I started steaming vegetables in the microwave when I decided to try the steam bags from Ziploc. Those work fine, but I find them expensive, $2.79 roughly at Wal-Mart, for seven large bags compared to quart sized storage bags. Even those specially formatted bags get hot and store steam when used in the microwave.
It’s not bad when I was needing to cook large amounts of vegetables. However, I did find a couple of other ways to do the same steaming process for less.
Pint Size Zip Bags
I have used the pint size store brands to steam smaller amounts of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
I cut the broccoli and cauliflower down to bite size pieces. Rinse and place into the pint size zip bags. I zip the bag and place in the microwave. I set the time for 1:30. Once the timer goes off, I remove the baggie with a pot holder because the bag is hot. Let the bag set for a few seconds before opening with the opening facing away so I don’t burn myself.
I use a fork to test the doneness of the vegetables. If the broccoli or cauliflower isn’t done, I zip the bag up and return to the microwave for 30 seconds longer. By this time, the broccoli or cauliflower is al dente. This works well for stir fry and similar dishes. If I am adding the carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower to casseroles I won’t return to the microwave for the last 30 seconds. This is due to most casseroles call for frozen vegetables which can be steamed and flash frozen, but not always both.
Glass Bowl and Plastic Wrap
Using the same method above for cutting the vegetables mentioned, I place the cut vegetables in a 1 quart bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I cook them in the same manner as mentioned with the Pint Size Zip Bags section.
I use potholders when taking the dish out of the microwave for the same reason as the bags. Also, when I remove the plastic wrap I am very careful because of the steam release.
Tips for Venting the Steam from the Plastic Bags and Wrap
A knife can by used to poke holes in the bags to release the steam.
Letting the vegetables cool will make opening the vegetables easier.
Don’t use too much plastic wrap when covering the bowls for easier removal.