Section 7: Easy cooking techniques you can do with MEC

Simple instructions for oil sauteing, stir frying, braising, steaming, boiling…

Options range from dry to more liquid. The less water you use, the faster the cooking time will be.

Dry and oil sauteing: nuts, onions, spices

Brings out flavors and increases digestibility.

Roasted pumpkin seeds. I sprinkled water in the pot, added seeds and covered.


  1. Turn heat to medium-low.
  2. Sprinkle water in the pot or add a small amount of oil.
  3. Place nuts/seeds on a single layer in the pot.
  4. Saute for about 5-10 minutes, with the lid on. Larger pots will be closer to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir once if necessary.
  6. When fragrant, they’re done. With seeds such as pumpkin or squash, you’ll hear a popping sound. Regardless of the seed type, you’ll notice a nice brown coloring.


  • You can remove seeds, and continue cooking in the pot.
  • Many dishes start with a water or oil saute of onions, garlic and spices. They can be added all at once, or you can add them as they are ready to put in the pot.
  • Sauteing in clay is faster than metal cookware.

Stir frying: small pieces of meat, cut vegetables


Heat setting:

Pieces of food are larger than sauteing, so the cooking time is a bit longer.

Use 1 teaspoon of oil. If the pan is very dry, also add 1 tablespoon of water.

Roasting: potatoes, beans, carrots, meat

Easier, faster and uses less energy than oven roasting.
Some say not as flavorful as oven roasting.

Heat setting:

potatoes and lentils

Add oil, cumin, & mustard seed. Then onion, curry leaf & 1 teaspoon lentils. Then potatoes & 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for ~30 minutes.


  1. Add oil & cumin – start on low
  2. Add onion, tomato & oregano
  3. Add potatoes, carrots & celery – turn up to medium
  4. Add chicken & cook for about 40 minutes
  5. Turn heat to low for 10 minutes – remove lid for browning
  6. Let rest

Braising and stewing: meats, vegetables


Heat setting:

~2 cups of water

Steaming: vegetables, poached fish, eggs


Heat setting:

Choose any vegetables of your choice, chop them all to a similar size. Add very little water — about ¼ inch of water for half pot of vegetables and ½ inch for ¾ pot of veggies. Add the vegetables, close the lid and let it steam. Don’t need to wait for the water to come to a boil to add the vegetables.

Cook on medium to low.

Carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, string beans etc. cook in about the same time (20-25 minutes to steam in a seasoned pot on gas stove, 30-35 on electric). Peas, bell peppers, cabbage, broccoli etc., will be done in about 10 minutes less.

It’s far-infrared heat cooking so the vegetables might look fresh & uncooked even when they’re fully done – they don’t loose their shape or color. So to make sure they are done, smash one or two different vegetables with a wooden spoon against the wall of the pot or with a fork cutting into the vegetable.

OPTIONAL: When the vegetables are almost done, season with your choice of seasoning (we’ve used turmeric, paprika powder and salt in the picture). Turn the stove off!

Your delicious steamed vegetables are ready.

Use left over water, if any for other soups/stews.

Hard boiled eggs cooked in 1/2" of water
Hard boiled eggs cooked in 1/2″ of water. Pot was covered.

Boiling: potatoes, corn, hard-boiled eggs, soups


Add water till 1/4 way up in the pot and you can even fill the pot up with these ingredients. You don’t need to have then submerged in water – water 1/4 way up in the pot is enough.

A clay pot hard boiled egg
The eggs were easy to peel, moist and delicious.

Soups & broths

Add water until ingredients are covered

No deep frying

Too much oil & heat for the pot

Stacking cooking options

Do back to back cooking options in the same pot, and reduce your clean-up.


  • Brussels sprouts… seared/sautéed and then braised
  • Bone broth… bones are sautéed and then the pot is filled with water to simmer

If oil sauteing in the pot [the pot is hot] and then adding liquid, add liquid slowly – about the rate you would drink water.

I would love to hear from you.
Scroll down to share your experiences & Wisdom.

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