Green Pepper & Garlic Quesadillas

Sometimes, the most simple recipe is the best one.

I headed up to Connecticut one weekend to visit my parents. I was beat because MetroNorth was doing some MTA-esque track work. I had to take the train from Grand Central to a bus at Golden’s Bridge, then I had to take said bus to Southeast where I had to transfer back to a train to go to Wassaic. That’s tantamount to when the 1 Train has a middle stretch of it shut down during the weekend and I have to take the 1 from Dyckman to 168th, then take a shuttle bus to 137th where I can catch the 1 again.

Yes, I realize the preceding paragraph likely went over the head of a non-New Yorker, and may have empathetically enraged a fellow New Yorker. HA!

But let’s get back to food, shall we?

Arriving at my parents’ house, the cupboards where a bit bare, but the fridge yielded a few goods I knew I could throw together. Tortillas? Cabot Monterey Jack cheese? Green pepper? Garlic? Butter?

A small comforting meal at its finest.

My parents are really easy to please, food-wise, as well. They have expansive palettes but also love the simple things. If anything, they just want me to cook for them. Right, Mom?

Green Pepper & Garlic Quesadillas
(Serves 4)


– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
– 1 cloves garlic, minced
– 4 tortillas, flour or corn (for this recipe, I do prefer flour!)
– 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I use Cabot!)
– 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Before We Get Started…

– As much as I LOVE frying up a quesadillas in butter, when making quesadillas en masse, the butter is going to brown and burn too quickly. I suggest using coconut oil to fry them up, as its smoke point is very high. But if you do not have coconut oil, another cooking oil of your choice (or butter!) is fine! Just keep an eye on your heat!


1.) In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Once it begins to shimmer, add green pepper and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until slightly softened; it’s good to leave them a little bit crunchy! Add garlic to green pepper and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove green pepper mix from heat.

2.) Toss together green pepper mix and shredded cheese in a small bowl. Lay out tortillas on a clean flat surface. Divide pepper & cheese mix into four even portions and place onto half of each tortilla; fold tortillas over.

3.) In a large frying pan or a flat griddle, add coconut oil over medium-low heat; allow oil to melt. If using a frying pan, cook quesadillas one at a time; if using a griddle, cook quesadillas two at a time so you can keep a good eye on their cooking. Cook for approximately two minutes on each side or until each side is a golden brown color and the pepper & cheese mixture has melted.

4.) Serve immediately!

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard

Each Saturday, as the days get warmer and warmer, I’m returning to my usual jaunt up to my local greenmarket in Inwood. While it can be slim pickins in the colder months, I really started to see signs of spring this morning as the usual produce was also peppered with hyacinths and tulips for sale.

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

In particular, greens have started to make a comeback. This morning, one vendor was absolutely overflowing with various types of kale, lettuce, and other greens just begging to be bought! Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the rainbow…chard, that is. Its thick pink and yellow stems always tempt me. I didn’t think twice before buying an impossibly large bunch. I couldn’t sauté it up fast enough; though not photographed, I topped some with a soft-boiled egg, and it was a quick vegetable-laden breakfast. Start to finish, this took be 15 minutes on the nose.


Taste the rainbow definitely does not apply to just Skittles.


Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard
(Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Garlicky Swiss Chard)
(Makes roughly 4 cups, wilted and sautéed)


– 2 large bunches rainbow chard, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry, stems trimmed
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– Personally, I like to keep some stem on my chard when I sauté it; feel free to keep yours as long or as short as you prefer.

– Swiss chard can be substituted in an equal amount.


1.) Stack rinsed and dried chard leaves on top of each other; this can be done in several small stacks, if preferred. Slice leaves into roughly 1/4″ strips, length-wise. Set aside.

