then some), and MediFast (lost ok, also gained back plus). Atkins just seemed awfully strange, and MediFast was… lacking in palatability. But so far there are only a small handful of NutriSystem items that I’m not fond of, and what is great is that whatever we don’t like, we can remove from our next month’s shipment! We also went with their Select version, which has the frozen foods. Let me tell you, those probably make the diet. The frozen foods have been the best part so far. It’s too bad we only get ten days of frozen foods.
Anyway, I digress. This post is about the veggies. On NutriSystem, we’re eating veggies, and lots of them. So far I’m fairly easy to please in that regard, in that I don’t really have a wide selection of veggies that I’ll eat. LOL So I alternate between salads using red and green leaf lettuces, iceberg and occasionally Romaine, and spinach, for the greens. Then I’ll add cucumber and tomato, usually, occasionally switching out the cukes for mushrooms or carrots depending on my mood. My alternate fixings, would be the steamed veggies, usually - and mostly - cauliflower, broccoli (less of that), and sometimes carrots or mushrooms.
I’ve learned that using the steamer machine doesn’t leave the vegetables as bright, or tender as I would prefer. They’re usually dull colored and sometimes even mushy. Even lessening the time a little is still less than stellar. Plus it takes longer than I usually have time for, anyway.
So I’ve found a way to get near perfect steamed veggies, using the microwave and either ziploc or glad brand plastic containers (BPA free of course).
it’s pretty simple really - cut and add the raw veggies into a 4 cup container, add a small amount - and I do mean small amount, probably 1/8 to 1/4 cup - of water, and cover loosely with the container’s lid. Microwave from two to two and a half minutes. Take them out of the microwave carefully (it will be hot!!), push the lid closed for a few more minutes. I usually use that time to cook my NutriSystem meal, and by the time that is done, the veggies usually are, too. Then I drain the water, open the lid, and voila! Tender, not mushy, and still brightly colored veggies. I either eat them from the container or pour them onto a plate, and use “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray” to add a little buttery flavor.
The trick is the amount of water. If you add too much water, it will take longer for the water to heat up, the veggies will take longer to cook, and it really defeats the purpose of trying to cook them quickly! Plus longer cook times is what seems to dull the colors of the veggies and overcooking also is what leads to the mushies. Less water means quicker heating, quicker steaming. Better steamed veggies!
How much weight have I lost so far, you may be wondering? I just hit 10 pounds today. I was stuck for about a week though, hovering between 8.5-9lbs lost. Not too bad really, for the first month. My husband has done even better, I think he is at 25lb down. So far this seems to be one we’ll stick with longer than the other two we tried. Onto the next month and hopefully 10 more pounds!
Good to know! I have a Tupperwear Microwave steamer, 3 parts, and it only requires a little bit of water in the base to steam veggies. We love them - I’m going to be adding more and maybe I can lose a little weight, too. Thanks for posting!
By: Pat, on May 07, 2011