stir-fryThere are many ways to prepare vegetables. Buy in season and aim to eat a range of different colours.


Vary cooking times according to your preference. If you like soft vegetables, boil and steam according to the times below, but if you like vegetables to be more firm, reduce the cooking time



  • Prepare the vegetables and cut into evenly sized pieces.
  • Place in lightly salted boiling water 2-3cm deep. Cover tightly and bring back to the boil as quickly as possible.
  • Boil gently until tender when tested with a fork.
  • Drain and serve



Approximate boiling time

Potato, parsnip, pumpkin, kumara

20-25 minutes

Carrots, celery

12-16 minutes

Asparagus, leeks

8-10 minutes

Corn on the cob

10 minutes

Cauliflower, broccoli

8-10 minutes

Brussels sprouts

5-10 minutes

Cabbage, silverbeet

5-7 minutes

Frozen peas or frozen vegetables

5 minutes


3 minutes





  • Prepare the vegetables and cut into evenly sized pieces.
  • Place in a steamer over rapidly boiling water. Don't let the water touch the vegetables.
  • Cover and adjust the heat to a steady simmer.
  • Cook until tender. Add more boiling water if necessary.


Cooking times are approximately 5-10 minutes longer than boiling





  • Prepare the vegetables and cut into evenly sized pieces.
  • Use only a small quantity of water. Usually the water left clinging after washing is sufficient.
  • Pierce whole or unpeeled vegetables before cooking to prevent bursting
  • Cook vegetables on high power (100%).
  • Arrange vegetables with thickest stalks or spears, which need the most cooking, towards the outside of the dish.
  • Cover the dish with plastic film, or a microwave safe lid to speed cooking
  • Rotate or stir the vegetables during cooking to ensure an even result.
  • Microwaved vegetables continue cooking for an extra 2-4 minutes while they are standing, after the selected cooking time is up. Overcooking results in tough dried out vegetables.
  • If desired, salt vegetables after cooking.


Cooking times vary depending on the type of microwave so you will need to consult your manual for specific cooking times. A good starting place when cooking vegetables for one or two people is to microwave for 1 minute at a time and then check. Add extra time if needed.





  • Baking is suitable for a wide range of vegetables including potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, yams, tomatoes, marrows, parsnips, carrots and swede.
  • Preheat oven to 200º C.
  • Scrub the vegetables, leave the skin on.
  • Pierce the skin of potatoes, kumara and parsnip; remove seeds from the pumpkin.
  • Bake until softened when tested with a fork.


Cooking time for medium sized baked vegetables is 45 minutes to 1 hour. Wrapping vegetables in foil shortens the cooking time and softens the skins.


Abbreviations Used in Recipes

utensilst = teaspoon

T = tablespoon

ml = millilitre

g = gram

º C = degrees Celsius

cm = centimetre