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How to Steam Vegetables Like the Outback

by
author image Amelia Allonsy
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.
How to Steam Vegetables Like the Outback
A basket of steamed vegetables. Photo Credit tycoon751/iStock/Getty Images

Outback is best known for its searing hot steaks, but their steamed mixed vegetables stand out as a healthy, yet flavorful menu item. The vegetables in the mix might vary seasonally, but generally include broccoli, carrots, squash and sugar snap peas. The vegetables are steamed until tender-crisp in which they just begin to soften, but retain some of the crunch -- along with much of the nutritional value. Fresh vegetables are best for replicating Outback's vegetables, but frozen vegetables are the next best option.

Step 1

Wash all vegetables thoroughly and chop them to bite-sized pieces. Broccoli florets at Outback Steakhouse are generally on the large end of the bite-size spectrum. Cut squash or zucchini in 1/4-inch thick circles. Cut carrots 1/4-inch thick, cutting diagonally rather than cutting perfect circles. Sugar snap peas don't need to be cut.

Step 2

Fill the bottom of a steamer base with 1 to 2 inches of water. The depth depends on the steamer basket, but should fall about 1 inch below the bottom of the steamer basket when the basket is in place. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Insert the steamer basket inside the base pot.

Step 3

Add the vegetables to the steamer basket. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam for about 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are slightly soft, but still retain some of their crispness. Observe the color of the broccoli and peas for an indication of doneness; the dark green color becomes bright green but returns to dark green if overcooked. You should be able to pierce the carrots with a fork easily without smashing them. Squash and zucchini become much softer than the other vegetables.

Step 4

Remove the steamed vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Toss them with just enough butter or olive oil to thinly coat each piece. While part of the appeal of a steamed vegetable dish is the low fat content, a small amount of fat is important to help with nutrient absorption.

Step 5

Toss the steamed vegetables in your choice of seasonings and spices to give them some flavor. Basic spices such as salt, pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder and onion powder work well. If you pair the vegetables with a steak just as you would serve them at a steakhouse, season them with the same seasoning blend you use for your steak.

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