Cooking is a very sensitive subject, especially when we talk about vegetables. This is because vegetables are very sensitive to heat; therefore, in addition to being a very healthy food, we must know how to cook it properly in order to maximise its nutritional benefits.
If one day you need to cook vegetables, but they have gone bad or you have undergone a long trip to get to the kitchen, we propose some tricks that will help you get a tasty and perfectly cooked dish.
Make it easy
Beginners should go for easy dishes if they are new to cooking. On their own, most vegetables taste great, even raw! The best way to make most leafy vegetables, such as kale, taste great is to cook them at a very low temperature for a very short period of time with some olive oil, salt, and garlic. Dressings have a very strong or pungent taste, which can often overpower the slight taste and texture of most vegetables, so they should be used only for the strongest, for example, chard or spinach.
It’s all about timing
It is always essential to turn on the hood 10 minutes before cooking boiled, steamed, or sautéed vegetables, to inspect the clock on the hob (and use the timer if necessary), and to look at the colour of the ingredients to prevent overcooking. Freshly picked vegetables should have a high sheen and not have lost any of their original colours like green sheen, or orange or yellow.
Moreover, they should not taste bland or greasy. A steam oven can also help you to prepare your vegetables, in addition to your cookware. Since this method does not damage the food, it keeps all of the nutrients and minerals intact.
The colour and flavour are also enhanced. According to the food and the result you want, you can choose between 100% steam and baking mode with additional steam. Following that, we explain how to cook various vegetables, so that you always find them accurate:
You can prepare broccoli buds by boiling, steaming, or sautéing them in a pan, stirring them for about 5-8 minutes to get the perfect texture.
To cook carrots with their original colour, their nutrients, as well as their characteristic crunchy texture, you should boil them for 5 to 10 minutes, steam them for 4 to 5 minutes, or sauté them for 3-4 minutes.
It is essential for eggplants to retain their magnificent purple colour. The process is simple: boil them for 5-10 minutes, steam them for 5-6 minutes or sauté them for no more than 3-4 minutes.
Red peppers cut into strips. No matter which of the three colours this product presents, its appearance is consistent. In the presence of heat, they soften quickly. The best way to preserve their sweetness is to cook them in a pan which takes about two to three minutes at most.
Cooking spinach is difficult because the texture is lost in seconds. If it is cooked in 2-5 minutes, it should not transfer the green colour to the water. During the steaming process, they are cooked for 5-6 minutes, then sautéed with garlic and olive oil for 3 minutes. They are delicious and contain iron.
Kale or cabbages, for example, have an important complication: Cooking their stems requires more time than cooking their leaves. Separating the stems first and steaming the leaves before adding them is our recommendation. Let’s do everything together for three minutes at a time as the last step.
While pumpkins are a fun Halloween decoration, they are not a great candidate for culinary use. Many people think you can cook them like an apple. In reality, they are difficult to cut up, they have a very strong flavour, and they will quickly go from “cooking” to “boiling” in water.
After cooking your vegetables, you still have work to do. After shaking them thoroughly, they will not cook anymore. You may wish to do this step, especially if you are going to use the vegetable for a salad. The same applies to boiled or steamed vegetables. It’s easy to prepare a dish in advance and serve it hours later without worrying about it spoiling or losing its properties by simply shaking it. Squeezing those delivers more flavour, texture, and colour.
In a bowl, mix together water, a lot of ice, and half a tablespoon of salt. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables from the pot to the ice bath after they have simmered for a while. After a minute, put them on a plate and serve.
Besides vegetables, you can also prepare meat and fish with great results.
By Helen S.
Christ & Co.