I told Preethi that the broccoli tasted amazing and the cauliflower was better than any I had ever tried. The falafel, I was told, was fried very briefly to ensure it’s crispy and not soggy with fat. Preethi writes a fun blog called “The Skinny on Manhattan”, where she discusses her attempts at keeping slender in this town by finding and scouting out great tips, restaurants and other ways to keep in shape.
We grabbed a falafel sandwich and topped it with the veggie toppings from the salad bar and both Preethi and her husband loved it. I did get the look of doubt from her though because she just wouldn’t believe that something that tasted so good was actually good for you. We chowed it down, not thinking much of it.
Well, the huge disappointment came a few days later when she told me she had gone back again to get some broccoli and cauliflower for a meal and had done a bit of research. Apparently the broccoli and cauliflower taste like french fries because they’re (gasp) deep-fried. I didn’t at first believe it. Who deep-fries their vegetables?!! What corruption on the health-conscious veggie lover looking to keep a lean waist? Wait, it gets worse. The falafel, Preethi had found out, was deep-fried for five minutes. Yes, five minutes! That allows it to absorb all the fatty goodness it can absorb, probably enough to clog up our entire heart, lungs and arteries. And your way into your skinny jeans… That pretty much ended my regular trips to that place because I realize time after time that if something tastes sooo good there’s got to be something fishy. At the same time I probably also lost my credibility as a nutritionist in Preethi’s eyes because who in the world would take their trusting and unassuming students to a place like that after first torturing them in an hour-long class with 400 push ups, endless lunges, sit-ups and planks? Well, I did, but I promise I haven’t done it since
Anyways, if you’re in the mood for broccoli that’s actually good for you, but has that special kick to it, I highly recommend you make this super-simple dish.
Take 1-2 lbs of broccoli and cut it into florets
Arrange them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some roasted garlic (or raw minced garlic). Roast at 400 F for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and browned.
Toss in a bowl and serve. For added flavor, sprinkle a little grated parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!
By the way, MAOZ has quite a few great and low-fat dishes to choose from. You can order just the salad and fill it with the salad bar items, or order eggs as side dish (they’re fully vegetarian) to get some protein into your meal.