As Requested - Steamer Recipes

Grains
Grains are celebrities in the steamer hall of fame. Not only does steam produce moist, fluffy grains, it eliminates waiting for the water to come to a boil. No more lowering the heat “just so”, no more juggling the lid so the rice cook like Mother’s, no more abandoning an important task to check on cooking grain.

A tablespoon of this, a half cup of that, a twist of the dial and you can put your feet up, watch the news, chat with friends or read your email - all with a sense of confidence that dinner will be achieved without constant vigilance.

When mixing grains and vegetables without a recipe, combine quick cooking varieties of vegetables with the quicker cooking grains such as couscous, bulgar and white rices. Those almost-an-hour cooking times of the brown rices make them perfect companion for slower cooking vegetables and the smaller varieties of legumes.

Grains almost always benefit from “resting”. Leave the lid on the steamer a few minutes after the timer beckons you. The grains will be lighter and fluffier, or creamier in the case of arborio rice and oatmeal.

Add extra flavor to grains by steaming in vegetable broth. Save juices from your drip pan when steaming vegetables, or use the powdered unsalted varieties of broth found in most health food stores and supermarkets.

Grain Cooking Guidelines

Please note that high powered, high voltage UK steamers cook grains faster than this chart which was based on a simple Black and Decker (US) model.

Be sure and run a simple test batch before trying recipes. Adjust timing as needed.

Grain Type

Amount of grain

Water in rice bowl

Water in reservoir

Cooking time *

long grain brown

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

high

50 minutes

brown basmati

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

high

50 minutes

short grain brown

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

high

50 minutes

long grain white

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

medium

30 minutes

white basmati

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

medium

30 minutes

short grain white

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

medium

30 minutes

jasmine

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

medium

30 minutes

wahini

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

high

45 minutes

bulgar

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

medium

25 minutes

couscous

1/2 cup

1 cup

medium

15 minutes

quinoa

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

high

35 mintes

millet

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

medium

30 minutes

kasha

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

medium

30 minutes

* These are guidelines only.
* Larger amounts may take call for longer cooking times.
* Always let grain dishes rest 5 to 10 minutes after steaming is completed
* Grains are most often steamed in an open container, hence the "steam uncovered" instructions in the recipes below.

Caribbean Couscous

Tropical flavors join jalepeño chilies for a sweet and spicy dish. Adjust the amount of chili according to your fondness for fiery foods.

1/2 cup couscous
1/2 cup finely chopped dried papaya
1/2 cup finely chopped dried mango
1/2 cup finely chopped dried pineapple
1 scallion, chopped
1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeño chili
6 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Place couscous, dried fruits, scallion and chili in rice bowl or 4 cup glass dish. Separate dried fruit pieces from each other if they stick together. Add pineapple juice and broth; stir gently. Place bowl in steamer tray filling water level to medium and steam uncovered for 20 minutes. Let couscous mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Fluff grains with fork. Serves 4. Vegan

Southwestern Confetti Rice

The mixture of corn, cilantro and red peppers gives this dish its colorful name.

1/2 cup white basmati rice
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
purchased salsa [optional]

Place rice, peppers, scallion, corn and garlic in rice bowl or 4 cup glass dish. Add water. Place in steamer tray filling water level to medium and steam uncovered for 30 minutes. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Add chopped cilantro. Serve with purchased salsa if desired. Serves 4. Vegan

Gingered Bulgur and “Pea” nuts

The split peas remain crunchy giving this dish its unusual name. For a less crunchy dish, soak split peas overnight and drain before using in the recipe.

1 cup bulgar
1/2 cup green split peas
1 ounce crystallized ginger, minced
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Place bulgar, peas and ginger in rice bowl or 6 cup glass dish. Add broth and mix. Place in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 45 minutes. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes after timer sounds. Fluff grain with fork. Serves 6. Vegan

Lentil Pilaf

Excellent with cabbage or Brussels sprout dishes, you can remove the pilaf from the steamer, wrap in a towel and let it rest while steaming the vegetable accompaniments.

1/2 cup short grain brown rice
1/4 cup brown lentils
1/8 teaspoon ground celery seed
1 cup vegetable broth
1 green onion, chopped

Place rice, lentils, celery seed and vegetable broth in rice bowl or 4 cup glass dish. Add vegetable broth. Place in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 50 minutes. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Add chopped onion; serve. Serves 2. Vegan

Curried Couscous

A kaleidoscope of colorful fruits and vegetables makes this super quick dish fun to eat. Curry powders vary in their fiery natures; use more or less depending on the variety you are using as well as your preference.

1/2 cup couscous
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon curry powder
1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup vegetable broth

topping

2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Place couscous, peppers, apples, raisins, onion, curry powder and brown sugar in rice bowl or 4 cup glass dish glass dish. Add broth; stir to combine. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam uncovered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts by placing nuts in a small, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until lightly browned. Set aside. Let couscous mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts. Serves 4. Vegan

Bulgur Stuffing

Reminiscent of holiday stuffing, this cheesy recipe is a favorite with children.

1 cup bulgar 1 cup chopped celery
2 chopped scallions
3 oz grated Asiago cheese, grated
1 1/2 cup low fat or skim milk

Place bulgar, celery, scallions, cheese in rice bowl or 6 cup glass dish glass dish. Add milk and mix. Place in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam uncovered for 25 minutes. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Use Parmesan cheese if Asiago is not available. Serves 4.

Spanish Rice

An excellent filling for stuffed green peppers, this 1950’s winner turns Vegan.

1/2 cup short grain brown rice
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Place rice and water in 4 cup glass dish. Place in steamer tray filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 40 minutes. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Add chopped peppers, scallions, corn, tomatoes, garlic, chili pepper and paprika; return to steamer for 15 more minutes. Serves 4. Vegan

Orange Rice with Pecans

Coriander adds an exotic touch to orange flavored basmati. The beautiful peach color is a bonus. For fewer serving halve the ingredients and steam for 35 minutes.

