‘Real’ Good Food: March 20, 2016

salmon and butternut
Roasted Salmon with Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Medley

This post is part of the “Real Good Food” series

Everything’s in season at the grocery store!

Okay, I do realize that there is an intrinsic flaw in the above declaration; just as there is something inherently shady about those chik-n-nuggets that I mentioned in the first “Real Good Food” post.

Please hear me out.

Ideally, we should focus on eating foods that are in season; at least that’s what we used to do.  However, some of us live in areas with limited access to fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.  In cases like these, I would argue that it is preferable to purchase and prepare whatever produce is available to you (in season or not) as opposed to opting for processed and/or fast foods.

Now, with that said, more and more people are working together in order to bring seasonal food markets to those of us who live in areas where locally grown fruits and vegetables have historically been unavailable.  Frankly, I think that we need to see more like this.  How about you?

By the way, if you are interested, consider googling “food deserts” to gain a better understanding of how limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables can negatively impact health and wellness outcomes for our most vulnerable populations.

Anyway, I cannot stress the importance of eating as well as you can, as often as you can and The Roasted Salmon with Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Medley (pictured above) is my effort at doing just that! Whew!

***Warning-Southern Dialect Alert:  What I ain’t gone do is make this cooking thang too hard!

In other words, cooking ‘real’ food should not be difficult; as long as we engage in a bit of planning.  Part of that planning includes keeping good food on hand.

For this meal, I grabbed a couple of bourbon salmon filets, a red pepper, and a butternut squash from my local grocer. And with that, I created my own little combination and it was delicious 😉

Now for those of you who bristle at the idea of cooking butternut squash–fear not! A few years back, while attending a cooking demonstration at The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I learned how to simplify the process:



butternut straight up


butternut top and bottom off
Cut both top and bottom ends off squash
butternut being peeled
Use a veggie peeler to peel the skin

Thanks to my daughter for being the hand model!

I hope that you enjoyed your entree and now for dessert.  Consider this excerpt from The Peace Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi:

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved as to love.


Enjoy your meal 🙂















Real Good Food

Calypso Meal
Real good food at Calypso Caribbean Grill in Columbia, S.C.

Grammatically speaking, the title of this post, albeit awkward, is somewhat deceptive.  I am not just talking about really good food.  I am talking about real, as in genuine, good food.

Is there a difference?  Absolutely!

Consider the two meals below:

  1. Baked chik’n nuggets with tater tots
  2. Baked chicken and mashed potatoes

Which one is really good? Well if you are a hungry omnivore, both meals will qualify as ‘really good.’  But let’s go a bit further.   Which of the two options is both real and good?  Undoubtedly the second option is the best choice.

Are you confused, no worries, I’ll clear it up for you.

In order to determine if your food  is ‘real’ use Old McDonald’s farm as a guide.  You remember Old McDonald, he was the farmer who had a “duck duck here and a duck duck there…” Anyway, look at it this way, if Old McDonald couldn’t raise it, grow it, forage or fish it then it probably is not ‘real’ food.

For those of you who didn’t know, there are no tater tot trees.  I know this because, much like Old McDonald, my great uncle Bubba was a farmer.   I also know, and can guarantee, that he couldn’t have determined what chik’n nuggets were if he were only given their outer package and asked to read the ingredients.

And so…

I’ll go ahead and acknowledge that I went “around the world to the left” (Nod to George Carlin) with this post for a reason. That reason is to encourage you to join me on a journey toward wellness.  You and I will start this journey by preparing or procuring ‘real’ food whenever possible.  Why?  Because any quick google search will yield a multitude of research supporting the fact that ‘real’ food is best.  Listen up parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, grandparents and guardians!  Our children need us to step up to the plate!

Come to think of it, Sunday dinner looks like a great place to start 🙂

My loves, don’t get me wrong, I am not a food snob.  I do understand that there are some serious socio-political complexities that make it very difficult for certain populations to find and afford ‘real’ food.  I also understand the time constraints that many of us face when it comes to preparing dinner.  To these points, I say, do the best that you can as often as you can.

Let’s start here by:

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables where possible

Buying frozen fruits and vegetables if fresh ones aren’t available

Cutting back on boxed convenience meals and snacks

With a bit more effort, both you and I might even consider buying foods that are hormone-free, in season, locally grown and organic; but maybe not today 🙂

Let’s do it!  What do you think?