Cover vegetables to retain moisture and help them cook more quickly, but don’t seal tightly.
Stir vegetables, especially when reheating, to cook them evenly.
Scrub beetroot gently, but don’t peel before cooking. Skins will slip off easily after
they’re cooked - just peel them while they’re still warm. Use paper toweling to avoid
staining your hands.
Pierce beetroot and other root vegetables with a fork or skewer to check that they’re cooked.
Don’t overcook cabbage, which will result in a strong, sulfurous odor and mushy texture.
Red cabbage will turn a bluish-purple colour when cooked. The cabbage is red to begin with
because it contains a high amount of acid. The acid cooks off along with the steam, leaving
the cabbage alkaline – which produces a bluish-purple colour. Hard water, which is more
alkaline, will cause more discolouration.
Waxed cucumbers should be peeled. Unwaxed cucumbers may be peeled with a swivel peeler or
Garlic burns easily – add it only at the end of cooking and watch it closely.
Leafy greens – especially spinach – should be washed carefully to remove all dirt. Fill a
large pot with water and fresh greens: swish the greens in the water to loosen the dirt,
which then sinks to the bottom.
Wash leafy greens such as spinach or Swiss chard – but don’t dry them - and cook with no
added water. Greens cook quickly. The water on the leaves is enough if they’re cooked over
medium heat until the leaves are just “wilted”. Less water means more retained nutrients.
If potatoes aren’t organic, it’s best to peel them. Peeling potatoes is easiest with a swivel
Cut off any green spots before cooking.
Pierce potatoes (and other root vegetables) to let steam escape – otherwise they could
explode in the oven or microwave.
When making mashed potatoes, be careful not to “overwork” them. Don’t overcook the potatoes
or mash them in a food processor. This will result in a gluey, rather than fluffy, end
Keep mashed potatoes warm for up to half an hour by putting them in a covered heatproof bowl.
Put the bowl in a pot of hot water on the stovetop with the burner set on low.
To keep more nutrients in “boiled” potatoes, boil them for about 15 minutes, then drain off
the water and steam them until they’re done
Try some of these suggestions to make preparing and cooking vegetables easier.