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How to Microwave Veggies

Posted Feb 19 2009 6:26pm

I’m a huge fan of cooking veggies in the microwave– it’s fast, easy, and nuking them actually helps retain more vitamins than boiling. However, I realize that this cooking method often gets a bad rap because sometimes the veggies come out tasting all rubbery and weird. The key to firm and flavorful microwavable veggies is not to drown them in water or cook them for too long. Simply washing your veggies and not drying them afterward is usually just enough water for microwave cooking.

How I Nuke My Veggies:

  • Wash veggies; do not dry.
  • Place the veggies in a microwaveable-safe dish with the lid slightly ajar– this will steam the veggies, but allow enough hot hair to escape to keep from exploding.
  • As for cooking times, a good starting point is one minute for every cup of soft/tender produce, like fresh spinach. For heartier veggies like broccoli or brussels sprouts, nuke for about 2-3 minutes for every cup, and even longer for more dense vegetables, like potatoes. After the initial time, cook for another 30 seconds or so until the veggies are the way that you like them. I like mine veggies al dante, so 1-2 minutes is usually a good estimate for me.
Time Estimates:

  • Broccoli: 2 minutes; until the color intensifies
  • Brussels sprouts: 2-3 minutes
  • Cauliflower: 4-5 minutes
  • Carrots (sliced): 3-4 minutes
  • Kale, chard, spinach: 1 minute
  • Asparagus: 2-3 minutes
  • Potato: 5-6 minutes; cut the potato in half first
Estimates based on 1 cup raw veggies


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