There are so many different ways to cook vegetables. Some people prefer to simply steam them, while others like to add flavour by grilling or roasting their vegetables with a touch of butter, herbs and spices. Whatever you prefer, and whichever way you decide to cook yours, just make sure your vegetables are still fairly crisp and firm when ready to serve
Unless you are making mashed potatoes the best advice to give you when cooking vegetables is to avoid boiling them. Boiling vegetables more often than not ruins their flavour, texture, vibrant colour and goodness.
The secret of cooking frozen vegetables successfully is to cook them until just tender. That way you retain vitamins and fresh flavour. Use a small amount of water and don’t defrost the vegetables first. Frozen vegetables may be cooked in a pressure saucepan or by baking or pan-frying.
The healthiest way of cooking vegetables, however, is to steam them. If you don’t have a fancy steamer you can still get good results by using a large pot and a colander that fits inside. Fill the pot with water – barely reaching the bottom of the colander. When the water boils, add your vegetables and put a loose fitting lid on top to cover, allowing some steam to escape. You can also steam your vegetables in the microwave by putting them in a microwave-safe bowl, adding a small amount of water and covering with plastic wrap – leaving one corner open.
Stir-frying vegetables can also be a fairly healthy option as long as you use a minimal amount of olive oil. To ensure they all cook evenly, cut your vegetables of choice in uniform sizes before you start frying. Make sure you use vegetables that are drained and dry, as moisture can ruin a stir-fry. Keep moving the vegetables while you stir-fry, as this prevents them from burning.
Last but not least, grilling or roasting your vegetables really brings out spectacular flavours. To prevent them from drying out, soak your veggies in water for 30 minutes before you grill them, then brush lightly with oil. A potato will take about 40 minutes to grill when wrapped in aluminum foil, while tomatoes, onions and mushrooms will only take 3-6 minutes. When it comes to roasting, Mediterranean vegetables are especially great to use. Soak all veggies before cutting them into evenly sized pieces and sprinkling with olive oil or butter, and season with herbs and spices. Roast in oven for +/- 45 minutes – depending on whether you have par-boiled them first or not.
Enjoy steamed, stir-fried, grilled or roasted vegetables on their own, or together with a piece of chicken, fish or meat. Just remember not to overcook them, as this is when they loose all taste and nutrients.