Who doesn't hate washing dishes by hand? I do, and so does the kid. So an automatic dishwasher is nice to have.
But what about the energy and water used to wash a load of dishes? I hate feeling guilty too! So why not "multi-task" while running a load of dishes?
The water in the dishwasher gets heap big plenty hot! Hot food tastes pretty good. And yes... I have plastic containers that I refuse to throw away. So... an idea!
I put fresh veggies into a plastic container with an airtight lid, and pop that in when I do a load of dishes, and BOOM! Nice crisp, "steamed" side dishes.
I've cooked fish fillets to flakey perfection this way, reheated leftovers, and the list goes on.
Don't run the dishwasher JUST to cook, and always wait until you have a full load of dishes before turning on that "on" switch! Then if you have something to heat up or that needs a bit of cooking, go ahead and poke it into the dishwasher too!
You will save some energy, (electrical, and your own), and feel better about stooping to using the dishwasher!