2.) In a large saucepan or soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and (optional) red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds; do not allow garlic to brown! Add chard and stir until leaves are uniformly coated. Let sit for 2 minutes and allow leaves to slightly wilt. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.) Remove from heat. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately!

cumin garlic roasted carrots

Cumin-Garlic Roasted Carrots

Ahhhhh, it’s almost the big spring holidays! Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or just the long-awaited arrival of spring, it’s time to bring some colors and fresh flavors back into our lives!

cumin garlic roasted carrots

I recently posted a new recipe over at Yoga By Candace for Cumin-Garlic Roasted Carrots – be sure to click this link to get to the full recipe! Between the smoky sweetness of the carrots, the warm deep spiciness of the cumin, and the brightness of the lemon, this makes a wonderful side. It also saves well if you are meal prepping for the week; goodness knows I ate these carrots about three times last week alone. Ha! ‘Tis the season to eat like a bunny, after all. Hop to it!

cumin garlic roasted carrots

how to make garlic powder

How To Make Garlic Powder

One night, at home, I found myself Googling “How To Make Garlic Powder“. Why? One, I was curious. Two, I was out of it and didn’t feel like running down to the bodega to get a new bottle; when you live in 4th floor walk-up apartment, once you’re up at the end of a long day, you usually don’t want to go down again.

I use garlic powder on anything that needs salt, if only to keep me from using too much salt! (Damn…I love me some SALT.) Garlic, in general, is my favorite seasoning, hands down. I’ll add it to anything savory. My food feels naked without it.

I decided to take a shot at making my own, simply because why not?

how to make garlic powder

(Note: On that previously mentioned evening, my roommate Sally ended up buying garlic powder, because she is one of the best humans in the world. Clearly.)

how to make garlic powder

This was an interesting experiment in spice making, to say the least. With recipe development, you certainly don’t know until you try, amirite? I used a full bulb of garlic, which equated to 10 cloves for me; this was an odd bulb that had a lot of big cloves with virtually no tiny cloves, hence the 10 I used. The slicing of 10 cloves of garlic wasn’t too hard, just a bit tedious. The dehydration of the garlic slices in my oven was shockingly simple; I was happy they, indeed, dehydrated instead of roasted or burned. The grinding of the garlic into powder was fun, as I don’t use my mortar and pestle nearly enough. The end result…well…that’s where the shock came in.

how to make garlic powder

Those 10 cloves of garlic equated to a large heaping tablespoon (or 1 & 1/2 tablespoons, leveled) of garlic powder!

how to make garlic powder

Conclusion? I will likely continue to buy garlic powder en masse at my local grocery store. Ha! The brands I buy are organic and free of additives, so I do feel okay using them. Still, now that I experimented, I might attempt to dehydrate 3 or 4 bulbs of garlic on a rainy day and see how much more I can make. It may go without saying that the flavor of freshly-ground garlic powder definitely trumps any store-bought brand I’ve bought, hands down. It has that quintessential fresh garlic tingle to it, even post-dehydration! The oils are absolutely preserved during this process.

Regardless, knowing that I can make garlic powder is a wonderful trick to have up my sleeve. Why not share it with the rest of y’all?

Garlic Powder
(Makes…*sigh*…approximately 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of garlic powder)


– 10 cloves of garlic, peeled

Before We Get Started…

– If you are on a kick and want to make this en masse, remember that 10 cloves makes approximately 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of garlic powder. Yes, this is the third time I’ve mentioned it. I just don’t want you to be surprised. Ha! So, obviously, if you are thinking to yourself, “You know what? I want to make precisely 3 tablespoons of garlic powder, just for the hell of it!”, slice yourself 20 cloves of garlic.

– After researching this recipe, I have found many recipes stating to dehydrate at 150°F – 200°F. Of course, everyone has a different oven. I am basing this recipe on my experience; my oven’s lowest temperature is 170°F, so that is what I dehydrated at.

– I did attempt to slice the garlic with a mandolin; slice it as you may, but I found using a knife to, surprisingly, be faster, as the garlic was getting squished a bit in my mandolin.

– Parchment paper must be used in this recipe! Greasing the baking sheet to make sure garlic won’t stick will result in it being cooked rather than dehydrated.


1.) Preheat oven to 170°F. (See note in Before We Get Started…). Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and set aside.

2.) Peel cloves and slice garlic as thin as possible.

3.) Place garlic slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheet; make sure to not overlap slices.

4.) Place in oven and dehydrate for 90 minutes; at the one hour mark, check garlic’s doneness. It should not be browned or roasted, but dry and brittle to the touch. Crush one slice between your fingers to ensure that it crumbles. Dehydrate for no more than two hours.

5.) Remove from oven and grind garlic with a mortar and pestle, food processor, or spice grinder until uniformly granulated / powdered.

6.) Store in an airtight container or plastic bag. Shelf life should be approximately six months.