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
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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.
A lump of sugar added to water when cooking greens helps vegetables retain their color.
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.
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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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.
Tips and ideas for cooking vegetables. Post your ideas.
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.