If you are a lover of steamed vegetables, a halogen oven can prepare them to perfection with all the flavour and goodness sealed in.
Anyone who owns a halogen oven will know they are capable of cooking food in a variety of ways including grilling, boiling, frying, baking and roasting - they are truly versatile devices.
But these mini marvel kitchen appliances really excel when it comes to steaming vegetables, fish and even chicken. Your steamed food will turn out tasting great every time - and let's not forget how healthy it will be.
Steaming is one of the healthiest ways that food can be cooked - after all, the only thing being used to cook the food is water so there's no fat to worry about as is the case with frying. Like steaming, boiled food is also in cooked in water, but boiling removes a lot of the healthy vitamins and minerals that are contained in the vegetables.
Boiling can also make vegetables soft and removes much of the flavour - but that's certainly not the case when vegetables are steamed as they stay crunchy and retain their taste.
There are few methods of steaming vegetables in a halogen oven. If you own a halogen oven that it came with an accessories pack, there's a good chance it included a steaming tray.
These trays are very easy to use - you simply add two teaspoons of water per portion of vegetable you want to cook. This needs to go on the base of the glass or Perspex cooking bowl of the halogen oven.
After you have added the water place, you need to place the steaming tray in the halogen oven - the trays are round in shape so they fit snugly into the oven's glass cooking bowl. Finally, add the vegetables you wish to cook to the steaming tray.
You can pretty much steam any vegetable you wish in a halogen oven but favourites in the UK include carrots, potatoes, broccoli, suede, cabbage, courgettes, red and green peppers, peas, aubergines, cauliflower, green beans, onions and asparagus.
If you buy a halogen oven that doesn't come with a steaming tray there is another easy option when it comes to steaming vegetables. You will need to create foil parcels in which to place each of your vegetables. For more than one type just use more tin foil parcels. Then you simply add two teaspoons of water to each of the tin foil parcels. Next place each vegetable inside the foil pocket and seal tightly to ensure there is no risk of the steam escaping.
Both methods require roughly the same amount of time to cook, and the cooking time should be roughly the same as it is in a conventional oven. For very quick cooking vegetables, such as sweet corn or peppers, you should allow between15 and 20 minutes cooking time. Vegetables that normally cook more slowly, such as carrots or potatoes, will require a longing cooking time of between 30 and 40 minutes.
These are just guide cooking times - some halogen ovens cook faster than others so check the manual that came with your cooker for precise times. As with a conventional oven, you should check that the vegetables are cooked the way you like them before eating.
Steamed fish also tastes delicious and packed with flavour when prepared in a halogen oven. As with vegetables, your fish of choice can be either be steamed in foil parcels in the oven or with a steam tray accessory. Popular choices of fish in the UK for steaming in a halogen cooker include salmon fillets, sea bass, red snapper, grouper, cod, haddock, mackerel, trout, halibut and monkfish.