Diana MirkinDiana Mirkin has taught thousands of people how to make healthful foods taste delicious. She is co-author of four books with her husband, Dr. Gabe Mirkin: The Healthy Heart Miracle; The Good Food Book; The 20/30 Fat and Fiber Diet Plan; and Fat Free, Flavor Full. Each of these books includes 100 or more of her recipes featuring whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. For many years Diana co-hosted The Dr. Gabe Mirkin Show, a syndicated radio show taking call-in questions on health, nutrition and fitness. Although the show is not in production at this time, it is still widely aired via their web site, www.drmirkin.com . She co-writes their weekly newspaper column, eZine, and blog covering the same topics. Diana is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MBA from Loyola College. When she's not writing or inventing tasty new recipes, she's usually out riding her bicycle, gardening or exercising her dogs.
Diana Merkin: I am Diana Merkin and I am going to show you how to use a countertop steamer. In a few minutes, we will be using this to cook whole grains, but first I would like to show you how it works. If you dont have one of these yet I highly recommend that you go and buy one. Its probably the most versatile, helpful cooking utensil that you can have in your kitchen.
A steamer is just a real simple little appliance. They are inexpensive. They cost about $30 in the discount stores and it is basically a heating element in a base that is going to heat up some water and generate steam that is going to raise up and cook the food. So, here we have the base with the timer, the little heating element and what you do is you cover that little heating element with water. There are little lines in the base that show you how far to fill it up with water. The next part of the steamer is called the steamer basket and that has holes in the bottom, so as the steam rises up through the holes and cooks whatever is sitting in the basket. I am going to put some asparagus in today.
You can cook just about anything in these steamers. They are great for doing, vegetables, or seafood. In a minute, I am going to show you how to use simple whole grains, but right now what we are going to do is, we are going to put the lid on and then all you have to do is set the timer, be sure you have got it plugged in, if you dont plug it in nothing happens and then you however long your want to cook your food for, you just leave it and when you come back it is all done. The steamers come with a little booklet that gives you all the instructions for all the different types of food that you can cook with it and when I come back, I will show how to use it for whole grains.