It does? I have a rice cooker and I never tried steaming anything in it. I mean I made lentils, beans, quinoa, millet, rice, ... pretty much anything in it, but never tried veggies. I'll have to try that now!!!
I LOVE my rice cooker (did I mention, it's a Hello Kitty rice cooker??), one day I'll find myself baking bread with that thing, LOL!
My favorite method is the microwave. I usually rinse my veggies, keeping some of the water clinging to them. Sprinkle a little salt, toss, cover with lid and nuke. The other day, a small casserole-sized dish went 3 minutes in there for green beans I just sauteed quickly with garlic in a pan afterwards. Carrots take 3-4 minutes. Just check the owners manual, sometimes they have guidelines. For stovetop, use a little water and salt in bottom of pan, add veggies and bring to boil, and take back the heat to low. Put lid on, and let steam for about 7-15 minutes, depending on the size and type of veggie.
It's possible to steam with an ordinary pan. Find a large enough pan with a tight fitting lid. Put the vegetables in the pan along with a small amount of water (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup). Cover and turn on the burner and in a few minutes the water starts steaming. Reduce the heat but keep it high enough to maintain the steam.
Many vegetables take only a few minutes to cook this way after the water starts steaming, in which case you wouldn't have to worry about running out of water.. But if you're cooking something that takes longer or you're cooking a large amount you should probably use more water.
The vegetables shouldn't be tightly packed in the pan because the steam won't be able to circulate well.
Yes, the rice cooker works like a wonder. The bowl inside is non-stick (teflon?), but I suppose that's standard for rice cookers. However, the bowl is a little smaller than most other's I've seen, but if you are just cooking for one or two people it works out perfectly. I have never had a problem with the size, most of the time I only eat half (or less) of what I make and keep the other half for later. Everything I made in it so far turned out so nice. And it's sooooo easy, I LOVE IT! You just put in the water (there's marks in there for 1, 2, or 3 cups of dry rice) and then the rice (it comes with a little measuring cup and a scoop), turn the switch on and turn the dial on. You can also set it for up to 12 hours later (so it'll switch on in as many hours as you want, i.e. you want rice for dinner at 6pm, set the rice cooker in the morning when you wake up). You have to clean the bowl and the lid every time you use it, but I don't see that as a hassle, I'd do that anyway. The chord is a little short, but it works fine if you have a plug near. I usually put it on the floor next to the window so the steam can go out the window instead of heating the room. Then also, if you over-fill it, it tends to leak out a little on the "venting hole", but that only happens if you fill it to the rim.
Oops, I'm babbling, this post has gotten way too long!!
One more thing. If you want a cheap one, I don't know if this is for you. I don't exactly know how much it is because i got it for my birthday last year, but I think it was about 80 bucks. So if you want one for 17, then don't get this one
I've always wanted the toaster or waffle maker. Did you know the toaster toasts little hello kitty faces on the toast?? I think that is just too adorable.
Sanrio Stores usually sell them (some malls have Sanrio Stores, you have to go look). They might sell them online on http://store.yahoo.com/sanriostore/. I saw them at Uwajimaya, which is an Asian Market around the Seattle area, if you have them where you live, you can go look in the kitchen appliance section. Uhm... I can't think of any other place right now.
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