Steaming is an easy way to quickly cook vegetables while also retaining their natural flavor, vitamins and minerals. The key to preventing steamed vegetables from being boring or bland is to season them with sweet or savory toppings that add flavor and depth to your side dish. Cook a variety of vegetables until they are tender and hot, and then top them with a tangy tomato sauce or garlic butter for a tasty and nutritious meal.
Prepare the vegetables by removing any stems and ends with a kitchen knife. Wash all vegetables under cool, running water to remove any dirt or residue.
Cut larger vegetables like squash, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower into approximately 1-inch pieces. The smaller pieces will allow for faster and more even cooking.
Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and bring the water to a boil.
Place a steamer basket inside the pot above the water line and place the vegetables in the steamer basket. Cover the pot.
Steam the vegetables until they are tender, about 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the density of the vegetable. Green beans, asparagus and cauliflower will likely cook faster than Brussels sprouts, broccoli and corn on the cob. Avoid overcooking, or the vegetables can become mushy while also losing a good amount of their vitamins and minerals.
Place one 12- to 16-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, two thinly sliced garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste in a saucepan.
Bring the sauce to a mild boil over medium-high heat on the stove.
Reduce the heat to simmer and cover the saucepan. Allow the ingredients to cook together for 10 minutes. Stir the sauce every 2 minutes or so. Pour the sauce on top of the steamed vegetables.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet.
Chop three cloves of garlic and add it to the butter in the pan.
Add ¼ teaspoon each of kosher salt and black pepper. Stir the ingredients well together.
Cook the butter sauce for 2 to 3 minutes to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Pour the sauce on top of the steamed vegetables.