Vegetable Steam-Sauté

This is my favorite way to make an awesome, nutrient dense, vegetable side dish.  You can use any vegetables that you want.  I typically include onions, garlic, some denser veggies (beets, squash, carrots etc), mushrooms and a green.  But this method can be used for any combination that suits your fancy.

The important part here is the process, not the actual ingredients. I recommend chopping all of your vegetables first.  Or at least chopping the vegetables that will need to go into the pan early.  Also, if using garlic, chop that immediately so that it has time to sit for 10 minutes.  This allows the the allinase and the alliin to react with one another and convert to the active allicin.  Allicin is the active ingredient in garlic responsible for its antibacterial, lipid-lowering, anti-oxidant properties.  Unfortunately, allicin is not present in fresh garlic, it must be crushed in order to cause the reaction.  You want to make sure this reaction has a chance to take place before it is cooked, or the heat will destroy this process.


Choose a large skillet with an accompanying lid.

Choose an oil that can take high heat, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee.

Have a quality sea salt on hand. 

Add approximately 1 T oil to the pan and heat on med-low.

If using onions, they will go in first and sauté until golden.

Then add the heavier, longer cooking vegetables (chopped), a large pinch of sea salt, and enough water to barely coat the bottom of the skillet.  Put the lid on, and allow the vegetables to "steam" for 5 minutes, or until mostly cooked through.

Prepare the next round of vegetables that will go in- shorter cooking vegetables such as mushrooms and garlic.  

After the vegetables are done steaming, remove the lid.  Add the next round of vegetables and another pinch of salt.  The water will evaporate and we will once again be sautéing the vegetables.  When all the vegetables are mostly done, add in the final batch of short cooking vegetables- probably greens.

Sauté for a few minutes until done, taste and salt as needed.

Option: if you want to give your steam-sauté a flair you can add additional sauces.  For example, I sometimes like to add coconut aminos for an asian flare. (Coconut aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce.)  Get creative and have fun.  This is a great way to cook almost any vegetable you may have at home!


Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.