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Slim Yet Satisfying: Why We Love Steamed Food (and You Should, Too)

When it comes to cooking in the summertime, grilling gets top billing -- and rightly so. But every now and then, you'll want to give your tongs the day off. Enroll in Steaming 101 and meet your alternative secret weapon: H2O. Then, read on to get inspired with steamed ideas for every course on your menu.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner
Our Steamed Broccoli and Squash with Tahini Sauce is anything but bland and loaded with phytonutrients.

Steaming is a simple, healthy, and delicious way to prepare meals -- especially when temperatures rise. Plus, steaming retains nutrients far more successfully than other cooking methods. Who knew a little water could have such a huge impact? 

Our Favorite Steamed Starters & Sides

Before attempting any of these recipes, you're going to want to invest in a steamer basket, which will cook most vegetables evenly and suspend them above the water. We recommend the Martha Stewart Collection Vegetable Steamer, which will help to protect your greens from simmering liquid while keeping your own hands safe from the heat.

Craving a salad? We've got you covered in that department, too. Our steamed broccoli and squash with tahini sauce and our steamed vegetable salad with macadamia dressing are guaranteed palate-pleasers.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner
Try your hand at the "en papillote" method with our Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice recipe.

Our Favorite Steamed Entrees

Most of these recipes utilize the "en papillote" method, a type of steaming in which food is placed in a paper parcel and cooked by the vapor that gradually builds up within.

One of our most coveted steamy dishes, a savory custard of steamed crabmeat and coconut milk, requires a large pot with a steamer insert.

Photography by: Rob Tannenbaum
Our Steamed Lemon Pudding Cakes make for a sweet bookend to any menu.

Our Favorite Steamed Desserts

If you're feeling ready to take on the challenge of a fully-steamed menu, these puddings are a fun way to complete your feast.

A classic and one of Martha's favorites: our Steamed Salmon with Avocado recipe.

In addition to cooking healthfully and eating mindfully, we recommend supplementing any diet with a daily whole-foods-based vitamin regimen.

Get Started with Martha Stewart Essentials