Steaming is a technique that I like to use to prep vegetables that can be easily incorporated into a dinner plan throughout the week. It takes the same amount of time as boiling vegetables in water and the end result is tastier. Tender vegetables hold their shape better when they are steamed and they don’t get waterlogged. The color and texture are also superior. Besides, who wants big pot of boiling water heating up the kitchen?
Bok choy, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, baby kale, green beans, beets, carrots, potatoes, peas and summer squash are all delicious steamed. When you are preparing leafy greens with thick stems like Swiss chard, start with the stems first to give them a head start. Once the stems are tender, then toss in the leaves for the last minute or so.
All you really need for steaming is some kind of pot and a perforated steamer basket. It can be made of metal or bamboo. A roasting rack will even do provided the vegetables don’t slip through the rungs. The basket should be suspended above a couple of inches of water. Be sure not to overfill it with vegetables so there’s room for the steam to circulate. You can steam vegetables ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days and slip them into other preparations (like pasta dishes) later in the week. It makes dinner prep quicker when time is tight during the week.