1 1/2 cup white basmati rice
2 cups orange juice
1/2 Tablespoon ground coriander
2 scallions, chopped
1 - 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Place rice, orange juice and coriander in a 6 cup rice bowl or alternative dish. Place in steamer tray filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 45 minutes. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Add chopped scallions, and oranges. Top with pecans. Serves 6-8. Vegan

Pea Risotto

Peas and chives add a Spring touch to this creamy, any-time-of-year, main dish.

1/2 cup arborio rice*
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Place rice, vegetable broth, peas and thyme in rice bowl or 4 cup glass dish. Stir briefly to combine. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam uncovered for 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Add chives and oil, stirring gently to combine.

  • Arborio rice cooks to a creamier consistency than many rices. It is available in deli, health food and specialty stores as well as some supermarkets. Serves 2. Vegan

Radicchio Risotto

Impress your guests with your artful touch by serving this creamy rice dish nested in deep purple radicchio leaves.

1 large head radicchio
1 cup arborio rice *
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 ounce grated Asiago cheese [optional]

Remove four outer leaves from the head of radicchio and set aside. Chop a section of the remaining head to make 1 cup of chopped leaves. In rice bowl or 5 cup glass dish, place rice, the cup of chopped radicchio, parsley, garlic and broth. Stir briefly to combine. Fill water level to medium, place bowl inside steamer basket and steam uncovered for 30 minutes. Let rest five minutes. Add oil and cheese, if used. Place reserved radicchio leaves on serving plate or individual plates and fill with radicchio mixture.

  • arborio rice cooks to a creamy consistency that is different from many rices. It is available in deli, health food and specialty stores as well as some supermarkets. Serves 4.

Tomato Mushroom Risotto

Sun dried tomatoes and Crimini mushrooms add intense flavor to this main dish risotto.

1/2 cup arborio rice *
1 Tablespoon sun dried tomato flakes
1/2 cup chopped crimini mushrooms 1/2 teaspoon paprika
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 ounce grated Asiago cheese [optional]

Place rice, tomato flakes, mushrooms, paprika and broth in rice bowl or 4 cup alternative dish. Stir briefly to combine. Fill water level to medium, place bowl inside steamer basket and steam uncovered for 30 minutes. Let rest five minutes. Add oil and cheese, if used.

  • Arborio is creamier than many rices. It is available in deli, health food and specialty stores as well as some supermarkets. Serves 2.

TIP: If sun dried tomato flakes are not available in your area, make your own. Place a cup of dried tomatoes in your food processor and chop briefly. Do NOT use tomatoes packed in oil.

Super Simple Rice Toppers
When there isn’t enough time to create a casserole, opt for a super quick grain combo, just add accompanying ingredients to the cooked grain and stir.

Grain Type

For Each uncooked

Add

And

long grain brown

1/2 cup

2 Tbs chopped cilantro

1/2 ounce shredded Asiago cheese

bulgar

1/2 cup

2 Tbs chopped parsley

1/2 ounce crumbled feta cheese

white basmati

1/2 cup

2 Tbs chopped olives

1 Tbs chopped canned pimento

short grain brown

1/2 cup

1/2 Tbs tamari [soy sauce]

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Make Ahead Grain Toppings

These can be made ahead for extra busy times. Add one tablespoon to each half cup serving of your favorite cooked rice, and stir to combine. Use tapanades within a week.
Mushroom Tapanade

Crimini and Tapanade mushrooms are both good mushroom varieties for this spicy topping.

1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic juice
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steam mushrooms uncovered for 20 minutes; drain excess liquid. Add oil, vinegar, garlic juice, parsley flakes and pepper; stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Makes 1/2 cup. Vegan

Tomato Tepanade

Cousin to the mushroom version above, this recipe needs no cooking.

1/4 cup sun dried tomato flakes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic juice
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon chopped, fresh chives [optional]

Combine tomato flakes, oil, vinegar, garlic juice, paprika and chives; stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Makes 1/2 cup. Vegan

Peanut Sauce

Use this sauce atop your favorite rice and enjoy the flavors of the Orient.

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons honey
1/3 cup peanut butter [peanut only variety]
1/8 teaspoon cardamom

Place lemon juice, honey, peanut butter and cardamom in small bowl and whisk until smooth. The mixture should be the consistency of thick salad dressing. If made ahead and refrigerated, the dressing will thicken. Simply add a small amount of water and stir to regain the desired consistency. Makes over 1/2 cup. Vegan [honey]

Eggplant Salsa

Make this garlic lover’s delight a day ahead to let the flavors mingle. Substitute basil in place of cilantro for a Mediterranean flare.

1 small eggplant [3/4 pound]
1 small red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed

Peel eggplant and chop into 3/8 inch cubes. Place eggplant and onion in steamer basket. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and the eggplant has lost most of its moisture. Transfer eggplant and onion to small bowl. Add cilantro, vinegar, olive oil, jalapeño and garlic. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Makes 1 1/2 cups. Vegan

Vegetable Steaming Chart

Vegetable
Type

Size or
Weight

Water in Reservoir

Cooking Time *

Acorn squash

1 1/4 pound, halved

medium

30 - 35 minutes

White Rose Potato

12 ounce whole

high

60 minutes

Yam

12 ounce whole

high

50 minutes

Beets

5 - 6 ounces whole

high

45 minutes

Corn

whole ears, staggered

medium

20 minutes

Carrots

1 inch ‘cubes’

medium

20 minutes

Parsnips

3/4 inch ‘cubes’

medium

20 minutes

Onions

2 in diameter whole

medium

20 minutes

Green Beans

1 /1/2 inch pieces

medium

15 minutes

Broccoli

2 inch flowerets

medium

10 minutes

Zucchini

3/8 inch rounds

medium

10 minutes

* These are guidelines only.
* Larger amounts may take call for longer cooking times.
* Steaming time is extremely dependent on size of vegetable pieces.
* Always leave enough space for steam.

TIP: If your steamer is equipped with a drip pan, use it to catch juices when steaming vegetables. Save the broth for use in cooking grains.

Apple Stuffed Squash

Think of it as apple pie with an acorn squash crust. The sweetness makes it a hit with kids. Dieters can count the calories they’ve save by making the trade.

