Vegetables are essential to the human diet. We get a great deal of our daily vitamin content from vegetables. We need to make sure that how we cook them does not drain vitamin contents and benefits of consumption.
Cooking vegetables can be tricky. Over cooking can make vegetables bland and soggy. My belief is that vegetables should not be boiled. Boiling not only robs us of vitamin content, it is the main culprit in turning vegetables to a lifeless, tasteless form.
If we cannot boil, how do we proceed?
First option, steaming vegetables is always a good choice. This will leave vegetables full of life. They will be crisp and colorful. It will also not deplete the vegetables of their vitamin content.
By rule of thumb, vegetables will only need a few minutes in the steam.
For those who do not have official vegetable steamers, an easy steamer can be fashioned out a of pot, a metal colander, and a pot lid. Place a small amount of water in the bottom of a given pot. Fit the metal colander into the pot. Start to boil the water. You will begin the see the steam rise. Place your vegetables into the metal colander and place the pot lid over the metal colander and pot. This collection of kitchen items will allow you to steam vegetables as good as any fancy store bought steamer.
Another good option is to cook your vegetables in a wok. The secret to the wok is that it cooks quickly at a very high temperature. Vegetables retain their flavors, textures, and colors with small amount of nutrient loss.
My favorite wok recipe for vegetables is to cook broccoli, carrots, bok choy, and snow peas in a very light garlic sauce. The vegetables remain crisp and the garlic adds just the right amount of flavoring. This combination can be served with any cut of meat.
I hope you will see that secret to cooking vegetables is not to over cook. Vegetables need to remain crisp, full of color. As you learn different tricks to bringing your vegetables to life, these will become the most requested dishes on your dinner table.