Cooking Hints & Miscellaneous Info - Steam & Seal bags????




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Loriann7
02-21-2008, 06:23 AM
OK, so the biggest loser featured the Steam & Seal bags which I'd never even heard of. Since I normally "steam" my veggies in the microwave anyway I figured the bag would help keep the nutrients in the veggies better and safer. So I went to purchase these and then went to the frozen veggie section, low and behold Birdseye is selling their veggies in special bags specifically for this purpose, and they (at least the ones I bought ) didn't cost any more than the other ones!

These are great for those nights you get home late and just want something quick, easy and healthy! Me, I threw the veggties in the mic and fish on the broiler, DELISH!

Anyone have any idea if these bags are truly safe? Or anyone have recipe ideas?


tammie00
02-21-2008, 07:40 AM
I use the veggies already in the steam bags just make sure they haven't added stuff like butter or what not.

I have also used the ziplock steam bags. I did asparagus with some salt/pepper and a little butter. MY kids requested it again. They loved the little trees. I have made asparagus before and they wouldn't eat it.


Tammie

NemesisClaws
02-21-2008, 07:44 AM
While it is no doubt very easy and convienent, (I've used the Birdeye's bags before), I'll just stick with my steamer tray in a pan on the stove. Frankly, it's just cheaper for me to do so. :)


Loriann7
02-21-2008, 06:35 PM
Nemesis... I used to use those then I heard the microwave is better, I just thrown them in a mic safe glass bowl and steam... I hear they keep more vitamins even this way than the old water steam!!!!!!!

kaplods
02-21-2008, 06:54 PM
I steam in the microwave a lot, but I just pour the fresh or frozen veggies on a glass plate or in a glass bowl, dampen a paper towel and set it lightly on top of the vegetables and microwave. It doesn't dirty any more dishes than the steaming bags would because if I'm steaming for just myself, I use a single serving plate/bowl and eat from the same dish I microwaved in. If I'm cooking for several people, the dish I steam in is the dish I serve in(I just warn guests that the dish may be hot).


In the summer with sweet corn, I clean the ears of corn, wrap each in a dry paper towel, then run each ear under running water until the paper towel is wet and microwave on a glass plate for about 2minutes per ear.

Loriann7
02-21-2008, 09:00 PM
actually you can microwave the ears of corn right in the husk! When I used to eat corn I'd pull back husks and put butter on it.... rewrap with husks and mmmm mmm good!

kaplods
02-21-2008, 10:38 PM
How do you get all the silk out without removing the husk? I can shuck and pull off all the silk of about six ears of corn in the time it takes to remove the silk but leave the husk on one ear.

PhotoChick
02-21-2008, 11:08 PM
Yeah, I don't get the point of the steam bags. You can put the same veggies in a bowl, cover with a damp towel or papercloth and microwave them.

And you're not adding another piece of plastic trash to a landfill when you're done.

.

Loriann7
02-22-2008, 09:54 AM
How do you get all the silk out without removing the husk? I can shuck and pull off all the silk of about six ears of corn in the time it takes to remove the silk but leave the husk on one ear.

AFTER you cook the corn you shuck!!!!!!!! :)

GONNABE165
02-22-2008, 10:01 AM
what I liked about these bags is the fact they showed you cooking chicken breast in the bags in the microwave - I wnat to try them for that (for my dh who is big on protein)

kaplods
02-22-2008, 03:44 PM
Loriann7,

Ok, guess I'm a little dense. You pull back the husk, and butter it (with all the hairy silk still on?), cook it - and then remove the husk and the silk?

NemesisClaws
02-23-2008, 01:35 AM
Now there's a hairy corn...personally, I like mine shaved....:)

jillybean720
02-23-2008, 08:31 PM
I use the steaming bags for the microwave. Whenever I've tried following the microwave directions on a bag of frozen veggies before, it would either be too crunchy for my liking or I would anticipate it being too crunchy (I don't like crispy veggies), would cook it a bit longer, and would end up with mushy brown veggies--I just couldn't quite get it right! With the bags, they seem to cook perfectly.

I couldn't find any frozen cauliflower at my grocery store that comes in the steamable bag without any butter or anything added, so these steaming bags were great for my cauliflower.

I plan to try some asparagus and some meats. Also, I don't know which brand was on The Biggest Loser, but I bought the Glad brand because they were cheaper than the Ziploc brand.

vertigoskyy
02-24-2008, 06:23 PM
what I liked about these bags is the fact they showed you cooking chicken breast in the bags in the microwave - I wnat to try them for that (for my dh who is big on protein)

I was wondering about the chicken too.

WebRover
04-07-2008, 09:39 PM
The chicken cooks ok in the bag. I've done one or two of the recipes they had online. However, I think the chicken is tastier on the George Foreman grill or in a greaseless pan.

I cook frozen vegetables in the microwave using corningware and no added water. Then the corningware becomes the serving dish. I've done this for years. I cook most fresh vegetables this way as well. The corningware goes into the dishwasher and I have no pan to wash and no plastic bag to throw out.

I bought my first microwave when they were still so novel that a purchase came with a free cookiing class. I decided that to justify the purchase (think Amana RadarRange) I would try to cook for the first month using only the microwave. That caused me to really learn how to use it and the habits have remained.