1 medium acorn squash [1 1/4 pounds]
1 large cooking apple [gala, rome etc.]
2 Tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds and membrane. Peel and core the apple; cut into small cubes. In a small bowl, combine the apple, raisins, cinnamon and sugar. Fill the squash cavities with the apple mixture; mound if necessary. Fill water reservoir to high, place the stuffed squash in the steamer basket and steam for 40 minutes or until squash is tender. Use the drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. The filling will condense as it cooks. Serves 2. Vegan

Caribbean Carrots

In Barbados carrots are presented in small amounts and served as a condiment. In this version of a Caribbean favorite, bias cut carrots bathe in a light sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.

2 cups bias cut carrots 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Sauce

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 Tablespoon margarine, melted
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
Place carrots in steamer basket. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam for 15 minutes or until carrots are crisp tender. Meanwhile make sauce: combine lime juice, margarine and brown sugar; stir well to combine. Transfer cooked carrots to small bowl. Add parsley and sauce. Stir to combine. Serves 4. Vegan

Glazed Winter Vegetables

Glazed to perfection and fat free, this root vegetable medley celebrates Fall at its best.

2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
2 large carrots, peeled in 1 inch pieces
1 medium parsnip, peeled and in 3/4 inch pieces

Glaze

1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

Place onions, carrots and parsnips in steamer basket. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile combine orange juice and brown sugar; stir well to combine. Transfer cooked vegetables to a medium bowl. Add sauce. Stir to combine. Serves 4. Vegan

Stuffed Mushrooms

Giant mushrooms make great hors 'd oevrs or accompaniments to grains. Double or triple the recipe for a crowd.

1/2 pound mushrooms [6]
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1/2 ounce Asiago cheese
2 Tablespoons wheat germ

Remove steam from mushrooms; wash caps well. Place caps round side up in steamer basket. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Let mushrooms rest for 5 minutes. For stuffing mix celery, pecans, cheese and wheat germ in a small bowl. Remove caps from steamer basket and drain. Pat dry. Fill each cap with stuffing, mounding and patting to form a solid top. Place stuffed caps side by side in rice bowl or alternative dish. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from steamer and serve warm. Stuff ahead and steam for the second 10 minutes for easy, spur of the moment appetizers. Serves 3 - 6.

Creamy Potatoes and Squash

Corn and cilantro flavor a creamy sauce that compliments potatoes and summer squash.

2 medium red potatoes [1 pound]
1 medium zucchini [12 ounces]
1 medium onion [6 ounces]

sauce

2 ounces, neufchatel cheese
1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Cut potatoes in 1 inch cubes and place in steamer basket. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam potato for 10 minutes. Trims ends of the zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 3/4 inch rounds. You will have half circles. If substituting small zucchini, cut only into rounds. Add zucchini to steamer basket and continue to steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix neufachetel cheese with cilantro leaves for the sauce. Add corn and pepper and stir to combine. Add cooked potatoes and squash to the bowl containing sauce; stir to combine. Serves 4.

Cabbage Toss

Vary the results of this dish by substituting flavored cheese or using red cabbage for part of the green.

3 cups julienned cabbage
1 carrot cut in 1/8 inch thick diagonal slices
1/4 cup finely sliced chives or scallions
2 ounces lowfat or nonfat cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon black pepper [optional]

Place cabbage and carrots in the rice bowl or alternative dish. Place in steamer basket. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam for 20 minutes or until carrots are crisp tender. Transfer cabbage and carrots to small bowl. Add chives or scallions and cream cheese. Stir to combine. Serves 4.

Mashed Potatoes and Yams

Looking for something different for a winter meal? Try this combo.

12 ounce white potato in 1/2 inch cubes
8 ounce yam in 1/2 inch cubes
1 small red onion in 1/2 inch cubes

Sauce

1/3 cup apple juice concentrate
1/2 Tablespoon margarine [optional]
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Place potato, yam and onion cubes in steamer basket. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Put apple juice, margarine [if used] and allspice in small bowl, cover and place alongside cubed vegetables. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam for 25 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl; add sauce and whip with electric mixer. A food processor can be used for whipping if you prefer. Serves 4.

Double Cornbread on Black Beans

Subsitute 2 eggs whites and have a fat free dish filled with fresh corn flavor.

1 - 15 ouncnc can black beans [or 2 cups]
1/3 cup purchased salsa

cornbread

1/2 cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 medium egg
1/4 cup non fat milk

Place beans and salsa in rice bowl or alternative dish. Stir briefly to combine; set aside. Place cornmeal, brown sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl; stir briefly. In a separate bowl mix egg with milk. Add wet ingredients to dry; mix well. Spoon cornbread on top of the chili. Cover bowl with lid or foil. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam for 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Serves 3 - 4.

Mexican Lentil Stew

A perfect dish for a Winter’s weekend lunch, this hearty dish mixes Mediterranean lentils with the chilies of northern Mexico.

1/2 cup lentils
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup cubed onion [1 inch cubes]
1/2 cup cubed carrots [1/2 inch cubes]
1 cup cubed potatoes [1 inch cubes]
1/2 cup cubed celery [1/2 inch cubes]
1 cup diced tomatoes
2 - 4 Tablespoons minced jalape?os
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Place lentils, broth, onion, carrots, potatoes, celery, tomatoes, jalape?os and cinnamon in the rice bowl or 6 cup altnernative dish. Cover with foil or lid. Fill water reservoir to high. Place dish in steamer basket and steam for one hour. Serves 4. Vegan

One Pot Chili 'n Cornbread

Super simple, the cornbread cooks atop the chili - all in one step.

1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup drained, canned kidney beans
1/4 cup canned, chopped mild chilies
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

cornbread

1/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tablespoons cup wheat germ
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 medium egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Place tomatoes, beans, chilies, scallions, brown sugar, chili powder and paprika in a 6 cup glass dish. There should be approximately 3 inches of head room remaining for the cornbread. Stir briefly to combine; set aside. Place cornmeal, flour, wheat germ, brown sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl; stir briefly. In a separate bowl, mix egg with milk and vegetable oil. Add wet ingredients to dry; mix well. Spoon cornbread on top of the chili. Cover bowl with lid or foil. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam for 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Serves 2 - 3

Rice and Lentil Chipatis with Peanut Sauce

When cooked the red lentils turn a pale yellow and are similar to split peas in flavor. Chipatis are an excellent accompaniment to this dal reminiscent dish.

