#GoodFoodSeries – Garlic

“Garlic,” watercolor.

Garlic has been revered as an offering fit for the gods and despised as a substance suitable only to be fed to hogs. For over 5,000 years garlic has been used as food, medicine, an aphrodisiac, money, and magic potions.

Garlic warded off the evil eye, was hung over doors to protect medieval occupants from evil, gave strength and courage to Greek athletes and warriors, protected maidens and pregnant ladies from evil nymphs, and was rubbed on door frames to keep out blood thirsty vampires. Garlic clove pendants hung around the neck protected you from the sharp horns of a bull, warded off local witches, kept away the black plague, and even prevented others from passing you (or your horse) in a race.[1]

Garlic is resilient and long-standing; a pungent member of the lily family that deserves respect! Garlic is one of those staples that always stays in your kitchen. I personally keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge as well as a fresh bulb on the counter. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.

Because of garlic’s wondrous flavor and medicinal value, there has been controversy surrounding where it originates from. I guess different regions of the world want bragging rights. Several different sources say it originated in Central Asia though.

Garlic varieties. the accidental smallholder.

Throughout its journey across the world, dozens of varieties and types are currently cultivated. From Bogatyr to Unadilla, from hardneck to softneck, your garlic options are aplenty. The variations will give you subtle flavor differences and color differences.

Regardless which type of garlic you come across or cultivate, you’re pretty much guaranteed medicinal benefits from this glorious bulb. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, helps regulate cholesterol, purifies the blood, fights off colds, etc [2].

Garlic Nutrition Label. Created by Keanna.

The Nutrition Facts are according to one clove. There’s actually about 4.47kCal in one, but I’m assuming that since that count is so low it doesn’t register. -shrug-

And for my favorite portion of these posts: the recipes! This one’s a savory brunch dish from Chef Courtnee Futch. Chef Courtnee uses fresh garlic in her Moroccan Spiced Meatballs & Buttermilk Parm Grits. I was sold by every word in the title of this dish. Check out the video below on how to make.

[1]”Origin and History of Garlic,” Grey Duck Garlic.

[2]”7 Surprising Health Benefits of Garlic,” NDTV Food.

#GoodFoodSeries – Bell Pepper

“Bell Pepper,” watercolor.

The bell pepper originated in the Americas (specifically in what is currently known as Mexico, Central America, and South America). Colonialist and terrorist to Indigenous people Christopher Columbus–along with his counterparts–named them ‘bell peppers’ while searching for peppercorn plants to produce black pepper (strong side eye)[1].

Bell Pepper (Green) Nutrition Label. Created by Keanna.

The bell pepper appears in 4 colors: green, yellow, orange, and red. Apparently the yellow, orange, and red varieties are merely ripe versions of the green one. Hereby certifying the green one as the OBP (original bell pepper).  You down with OBP? Yeah, you know me! -wink-

Peep the numbers in the Nutrition Facts Label to the left! That’s for our OBP, which is jam packed with Vitamin C and K. Vitamin K supports good blood and bones and when coupled with all of that Vitamin C (immune system support) your insides will rejoice. And oddly enough, even with the OBP serving up those good vitamins, the red pepper is the one that has double the amount of Vitamin C.


“Shrimp and Lobster Pasta,” BSM.

Today’s recipe is from Chef Tobias Dorzon of Washington, D.C., a former NFL and CFL player turned chef who is the Executive Chef of Victory Restaurant and Lounge (one in Miami and one coming very soon in Maryland). Grab an OBP (and a red bell pepper too) to prepare a Shrimp and Lobster Pasta. Check out the recipe here.

[1] “Bell Pepper Fact Sheet,” Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

#GoodFoodSeries – Mango


“Mango,” watercolor.

Mango Nutrition Label. Created by Keanna.

The mango: sweet; nutritious; versatile. What’s not to love? As a native of southern Asia, it thrives in tropical climates and is enjoyed by humans, birds, insects, rodents, and primates alike. There are hundreds of varieties that have skin color differences and subtle taste differences. The painting above features the Haden variety. Its cousin, the Alphonso, is considered the “king of mangoes” with a yellow-orange skin color.

Regardless of the variety, mangoes are a great source of Vitamin C and Copper! Great for supporting your immune system and blood heath.

Saint Lucian Chef Nina Compton helms Compère Lapin, a restaurant in New Orleans (although I didn’t eat here when I visited New Orleans last year, I walked past and it was pretty packed). Chef Compton has a recipe where you can enjoy mangoes as a fancy treat! Passion Fruit Granita with Chocolate Dipped-Mango. Check out the recipe below.

via the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority’s Pinterest Board.

#GoodFoodSeries – Strawberry

“Strawberry,” watercolor and acrylic.

Ahh, the strawberry. Did you know that it’s a member of the Rose family? It’s as sweet as it smells and a versatile “fruit” (technically not a fruit but instead an enlarged receptacle of the flower from which it grows [1]) that is native to North America and used in many dishes.

There are 3 main varieties of strawberries: June-bearing, everbearing, and day neutral. These classifications give farmers and gardeners alike insight on when to expect the fruit to flourish. Rumor has it June-bearing strawberries have the best flavor.

Strawberry Nutrition Label. Created by Keanna.

The strawberry is loaded with Vitamin C & K and can support bone and cardiovascular health, regulate blood pressure, and reduce inflammation [2]. All the more reasons to enjoy it.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

“Strawberry Lemonade Cake,” J. D. Adams.

And if you’re interested in indulging in the strawberry as a dessert, check out the recipe for a Strawberry Lemonade Cake from award-winning Baker Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes. It sounds absolutely delicious and I am going to test this one out.






[1] “Strawberry: A Brief History” Integrated Pest Management: University of Missouri

[2] “Promising Health Benefits of the Strawberry: A Focus on Clinical Studies” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry