Metal steamers are a common kitchen tool that many people don't know how to use. These adjustable stainless steel flowerlike devices are lurking in a drawer in a lot of kitchens without ever being used. Steaming vegetables and other foods helps to preserve the nutrients that boiling or other cooking would take out. Steamer bags for the microwave are very popular, but metal steamers do the same job in the same time, and are better for the environment. There is no plastic to waste, just a quick wash and your steamer will be ready for the next meal.
Choose vegetables according to how long they will take to cook. Vegetables with similar cooking times can be cooked together, like broccoli and cauliflower. Other vegetables, like carrots, take longer and should be cooked in a separate batch.
Chop or slice your vegetables the same approximate size. Smaller pieces will cook faster than larger ones, so if all of your pieces are about the same size they will finish cooking at the same time.
Fit the vegetable steamer into the bottom of the pot, allowing it to open up fully. Pour water into the pot while the steamer is at the bottom. Fill the pot until the water is just below the surface of the steamer.
Place the vegetables onto the steamer surface. Cover the pot and place on the stove, turning the heat to medium. After the water begins to simmer, time the vegetables.
Check the vegetables for doneness after the minimum cooking time. Some vegetables may take more time than normal, due to the age of the vegetable or whether it was frozen or cold when it started cooking.
Turn off the stove when the vegetables are just done, and remove the pot to the sink area. Use tongs to remove the steamer from the pot carefully. Pour vegetables to a bowl and serve.