Carrots are a good choice when you need a fast and easy side dish for dinner -- they cook quickly and need very little seasoning. Carrots are also a nutritious choice due to their high vitamin A content. According to NutritionData.com, one medium carrot provides more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber -- all for a mere 25 calories. Carrots are typically steamed in a vegetable steamer, although they can be baked or boiled as well. Steaming your carrots in the microwave is the easiest cooking option if you find yourself without a vegetable steamer.
Wash your carrots well with cool water and peel them with a vegetable peeler.
Chop the carrots into small, round pieces using a sharp knife.
Put the carrots in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle 1 tbsp. of water over the carrots. Cover the bowl with cling wrap.
Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, carefully remove the cling wrap and stir the carrots. Be careful not to burn yourself on any steam escaping from the bowl.
Return the carrots to the microwave and microwave for another minute. Carefully remove the cling wrap and test the carrots with the tip of a knife. If the carrots are not tender enough, return them to the microwave for one-minute intervals until they reach the desired tenderness.
Place the carrots into a serving bowl and season with butter, salt and pepper. For a sweet side dish, sprinkle a few tablespoons of brown sugar or maple syrup over the carrots.
Given the popularity of steaming vegetables in the microwave, many manufacturers are now marketing plastic bags specifically designed for steaming veggies. To use one of these bags, place your chopped carrots into the bag and seal it. Put the entire bag in the microwave with the marked side facing up. Follow the time guidelines on the bag, but expect to cook your carrots between 4 and 6 minutes.
Be careful handling the bowl after steaming as it will be hot.