1/2 cup white basmati rice
1/4 cup red lentils
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon cayenne [optional]
1 cup vegetable broth
4 chapatis

Peanut Dressing

3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons honey
1/3 cup [peanuts only] smooth peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1 Tablespoon or apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon water

Place rice, lentils, parsley, cayenne and vegetable broth in rice bowl or 4 cup glass dish. Stir briefly to combine. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 45 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, make dressing. Mix all ingredients with whisk until smooth. Mixture should be the consistency of creamy salad dressing. If made ahead and refrigerated, the dressing will thicken. Simply add a small amount of water and stir to regain the desired consistency. Fluff grains with fork. Fill each chapati with 1/4 of the grain mixture; roll up. Top with peanut sauce. Serves 4. Vegan.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

A festive company dish, the squash boats can be made ahead in batches and reheated for a crowd.

1 - 1 pound acorn squash
1/2 cup bulgar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup diced pitted dates

Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds and membrane. If using a small steamer, place the squash cut side down in the steamer basket, and steam for 20 - 25 minutes; wrap in aluminum foil and set aside. Squash should be soft, but not mushy . Place bulgar, pineapple juice, vegetable broth, curry powder, raisins and dates in the rice bowl or alternative dish. Stir briefly to combine. Fill water level to medium, place bowl inside steamer basket and steam uncovered for 25 minutes. Let rest five minutes. Unwrap squash, divide the bulgar mixture and mound it in cavities of the acorn squash. Serves 2.

Rice Squares for Sauces

Mild flavored rice squares act as a perfect base for your favorite tangy tomato, vegetable or mushroom sauce.

3/4 cup white basmati rice
1 cup water
3 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese 2 beaten eggs [or 4 egg whites]

Place rice and water in 5 cup rice bowl or alternative dish. Place in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 30 minutes. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds.

Meanwhile, prepare your favorite sauce; bottled and canned accepted [smile].

Add scallions, garlic, cottage cheese, and eggs to rice bowl; stir to combine. Return to steamer for 15 more minutes. Serves 6.

Rice 'n Pea Loaf

Peas and red onions add color to this hearty dish; a perfect companion to stuffed red peppers or carrot and raisin salad.

3/4 cup short grain brown rice*
1 cup water
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 Tablespoons minced parsley
1 ounce Asiago cheese, grated
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon mild paprika 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg

Place rice and water in 6 cup rice bowl or alternative dish. Place in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 50 minutes. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. Add peas, parsley, cheese, onion, paprika, pepper, and eggs to rice bowl; stir to combine. Return to steamer for 30 more minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes after timer sounds. * or 1 3/4 cup cooked rice. Serves 6.

Gingered Broccoli and Tofu

A lowfat and easy to prepare alternative to the Oriental favorite.

1/2 cup white basmati rice
1/2 cup water
8 oz firm tofu cut in 3/4 inch cubes
2 cups chopped broccoli flowerets
1 scallion, cut into 1 inch long pieces
2 Tablespoon minced crystallized ginger

Sauce

1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper [optional]

Place rices and water in rice bowl. Fill water level to high line. Steam 20 minutes. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. When rice is partially cooked, add vegetables and continue to steam for 20 minutes. Vegan

Mushroom and Tofu Potstickers

Make the half moon ‘ravioli’ ahead and freeze for spur of the moment company dinners.

1 pound mushrooms
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 ounces firm tofu, crumbled
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce 1 package potsticker wrappers [gyozas]
additional soy sauce or hot mustard [optional]

Remove steam from mushrooms; wash caps well. Place caps round side up in steamer basket. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Fill water reservoir to medium and steam for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Let mushrooms rest for 5 minutes. Chop mushrooms. Combine mushrooms, scallion, celery, tofu, pepper sauce, egg and soy sauce in small bowl; stir. Remove potstickers from package and divide into single layers. Place one teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper, wet the edge of one side with water. Fold the wrapper over the filling forming a half moon shape. Press the edges together firmly sealing in the filling. Place potstickers in the steamer basket; they should not touch each other. Steam for 15 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes. Remove from steamer basket and serve with additional soy sauce or hot mustard as desired. To freeze for later use, place potstickers one inch apart on a cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and place in freezer bag or carton. Makes 30 - 34 potstickers.

Salad Nicoise

Tofu replaces traditional tuna in the steamer version of a French favorite. Served on a bed of baby lettuce this is a great luncheon salad for entertaining.

1 pound white rose potatoes [2 medium]
1/4 pound green beans
2 eggs
1/4 pound of extra firm tofu in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 tomato, cut into wedges
lettuce [optional]

Dressing

1 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

Cut potatoes into one inch cubes. Cut green beans into one inch long pieces. Put green beans in rice bowl or alternate dish and place dish in steamer basket; arrange potato cubes around the bowl. This will help the potatoes and green beans to cook at the same rate. Place eggs in either area of the steamer basket. Fill water level to medium and steam for 25 minutes. Cool; remove from steamer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight. For dressing: combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard in a small bowl; whisk. To serve: add tofu, onions and parsley to the cooled potatoes and green beans. Add dressing and toss. Serve on lettuce leaves if desired. Serves 4.

Russian Beet and Potato Salad

One step steaming streamlines the preparation of this colorful main-dish salad.

1 pound white rose potatoes [2]
1 pound beets [3]
3/4 cup frozen petite peas
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup minced parsley

Dressing

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried dill weed

Place potatoes and beets in steamer basket; fill water level to high and steam for 45 - 50 minutes. If you are using a steamer with a drip reservoir, be sure and check it halfway through the steaming process so that it doesn’t overflow. If you are using smaller potatoes and beets, the steaming time will be less. The trick to getting the beets and potatoes cooked perfectly is to have the potatoes twice as big as the beets in size. Cool; remove from steamer and refrigerate for one hour or overnight.