GONNABE165
04-08-2008, 08:41 AM
I use these bags alot for fish, chicken & veggies they are very good for lunch use as I am limited on time at work.

zeffryn
04-09-2008, 10:25 AM
They are great! I use them for veggies and then wash them out to use them again. They work great a second and third time :)

jillybean720
04-09-2008, 11:39 AM
The chicken cooks ok in the bag. I've done one or two of the recipes they had online. However, I think the chicken is tastier on the George Foreman grill or in a greaseless pan.
I know this is off topic; I apologize. But...

How do you get good, moist chicken from the Foreman? When I use mine, either the chicken gets all dry (if it's a thin-sliced chicken breast) or the outside burns by the time it's cooked through (if it's a thicker chicken breast) :( I've been buying the pre-cooked chicken breast strips for salads and wraps lately because I can never seem to cook a nice moist piece of chicken myself, but I need to stop buying the pre-coked ones to avoid the insane amount of sodium.

murphmitch
04-09-2008, 01:05 PM
I marinate mine in something like Italian dressing. They come out very moist.

zeffryn
04-09-2008, 01:09 PM
Jillybean - cute name, btw.

Anyway, whenever I'm cooking chicken on the Foreman, I usually pound it so it is all equal thickness - maybe 1/2". It cooks quick, usually 5-7 minutes. Check it often to make sure it isn't overcooked. It will be dry if it overcooks. Also, you could try some of the injectable marinades. They are supposed to keep things more moist. Hope this helps.

Also, if you have an outdoor grill -- grill up a bunch of chicken and slice it up. Freeze some and put some in the fridge to use during the week. You could also bake a whole chicken or individual chicken breasts when you have some time and do the same. :)

ShannanA
04-09-2008, 01:10 PM
While it is no doubt very easy and convienent, (I've used the Birdeye's bags before), I'll just stick with my steamer tray in a pan on the stove. Frankly, it's just cheaper for me to do so. :)

Yeah and no nasty (probably cancer causing) chemicals leeching into your food. I try not to use plastic whenever possible.

jillybean720
04-09-2008, 03:03 PM
I marinate mine in something like Italian dressing. They come out very moist.
ha, it must be my grill (Foreman style, not outdoor grill). When I marinate something and then try to cook it on the Foreman, the marinade burns almost immediately. Probably because I like sweet marinades, and the sugar is probably the first thing to burn. Although I haven't been marinating in anything lately since I tried to cut out sugar, so maybe my homemade sauces/marinades made with Splenda would work better. We don't have an outdoor grill--with my coordination and culinary skills (read: lack thereof), I'd melt the siding or burn the deck in no time :p

I'll just stick with baking, which I hate to do because it takes longer and uses a lot more energy to heat a whole oven instead of a small appliance. I'll just suck it up and deal :)

Shannan, if I avoided everything with chemicals or said to cause cancer, I would have to live on water and, umm, air, and even those would still have to be filtered about a million times to remove all chemicals :p

zeffryn
04-09-2008, 03:31 PM
Yeah and no nasty (probably cancer causing) chemicals leeching into your food. I try not to use plastic whenever possible.
From what I understand, most of these bags (I don't know about all of them) are made from #4LDPE, a polypropylene based plastic. While it doesn't promise that nothing bad will come from it, it has a much lower risk than polyethylene plastics which are much cheaper and much more widely used. #3 polyethylene plastic is one of the most dangerous and most widely used plastics.

To further reduce the risk of leaching, I wouldn't include any form of grease or fat in the bag when you're steaming, as the fat can reach higher temperatures than the food can and promote leaching if there is any leaching to be done.

WebRover
04-09-2008, 04:44 PM
How do you get good, moist chicken from the Foreman? [/COLOR]


I usually marinade (even just long enough for the grill to heat up) in balsamic vinegar with just a little olive oil. I, too, have had bad experiences with other marinades that just burned on the grill. The idea of flattening the chicken breast is good, but I'm usually cooking extras to be sliced up and used cold on future salads and don't have the room.

Schmoodle
04-10-2008, 02:50 PM
Jilly, just thought I'd throw in here that I discovered the secret of moist chicken breasts on the outdoor grill (don't have a Foreman) last summer - brining. You just soak the chicken in a mild salt water solution, then drain and dry and throw on the grill. It comes out amazingly moist and works great on pork also. You can google it and there are all kinds of methods, but some call for sugar, which of course we wouldn't use. Salt water is all it takes. And it does make the meat mildly salty so you adjust how much seasoning you add after. My grilled chicken breasts always used to come out so dry and tough, so I was really happy to discover this method. Now I'll buy a huge pkg of chicken breasts, brine and grill it all, and use it for salads and things or throw it into the freezer.
This works great whether you are grilling, sauteing, or baking.

zenor77
04-10-2008, 02:59 PM
Yeah and no nasty (probably cancer causing) chemicals leeching into your food. I try not to use plastic whenever possible.

Ditto!

I know it is a different type of plastic, but I don't think any plastics are completely safe for cooking. Heat speeds up the process of the plastic breaking down. I rarely microwave anyway, but if I do it's in ceramic or glass. Better safe then sorry!

Ruthxxx
04-10-2008, 04:39 PM
Me too.

I think we've answered the original question so I'll close this for now. PM me if it needs to be reopened.