You first have to get past your fear.

It didn’t happen overnight for me either.

I was the pickiest eater in my family growing up, and forget about veggies. I actually gagged the first time I really sat down to eat a plate of broccoli when I was 17. But it was all in my head.

When I learned how to cook, I first got good at cooking food that wasn’t good for me — obviously. Last year I dieted to the tune of losing 50 pounds, and one of the things that really made it happen was my learning how to prepare vegetables that would taste good without sacrificing health.

So I figured out how to make broccoli that tasted good.

Dish #2 — Tasty Broccoli

20 minutes — Under $5 — 43 calories per cup

I like to buy the massive bag-o-broccoli from Costco (or any local bulk shopping club) because it’s the cheapest way to buy, and the broccoli is already cut into florets. If you really like the stems, you can buy fresh broccoli or whole frozen broccoli.

This is a perfect case study in the three T’s of cooking: Time, Temperature, Taste. Cooking Tasty Broccoli is all about flavoring them right, cooking them at the right temperature, and for just enough time.

Start by adding however much broccoli you want to a medium sized-medium depth pan. Spread about a tablespoon of minced (read: jarred) garlic and drizzle about the same amount of olive oil around the veggies.

Then take my favorite spice on the rack, Adobo, and sprinkle it lightly over the surface of the broccoli. You can substitute garlic powder, salt and black pepper if you can’t find Adobo. This seasoning is usually reserved for meats, but it works here. Add some cracked black pepper as well. If you are feeling gutsy, I like to add a liberal amount of Cayenne pepper as well.

Fill the pan about 1/3 the way with tap water and stir to mix everything up.

Make sure you lower the heat when you cover the pan!

Make sure you lower the heat when you cover the pan!

Put the pan over high heat until the water starts to boil. At that point, cover the pan and lower the heat to low/medium-low. Let it steam for 10-15 minutes depending on how soft you want them to be. The longer you cook, the musher the broccoli will come out, so don’t overdo it.

Drain the pan and add some more Adobo to the pan. Not too much, and you should skip this step if you are really trying to avoid salt.

Enjoy broccoli that tastes good!

Got an idea for a No Fries in ’09 feature? Email me!

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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