Cut potatoes and beets into one inch cubes and place in salad bowl. Add peas, onions and parsley. Place oil, sugar, vinegar and paprika in glass cup or bowl and microwave for 30 seconds; stir. You can also heat the ingredients in a small pan on the stovetop. Add dressing to salad. Serve, or cover and refrigerate for a later time. Serves 6 - 8. Vegan

Beet Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese

Your guest will admire the beautiful colors in this dish as well as the intermingling of rich flavors.

1 pound beets [3]
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 large lettuce leaves [optional]

Dressing

1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Place beets in steamer basket; fill water level to high and steam for 45 - 50 minutes. If you are using a steamer with a drip reservoir, be sure and check it halfway through the steaming process so that it doesn’t overflow. Cool; remove beets from steamer and refrigerate for one hour or overnight. Cut beets into one inch cubes and place in salad bowl. Add blue cheese and pecans. Place honey, vinegar and pepper in glass cup or bowl and microwave for 30 seconds; stir. You can also heat the ingredients in a small pan on the stovetop. Add dressing to salad. Serve, or cover and refrigerate for a later time. Serves 4 Vegan

Match em Up Beet and Rice Salad

Using white rice and small beets, you can cook this dish in a flash. Or cook brown rice with large beets. Remember the key is matching the cooking times.

3/4 cups rice [white or brown]
1 cup water
1/2 pound beets [2-4]
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 Tablespoons minced parsley

Dressing

1 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
2 Tablespoon sour half and half

Place rice and water in rice bowl or alternate dish; place beets around the edge. A rectangular container may work best in order to fit the beets along the sides. If using quicker cooking white rice, choose small beets or cut large ones in half. If using brown rice, choose large beets or remove beets from steamer while rice is partially cooked. Fill water level to high and steam for 30 - 50 minutes depending on type of rice [see grain cooking guide]. Use drip pan if one is provided with your steamer. Let rice and beets cool. Cut beets into one inch cubes and place in salad bowl along with the rice. Add scallions and parsley. Place oil, lemon juice, honey and sour half and half in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Add dressing to salad. Serve, or cover and refrigerate for a later time. Serves 4.

Do custards and fruit dishes fare well as steamer desserts? Certainly. Easier preparation and a creamier texture than their oven-fashioned counterparts make them sure winners. The mysterious side of steamer magic reveals itself in cakes. Chiefs have been preparing cakes in ovens for centuries. Why would a cook choose a steamer to “bake” a cake?

One adventure into steamer baking and I had the answer - moisture! Removing a cube of margarine and two eggs from Mom’s favorite cake recipe is a scary endeavor. The path towards lowering fat content is teeming with culinary chasms, the most common being dryness. Low fat baked goods popular directly from the oven are often set aside by the following morning. The steamer solves this problem by adding moisture into each dish ? moisture that last several days.

Double Chocolate Banana Cake

If you’re a chocolate lover watching your fat content, this moist and chewy treat is for you.

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder [optional]
1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup apricot all-fruit “jam”
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and espresso powder in a medium bowl. Place a medium banana in a small bowl or measuring cup and mash against the sides with a fork until banana is smooth. Add oil and apricot spread; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add chocolate chips; stir. Spray rice bowl or 6 cup glass dish with vegetable spray. Pour batter into bowl and cover with aluminum foil or lid. Fill water level to high and place covered dish in steamer basket. Steam 60 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cool until pan can be handled easily. Remove cake from the steaming pan, leaving bottom side up to finish cooling. Serves 6. Vegan

Spicy Fruit Cake

Bananas, apricots and raisins form a winning team in this flavor-filled cake.

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana
1/4 cup soy milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons apricot all-fruit “jam”
1/4 cup raisins

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a medium bowl. Place a medium banana in a small bowl or measuring cup and mash against the sides with a fork until banana is smooth. Add milk, oil and apricot spread; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add raisins; stir. Spray rice bowl or 6 cup glass dish with vegetable spray. Pour in batter and cover with aluminum foil or lid. Fill water level to high and place covered dish in steamer basket. Steam 50 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cool until dish can be handled easily. Remove cake from dish and turn bottom side up to finish cooling. Serves 6. Vegan

TIP: Use dairy milk to replace soy milk in any cake recipe.

Apple 'n Ginger Bread

This is an adaptation of a Girl Scout camping recipe. It’s easier to prepare in the electric steamer than over the coals of an open fire - and it tastes just as good. Use blackstrap molasses for a darker, stronger flavored desert.

1 cup applesauce
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons apricot all-fruit “jam”
2 Tablespoons light molasses
1/3 cup hot tap water

Spoon applesauce evenly over the bottom of the rice bowl or 4 cup glass bowl. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and powdered ginger in a medium bowl. Add oil, apricot spread and molasses; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add hot water and stir; mixture will be thinner than some cake batters. Spoon batter carefully over applesauce layer making sure no applesauce shows around the edges. Cover with aluminum foil or lid; fill water reservoir level to medium. Steam 30 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cake top will still be moist. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate if desired. To serve, cut into four sections, remove cake with pie server or spatula. Spoon remaining applesauce on top or along side the cake. Serves 4. Vegan

Pour Man’s Pudding

Sweetly simple, this is an excellent accompaniment to fresh or canned peaches.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon orange extract

cake

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flower
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon oil
1/ 3 cup soy milk

Mix sugar, and flour in rice bowl or 4 cup alternative dish. Add water slowly, stirring to combine. Mixture should be smooth. Add vanilla and orange extracts. Cover, fill water level to medium and steam for 30 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes; stir. The sugar mixture should be the consistency of thick syrup. For cake: mix flour, sugar, wheat germ and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add oil and soy milk to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon batter carefully over syrup layer making sure no syrup shows around the edges. Cover with aluminum foil or lid. Fill water reservoir level to high. Steam 30 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Top will be dry. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate if desired. To serve, cut into four sections, remove cake with pie server or spatula. Spoon remaining syrup on top or along side the cake. Makes 3 - 4 servings. Vegan

Chocolate Pudding Cake

An almost fat-free version of a childhood favorite, this dish steams in its mixing bowl forming a pudding layer as well as a moist cake.
All this and chocolate too!

