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This past summer, mandatory water rationing was imposed on our community. I started cooking garden vegetables using the same water, one type of vegetable right after another. I'd scoop out the first ones, then cook a second batch using the same water. Saved electricity too since I was using water that was already near the boiling level. I've continued to do it all fall and winter.
Diane from Ukiah, CA
If you are cooking pasta, rice, or any vegetable that grows above the ground-start cooking in hot water. This saves lots of money because you don't have to wait to heat the water, so it cooks quicker.
If you are cooking a vegetable that grows underground-sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, potatoes to name a few, start cooking in cold water.
By marty from Fredericktown, OH
A lump of sugar added to water when cooking greens helps vegetables retain their color.
Keep bean spouts and jicama fresh and crisp up to 5 days by submerging them in a container of water, then refrigerating them.
Source: Heavenly Delights Baptist Cookbook
By Vi Johnson from Moorpark, CA
For safety, run cold water in the sink when draining hot water from vegetables or pasta. This will prevent the steam from scalding your hands.
By Sandy from Graettinger, IA
To make dull looking, green cooked veggies brighter again, sprinkle a little baking soda in with the water while they're cooking. They will return to a bright green color again.
Does the steam in bagged vegetables make them too wet? Snip the corner just a tiny bit and hold over the sink to drain excess water. No more puddle on your plate!
Do not put salt on vegetables while cooking them. It will cause the veggie to lose some of its vitamins. Salt afterwards.
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Can I use meat marinade to cook vegetables?
By DANA WILSON from Houston, TX
Don't reuse marinade if it's already been used. Use a fresh batch but, yes you can use it. If you like the flavor, go for it!
Not if you've marinated raw meat in it, but if you just want to use previously unused marinade for cooking vegetables, then yes.
You can use the meat marinade with your vegies if you cook the marinade first. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. That will kill any bacteria from the meat. Then you can add it to your vegetables. But I have another suggestion: Pour the cooked marinade on rice, pasta or couscous instead.
Do you put a lid on veggies that grow in the ground?
By John from Winter Haven, FL
For green vegetables, leave the pot uncovered and keep the heat high. It'll help preserve the green color.
For other vegetables, cover the pot. You can reduce the heat, so long as the water stays at a boil.
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This is a good rule of thumb to follow when cooking vegetables. If the vegetable is grown beneath the ground; such as potatoes, carrots, beets and other root type vegetables, then start it in cold water and cook it covered by a lid.
If the vegetable is grown above the ground; such as greens, including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, start them in boiling water and leave the lid off.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as baking potatoes, for instance, or oven-roasting root vegetables along with vegetables like squash, and bell peppers.
If the vegetables are being cooked or roasted alongside meats though, whatever way you are cooking or roasting, the meat takes precedence over the "just cooking vegetables" rule.
This was a wonderful guide for me when I was learning to cook.
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
This is the kind of thing Home Economics teachers should be teaching if Home Economics is even being taught in our schools anymore. Our two sons are in high school, and Shop isn't even being offered anymore.
Excellent advice and I agree wholeheartedly with WiggleWorm and it's sad that times have changed as they have in school :-( Thanks for sharing the tips! (04/15/2010)
I agree all the way with Deeli and WiggleWorm. I wish they would bring back some of the classes I took when I was in school. Today, it seems as if all they're teaching our kids is how to push paper.
I still learn everything I can about cooking or making a garden or taking care of our pets, and we want our grandchildren to know the kinds of things that build and make a good home. My children would have missed a lot if my husband and I not been taught by our parents. They would never have learned it in school.
This newsletter is a great place to share, and I am so happy to have found it. These tips for cooking vegetables is such a good example. Lee (04/18/2010)
Tips and ideas for cooking vegetables. Post your ideas.
This is how I cooked most veggies. I have a pan that came with my cookware that has holes in the bottom of the pan. It is a Steamer Pan. I place this pan in top of another pan that it fits into perfectly. I use this method for fresh veggies like cauliflower, squash, broccoli and also for steaming frozen veggies as well. Since I have discovered this method of cooking them, I really like it. This is a much better way of cooking veggies. Not only can you drain them well, they are better than cooked in the microwave or directly in water.
If you do not have a steamer pan, look for them where cookware is sold. A great item for the kitchen.
I don't have a steamer pan, so I use my french fryer basket. It has a removable handle, so that I can fit it in my kettle, I saved 3 tomato sauce cans and set them in the bottom of the kettle, fill them with water and add water to cover about half the cans. Set the basket in and add your veggies. Cover and steam. It works like a charm.
Anything that grows under the ground, start off in cold water: potatoes, beets, carrots, etc. Anything that grows above the ground, start off on boiling water: peas, green beans, etc. Never put a cover on anything that is cooked in milk unless you want to spend hours cleaning up the stove when it boils over.
By Jan from Suring, WI
Hm-m-m-m-m, I just go by the size of whatever I'm cooking, adding a pinch of sugar to all fresh veggies
and we love it, steaming everything possible that we cannot/do not eat washed/raw. We LOVE ORGANIC VEGGIES! : ) (02/16/2007)