How to Cook Vegetables Correctly
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 to maximize 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 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 color of the ingredients to prevent overcooking. Freshly picked vegetables should have a high sheen and not have lost any of their original colors like green sheen, 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 color and flavor are also enhanced. According to the food and the result you want, you can choose between 100% steam and baking mode with additional steam. Besides vegetables, you can also prepare meat and fish with great results. 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 color, 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.
- Eggplants need to retain their magnificent purple color. 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 colors 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 for 2-5 minutes, it should not transfer the green color 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 flavor, 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 flavor, texture, and color.
In a bowl, mix 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.
And now for a special treat:
Stir fry that can be easily done and quickly cooked in your kitchen. If you are tired of take-outs and pizza nights, simply prepare this supper from a skillet in just a few minutes. Get all your food groups in one delicious, tangy bowl filled with so much flavor.
SHRIMP AND SNOW PEA STIR-FRY: This can be ready in fifteen minutes and this simple stir-fry adds a fresh flavor with herbs and spices. If you desire to kick up more flavor from it, just add a tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger and serve over hot steaming brown rice or soba noodles. The preparation time is estimated at five minutes while the cooking time is at six minutes.
This recipe can make only two servings, but if you are serving more people, simply double the ingredients to make more.
One teaspoon of olive oil
3/4 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
One small garlic clove, minced
One cup of trimmed snow peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Two green onions, thinly sliced
Two teaspoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 small lemon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
First of all, prepare all your ingredients according to the instruction on the list of ingredients above. Make sure to wash all your vegetables before cutting and slicing them into the required sizes, most are in bite sizes for easy cooking. Line up your ingredients in separate piles close to your stove for easy reach when frying. For best results, use fresh vegetables and new oil, never use used oil in stir frying because it alters the expected flavor we are creating.
Once you are ready to fry, begin to heat oil in a large skillet or work high heat on your stove. Best if you swirl the oil to coat the pan.
Then you can now add the shrimp with the garlic and stir to fry for five minutes until the shrimp changes color to pink.
Then add the snow peas and the remaining ingredients and stir fry for another thirty seconds. Make sure that the veggies are crisp-tender before you remove the dish from the pan.
Taste-test the veggies and season with salt and black pepper according to taste.
Serve immediately while hot with hot steaming rice.