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pudding

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2/3 cup water

Mix flour, 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon cocoa, baking powder, milk and vanilla in rice bowl or 4 cup alternative dish. Stirring to combine. Mixture should be smooth. Sprinkle brown sugar over cake batter, sprinkle cocoa over cake batter. There is no need to mix the cocoa and sugar, but they should be lump free. Pour water over cake and cocoa mixture. Cover dish, fill water level to medium and steam for 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 3 - 4 servings. Vegan

TIP for all custard type recipes: If you are making several batches of custard, the second and subsequent batches take less time as the water is already very hot. If the first time mentioned is 20 minutes, then the second custard will cook perfectly at 15 minutes. Left in longer it will overcook. BEWARE of steam when making several batches. Let the first custard rest a few minutes before removing.

One Egg Custard

This quick as a wink adaptation of traditional custard serves two - or maybe one, if you’re not willing to share. Better yet, just double the recipe.

2/3 cup 2 % milk
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine milk, egg, sugar and vanilla in a small, deep bowl; whisk until egg is incorporated. Do not use electric beaters or blender. Pour into 2 custard cups or a small bowl. Cover with lid or tinfoil. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from steamer and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if desired. Serves one to two.

TIP: For four serving, double the custard recipes and place in single sized cups. For one bowl custard, double the recipe and place in a 6 inch diameter glass dish; steam 30 minutes

Soy Custard

Lactose free and slightly lower in fat content than it’s traditional cousin, this version has a deep caramel color.

3/4 cup soy milk
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine soy milk, egg, sugar and vanilla in a small, deep bowl; whisk until egg is incorporated. Do not use electric beaters or blender. Pour into 2 custard cups or a small shallow bowl. Cover with lid or tinfoil. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from steamer and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if desired. Serves 2. Vegan

Crusty Chocolate Almond Custard

Shhh! Don’t tell your guests, but the bittersweet chocolate crust forms atop this smooth desert all by itself.

2/3 cup 2 % milk
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine milk, egg, sugar, cocoa and vanilla in a small, deep bowl; whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not use electric beaters or blender. Pour into 2 custard cups or a small shallow bowl. Cover with lids or tinfoil. Place cups in steamer tray, fill water level to medium and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from steamer and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if desired. Serves 2.

Orange and Wheat Germ Custard

Whet germ forms a bottom layer in this orange flavored dessert.

3/4 cup 2 % milk
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons raw wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Combine milk, egg, sugar, wheat germ and orange extract in a small, deep bowl; whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not use electric beaters or blender. Pour into 2 custard cups. Cover with lids or tinfoil. Place cups in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from steamer and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Serves 2.

Pumpkin Custard

Reminiscent of holiday pumpkin pie, this dessert saves fat and calories by nixing the crust.

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spices in a small, deep bowl; stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not use electric beaters or blender. Pour into rice bowl or alternative 6 cup dish. Cover with lid or tinfoil. Place dish in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam for 1 hour. Remove from steamer and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Serves 4.

Apple Cinnamon Rice Pudding

Serve this old-fashioned favorite warm. It is an excellent way to use leftover rice.

1 cup low fat milk
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apples
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup leftover steamed rice

Combine milk, egg and sugar in a small, deep bowl; whisk until egg is incorporated. Add raisins, apples and spices; stir to combine. Pour mixture into rice pan or small glass bowl. Cover with lid or tinfoil. Place bowl in steamer tray, filling water level to medium and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from steamer and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if desired. Serves 4.

Chunky Applesauce

Use Gala, Rome, or your favorite cooking apple in this classic dish. Serve warm with your favorite frozen dessert.

4 peeled apples cut into 1 inch chunks
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Place apple pieces, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into rice bowl or alternative dish. Stir to combine. If you are using the smaller sized steamers, you may want to mix in a separate bowl and then pour into the cooking bowl. Cover with tin foil or lid; steam for 1 hour. Serve warm or refrigerate if desired. Serves 4. Vegan

Cranberry Apricot Compote

A festive addition to your holiday menu, this can be served year round simply by freezing a supply of whole fresh cranberries when available.

2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon orange extract

Place cranberries, apricots, sugar and water into rice bowl or 4 cup alternative container. Fill water level to high and steam uncovered for one hour. Add extract, stir and cool to room temperature. This can be served in small dishes for dessert, as a topping for frozen desserts or sponge cake, or as a relish alongside rice or stuffing. Makes 2 cups. Vegan

Dried Fruit Medley

What a dessert! Almost effortless, it keeps well and uses only the natural sugar of the fruits.

2 packed cups sliced dried apples
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried pineapple, chopped
2 cups orange juice

Place apples, apricots, pineapple and juice in rice bowl or alternative 5 cup dish. Fill water reservoir to high, cover and steam one hour. Let rest for 15 minutes. Stir to combine. Cool to room temperature and serve, or refrigerate. This is excellent alone or as a topping for plain vanilla cakes such as angel food or pound cake. It also pairs well with plain, low fat yogurt [dairy or non-dairy]. Serves 2 as dessert; Serves 4 as topping. Vegan

Orange Rum Bananas

A low fat adaptation of a traditional Caribbean recipe, this exotic dish is best served slightly warm.

2 large bananas
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon rum OR 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 Tablespoon margarine cut in small pieces

Peel banana cutting off ends at a diagonal. Continue slicing banana at an angle to form 1/4 inch thick, diagonally sliced pieces. Layer in rice bowl or alternative dish. Mix orange juice, brown sugar, margarine and rum [or extract]. Pour over bananas. Cover tightly, place in steamer basket and cook for 20 minutes over medium water level. Serves 4. Vegan

Breakfasts
Mixtures of dried fruits and spices make one step hearty breakfasts a breeze. Serve with your favorite milk beverage or simply by themselves.

Steamer breakfast breads, oatmeal and egg dishes are all simple and quick with a steamer. So have that extra cup of coffee as you lounge with the paper – gourmet was never so easy.

