Using a microwave steamer to steam vegetables is a quick and easy way of cooking – I use my small microwave steamer to cook all my vegetables. It’s fast and produces very little steam in the kitchen, reducing condensation and smells. In the time it’d take you to get a single saucepan of water up to the boil, you could’ve cooked your vegetables and have them on your plate!
You can cook different vegetables at the same time, in the same steamer; today I’ve cooked ¼ of a swede, a carrot and half a sweetheart cabbage. This is enough food for two people, so I’ll have leftovers that I can microwave for a future meal too!
It doesn’t matter if vegetables take different times to cook – as you can either put all the vegetables into the steamer and remove them as they’re cooked, or start with one that takes the longest to cook and add the additional vegetables as you go along.
The cooking times for today’s vegetable mix, when all cooked together, was:
- ¼ swede takes 10 minutes
- 1 whole medium sized carrot takes 8-10 minutes
- ½ a sweetheart cabbage takes 5 minutes.
The more food you cook, the longer the whole selection will take, so these cooking times for vegetables are a little longer than if I’d just cooked each separately.
The essential things to consider are whether they will all fit into the steamer – and how it’s best to stack them so you can either remove items easily, or add them easily.
I decided to put all the vegetables into the steamer, with the sweetheart cabbage on top, which I could easily remove part-way through the total cooking time.
- Place all the vegetables into the microwave steamer, with some boiling water, put the lid on an microwave for 5 minutes. There is no need to peel the swede or carrot.
- Remove the sweetheart cabbage and return the steamer to the microwave containing just the ¼ swede and the carrot and microwave for a further 5 minutes.
- While the swede and carrot are cooking, shred or slice or cut the sweetheart cabbage how you want it.
- Remove the swede and carrot from the microwave, just prick them with a knife to check they’re cooked and then slice up the carrot, or mash it, depending on how you wish to serve it. For the swede, use a large spoon to scoop the soft flesh from the skin, which you can then either serve “as is”, or you can make mashed swede by adding a little butter and mashing it. If I’d added another carrot, I could’ve made mashed carrot & swede, which is what I sometimes do.
You’ve now cooked three vegetables for your plate using just one small cooking dish and all in under 10 minutes!