(No, no, no. This isn’t a post about passing around a marijuana joint. This is a food blog, remember? LOL)
When preparing your dinner, especially a large meal for entertaining, minimize your clean up by cooking foods with similar cooking times together. For instance, I often steam broccoli in the skillet with my salmon fillet.
The key is similar cooking time. You can control cooking time by the sizes of your food. For instance, a whole potato takes much longer to cook through than a diced potato.
Today I served green beans and carrots as my two sides. I prepped the green beans and placed them in the bottom of my pressure cooker pot, along with the recommended amount of water. Then I added my rack and basket. I keep my carrots above the liquid yet in the same pot. (I season each vegetable separately)
After bringing my pressure cooker to pressure, I timed for eight minutes, quick-released the pressure, and served. (Cooking time varies depending on your pressure cooker. Mine is 10 psi. Some are 15 psi.) If you don’t use a pressure cooker, you can still share the pot. Just triple your cooking time.
One pot to wash, two vegetables to serve.
via The Origins of the Mysterious Green Bean Casserole – Hungry History.
So will green bean casserole be on your Thanksgiving dinner menu?
Some of my fondest memories of my father are of our runs together. One day, a couple of years before he died, we stopped near the end of our run at a neighborhood produce stand. Dad bought an assortment of fresh vegetables grown right there in the man’s backyard. I promised to cook whatever he bought. He spent about six bucks, total, and my family sat and ate as if it was Thanksgiving dinner.
We love vegetables, especially locally grown, fresh produce. Our favorite summer dinner is a fresh-from-the-garden vegetable plate. If you haven’t taken advantage of the produce grown in your area, now is the time to indulge.
Don’t restrict your menu. Plan your meals around what looks good and fresh, even if you have two or three green veggies. Corn on the cob, Squash, potatoes, beans, broccoli, tomatoes…it’s all better when fresh-picked. Steam, grill, roast, sauté, or all the above. It’s healthy, tasty, and good for the local economy.
KITCHEN TIP: Add a little bit of butter for flavor. A tiny amount goes a long way. I freeze butter and use a hand grater to add it to cooked vegetables. Isn’t that a grate idea? 😉
Green beans, roasted potatoes, and vegetable medley with a whole wheat roll.
Grate cold butter for easier seasoning.
Filed under cooking, corn on the cob, Green Beans, Healthful Eating, onions, Quesadillas, Roasted Vegetables, Salads, spinach, tomatoes, Vegetables
Cooking several vegetables together in one pot means easier cleanup and faster meals. I made this chicken meal yesterday. No hot oven and few pots and pans to wash!
Dinner Under Pressure.
I love steamed vegetables. But if I’m rushed, I pull out the pressure cooker. I cook all the vegetables in one pot, three minutes under pressure (four minutes if you prefer extra tender veggies). Cleanup is easy because the liquid that steams while it cooks prevents sticking or scorching. If your cooker includes a steamer basket and trivet to hold the basket out of the water, use it.
Fresh vegetables prepped in steamer basket
Of course, stick with vegetables having similar cooking times. Don’t toss broccoli in with potatoes. 😉 Today I cooked peeled Idaho potatoes, which I later mashed, carrots, and fresh green beans. Yes, you cook them all together. Season with salt and pepper if you like, or season individually when you serve. Your choice.
My 3 Liter pressure cooker
Use your pressure cooker (I have three, but one six-quart cooker is plenty). In the time it takes you to set the table, pour beverages, and re-heat or slice your meat (or protein of your choice), your pressure cooker cooks all your sides. Quick-release according to the manufacturer’s instructions then carefully open the cooker. I pick out my potatoes first because I mash them.
Veggies served with slow cooked chicken.
Don’t let meal preparation raise your blood pressure–just your cooker’s. Enjoy!
Nothing beats fresh produce when it comes to healthy and quick meals. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook over low heat in a covered skillet while carrots and green beans steam in a covered sauce pan. A pat of butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper season the vegetables; fresh clipped herbs and a dash of BBQ sauce garnish the chicken. Corn on the cob cooked 4 minutes in its husks in the microwave comes out clean and ready to eat. No salt or butter necessary. Yum!
I love catfish, almost as much as I love salmon. Can you tell? This is my second catfish recipe this year. Although fried in cornmeal and served with cheese grits is tasty, it’s not figure friendly. So here’s how I cook and serve catfish fillets (shown here with roasted squash/onion/red bell pepper, steamed green beans, and brown rice):
Cajun Catfish, brown rice, steamed green beans, and roasted mix vegetables.
Cajun Catfish for Two
2 fresh catfish fillets
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon spices (Your choice: I like Redneck Pepper Cayenne)
Preheat a quality stainless steel covered skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle spices on both sides of each fillet. Drizzle olive oil in the skillet then place the catfish fillets into the pan. Do not touch. Lower heat to its lowest setting and cover. Cook for at least 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Check for doneness (do not overcook). If necessary, cover and cook another 5 minutes. It’s not necessary to turn the fillets. Check again for doneness. Fish should be moist and flaky. Serve immediately.
This low, slow method is still hasty, giving the cook just enough time to get the side dishes ready. Enjoy fish at least twice a week. It’s good for you!