Cereal Cooking Guidelines

Grain Type

Amount of grain

Water in rice bowl

Water in reservoir

Cooking time *

rolled oats

2/3 cup

2/3 cup

medium

10 minutes

rolled wheat

2/3 cup

2/3 cup

medium

20 minutes

rolled tritacale

2/3 cup

2/3 cup

medium

20 minutes

rolled barley

2/3 cup

2/3 cup

medium

20 minutes

7 grain cereal [quick]

1/2 cup

1 1/3 cup

medium

20 minutes

quick cut oatmeal

2/3 cup

3/4 cup

medium

30 minutes

farina

1/4 cup

1 cup

medium

20 minutes

couscous

1/2 cup

1 cup

medium

15 minutes

quinoa

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

high

35 minutes

millet

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

medium

30 minutes

Spiced and Chewy Oatmeal

Dryer than oatmeal mush, the grains retain the consistency of rice. Use the thick variety of oats if they are available in your area.

2/3 cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup water

Place oats, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and water in rice bowl or alternative container. Fill water reservoir to medium and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 10 minutes. Let rest for five. Doubles easily for a crowd. Serves 2. Vegan

Creamy Pineapple Oatmeal

If you prefer creamy oatmeal, this version is for you. Pineapple juice adds a Caribbean flavor as well as natural sweetness.

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons raisins
2/3 pineapple juice

Place oats, sugar, raisins, and juice in rice bowl or alternative container. Fill water reservoir to medium and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 20 minutes. Let rest for five. Doubles easily for a crowd. Serves 2. Vegan

TIP: If you are cooking cereal for one, opt for a colorful, tempered glass dish. It can double as your breakfast bowl and add some class to your morning

Apple and Date Oatmeal

Dates replace the sugar in this naturally sweet breakfast dish.

2/3 cup rolled oats
2 Tablespoons chopped dates
1 cup chopped apple
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup water *

Place oats, dates, apple, cinnamon and water in rice bowl or alternative container. Fill water reservoir to medium and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 20 minutes. Let rest for five minutes. * Use 3/4 cup water for creamy style oatmeal. Serves 2. Vegan

Mexican Milk and Oatmeal

I was introduced to this perfect-for-chilly-mornings breakfast at a vegetarian restaurant in the high mountains of central Mexico.

2/3 cup rolled oats *
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups non-fat milk
brown sugar or honey [optional]

Place oats, raisins, cinnamon and milk in rice bowl or alternative container (add honey or sugar if used). Fill water reservoir to medium and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 20 minutes. Let rest for five minutes. Serves 2.

Sweet 'n Spicy Quinoa

Brown sugar meets dates and spices for a fun breakfast treat.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Place quinoa, dates, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and water in rice bowl or alternative dish. Fill water reservoir to medium and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 40 minutes. Let rest for five minutes. Serves 2. Vegan

Corn Pudding

Amazing! This breakfast dish tastes like pumpkin pie. Use blackstrap molasses if you like a stronger flavor.

3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup light molasses
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg

Place milk in rice bowl or alternative dish. Carefully stir in cornmeal; whisk until lump free. Fill water reservoir to high and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir briefly and carefully with a long handled spoon. Return to basket and steam another 15 minutes. Let rest for two minutes. Stir in molasses, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg. Combine well. Stir in egg completely. Cover dish tightly with lid or tin foil. Return bowl to steamer basket and steam 25 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature. Serves 2.

TIP: Always use a long handled spoon when stirring between steaming times. Let steam escape from basket before approaching the container to stir.

Morning Cobbler

Warm blueberries and apples under a sweet grain topping makes this a sure winner with kids - young and old.

1 cup chopped apples
1 cup unsweetened blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Place apples and blueberries in a glass container. In a separate bowl mix the oats, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over fruit. Fill water reservoir to medium and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 40 minutes. Let rest for five minutes. Serves 2. Vegan

Cinnamon Apples

Treat yourself to a steamer rendition of the traditional baked apple. Larger steamers will accommodate two or three apples.

1 8-10 ounce baking apple such as Rome
1 Tablespoon golden raisins
1 Tablespoon chopped dates
1 Tablespoon chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Core apple and place in rice dish or alternative container. In a small bowl, mix raisins, dates, pecans and cinnamon. Spoon mixture into apple cavity mounding on top if necessary. Place rice dish containing apple in steamer basket. Fill water reservoir to high and place bowl in steamer basket. Steam uncovered for 40 minutes. Let rest for ten minutes. Serves 1. Vegan

Cherries and Dumplings

Dumplings sit atop dark cherry sauce in this easy brunch dish. Use cherries canned in their own juice, or ones in light syrup.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon unbleached flour
1/2 cup juice from canned bing cherries
1 teaspoon orange extract

cake

1/2 cup unbleached flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon oil
1/ 3 cup soy milk

Mix sugar, and flour in 5 cup or larger glass bowl. Add juice slowly, stirring to combine. Mixture should be smooth. Add orange extract. Cover, fill water level to medium and steam for 30 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes; stir. The sugar mixture should be the consistency of medium thick syrup. For cake: mix flour, sugar, wheat germ and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add oil and soy milk to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon batter carefully over syrup making four mounds. Cover with aluminum foil or lid; fill water level to high. Steam 30 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate if desired. To serve, spoon dumpling into dessert bowl. Spoon cherries and syrup on top or along side the dumplings. Dumplings will expand with cooking and may form a solid mass atop the cherries if the cooking bowl is the 5 cup size. In this case, cut topping into four pieces when serving. Makes 4 servings. Vegan

Squash Bread

Spicy and fragrant, this bread is great for mid morning and mid afternoon “tea”.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup apricot all-fruit jam
2 Tablespoons dairy or soy milk
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed winter squash [canned or fresh]

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a medium bowl. Place the milk, oil, apricot spread and squash a small bowl; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Spray rice bowl or 6 cup glass dish with vegetable spray. A shallow dish that allows batter to spread to a one inch thickness when poured works best. Pour in batter and cover with aluminum foil or lid. Fill water level to high and place covered dish in steamer basket. Steam 50 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cool until dish can be handled easily. Remove cake from dish and turn bottom side up to finish cooling. Serves 6. Vegan

Date and Oatmeal Scones

You’ll never guess these hearty and flavorful scones are almost fat free.

