Sunday, February 7, 2016


Every home should have a steamer.  Boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes is such a waste of nutrients.  There is some science, but not conclusive that potatoes are high in serotonin, a chemical used in anti-depressants.  The reality is, if you search through the NIH web page you will find articles which address the issue of which foods do in fact will naturally increase the level of serotonin in your brain, thereby reducing stress and depression.

We tend to boil the nutrients out of our food - why?  I do not know.  I have several steamers for different purposes.  I love my big one because when I make tamales with olive oil - not Manteca - it has two levels.  This allows me to put the pork tamales at one level, and the bean, cheese, jalapeño at another level.

But you do not even need a steamer.

The night before with just a tad bit of olive oil in the Dutch oven frying pan I steamed the asparagus for 20 minutes at a very low heat.  No seasoning needed.

In another pan I peeled red potatoes and sliced them to about a 1/4 inch.  You will have a lot of round pieces.  I put just a little water on the bottom of the frying pan and on a low heat in 20 minutes the potatoes are fully steamed, not boiled.  Salt to taste.  You just have to keep an eye on the water.  It is a very small amount - just enough to create a small steam.  The water should not cover the potatoes.

Different potatoes have different flavors.  For potato salad I prefer the yellow ones.  For mashed or German fried I prefer the red ones.  For baked I prefer the Idaho. 

At Lopez I love buying the thick Mexican carrots for my caldo or just to steam for dinner.  You can also do the same with sweat potatoes.  Some people like sliced steamed sweet potatoes, as opposed to mashed or baked.  Peel them and steam them just as I described above.  You serve them up steamed and sliced.

There is no reason to boil the nutrients out of your vegetables.

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