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup soy milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons apricot all-fruit jam
1/3 cup chopped dates

topping

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoon wheat germ

Mix flour, oats, cardamom and baking powder in a medium bowl. Mix milk, oil and apricot spread in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add dates; stir. Spray rice bowl or 5 cup glass dish with vegetable spray. Pour in batter and cover with aluminum foil or lid. Fill water level to high and place covered dish in steamer basket. Steam 40 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cool until dish can be handled easily; cut into pie shaped wedges. Serves 4. Vegan

TIP: In any of these bread recipes:
Use dairy milk OR soy milk.
Use pumpkin, any winter squash and yam interchangeably.

Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin replaces most of the oil in these fluffy alternate biscuits. Bake in ramekins for the authentic biscuit shape.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup mashed pumpkin or winter squash
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 cup soy milk

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. Place the pumpkin, oil and milk in a small bowl; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Spray rice bowl or 5 cup glass dish with vegetable spray. Pour in batter and cover with aluminum foil or lid. Fill water level to medium and place covered dish in steamer basket. Steam 30 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cool until dish can be handled easily. Cut into squares or triangles depending on the shape of your glass dish. Serves 4. Vegan

Spicy Carrot Bread

Only one tablespoon of oil per loaf makes this a winner in the fat counting wars.

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup apricot all-fruit jam
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup golden raisins

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Place the oil, juice concentrate and apricot spread a small bowl; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add carrots and raisins; mix well. Spray rice bowl or 5 cup glass dish with vegetable spray. A shallow dish that allows batter to spread to a one inch thickness when poured works best. Pour in batter and cover with aluminum foil or lid. Fill water level to high and place covered dish in steamer basket. Steam 50 minutes or until toothpick pressed into the center comes out nearly clean. Cool until dish can be handled easily. Remove cake from dish and turn bottom side up to finish cooling. Serves 4. Vegan

Tortilla Español

Top this omelet with your favorite salsa and serve up a South of the Border brunch. If you use leftover steamed potatoes, this dish can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

1 medium [8 ounce] new potato
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

Steam potato for 40 minutes until tender; let cool. Coat the bottom of the rice bowl or alternative dish with vegetable spray. Cut potato into 1/2 inch cubes and layer in the dish. Add scallions in a second layer and cilantro as a third layer. Beat eggs in a small bowl and pour over vegetable layers. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover dish with lid or foil. Place in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Serves 2.

Broccoli Frittata

Who said you couldn’t eat vegetables for breakfast?

1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
4 eggs
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 ounce Asiago cheese, grated

Place chopped broccoli in small bowl. Fill water reservoir to medium, place bowl with broccoli in steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes until broccoli is barely tender. Coat the bottom of the rice bowl or alternative dish with vegetable spray. Beat eggs in a small bowl. Add scallion, red pepper, wheat germ and broccoli; stir to combine. Pour into vegetable sprayed cooking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover dish with lid or foil. Place in steamer tray, filling water level to high and steam uncovered for 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Serves 2 - 3.

Steaming Pork

Steaming is a moist heat method of cooking. It results in tender and moist meat through the use of steam. When steaming meat, minimum shrinkage occurs, and it is one of the most healthy methods of cooking because no additional fat is used. Although water is used in this process as in boiling, the meat retains more of the nutrients because it does not sit directly in the water, preventing the nutrients from being leached out of the meat. Pork can be steamed with a traditional steamer that fits on top of a saucepan or by using a rack that sits in the bottom of a tightly covered pan that allows the food to be suspended above the water. Steaming can also be accomplished by the use of an electric steamer or a bamboo steamer.

Steaming is very popular in Asian cooking and most often the pork is ground, diced, cubed, or sliced before steaming. Ribs are also steamed. Many times other ingredients are mixed with the meat or poured over it and they are then steamed. Ground pork and diced pork are often mixed with other ingredients and formed into balls or loafs before steaming.

When steaming pork with a traditional steamer, fill the steamer pot half full of water and bring to a full boil using a high heat. Depending on the recipe, herbs or other flavorings can be added to the water to be imparted into the meat during steaming. Place a single layer of meat in the steamer and place the steamer in the pot over the boiling water, making sure no water is coming up through the holes in the steamer. Cover and cook for the amount of time indicated on the recipe being used. If using a rack or tray in the bottom of a large pot instead of a traditional steamer, add at least one inch of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Place the pork in a heatproof dish and place the dish on the rack in the pot of boiling water. Be sure water is not boiling up over the heatproof dish. Cover with a tight lid and cook for the appropriate time. Check for doneness and if thoroughly cooked, remove meat from steamer and serve as directed on the recipe.

Steaming Tips:

* Marinate cubed pork, sliced pork and ribs before steaming to give them a distinctive flavor.
* Impart flavor into the meat by adding ingredients to the steaming water, such as onions, carrots, celery, and fresh gingerroot.
* Other ingredients, such as vegetables, can be steamed with the meat but be sure to not overcrowd.
* For efficient use of time when preparing recipes that call for pork and rice, steam pork over rice as it is cooking.
* Avoid removing the cover to the pot during the cooking process. This will allow heat and steam to escape, resulting in extended cooking times.

Asian fried rice dish

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
6 scallions, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, in strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, in strips
1/2 potato, diced
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup baby carrots, cut
1/4 cup lentils
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
4-5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried lemongrass (optional)
1-3 servings

    1. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil, stir in the lentils, and set aside.
    1. Boil the potatos until almost done, while convieniently.
    1. using the steam from the boiling potatoes, steam the bell peppers, broccoli florets, carrots, and sprinkle them with 1/2 of the ginger, 1/2 the scallions, and all the lemongrass.
    1. When the potatoes are almost done, pour out the water or fish them out and toss them with the steamed vegetables. Then return to steaming the whole bunch.
    1. When the lentils are done, once again pour them over the steaming vegetables and toss to combine.
    1. Toss rice over the whole deal, continue steaming while you.
    1. Mix the ginger, honey, sherry, vingegar, 4 tbs of soy sauce, and what remains of the scallions.
    1. Pour the steaming mixture a sprayed nonstick skillet, and stir fry with the mixed sauce for 5-10 minutes. Add further water, soy sauce, or stock to keep the mixture from getting too dry.