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Omaha Magazine

Producing Excellence: A Visual Foodie Journey of Fuel for Life

May 27, 2021 04:54PM ● By Sara Locke
mushrooms and greens in landscape arrangement

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

While it’s a well-documented fact that people eat first with their eyes, readers have likely never feasted theirs on edible art such as was produced this month, shown on the following pages. Food stylist Sarah Jane Hunt's well-trained eye constructed the shoot for photographer Bill Sitzmann, but the bold colors, deeply nourishing leaves and florets, and rich history are a credit to nature herself. This may not be the olive-toned steamed peas of one’s mother, but it might be enough to convince people to reconsider their relationship with roughage. 


Photo by Bill Sitzmann

 Fit for a Diety.
Citrus fruits were said to be the dowry of Hera, presented upon her marriage to Zeus. Kumquats, blood oranges, and citrus leaves, specifically, are packed with vitamins and phytochemicals that can boost immunity, and even aid in the absorption of other nutrients. Brighten up your diet with any variety of this sweet, but low-glycemic load treat.


A Snappy Tradition.
Peas have been a dietary staple since as early as 3000 BCE and were among the first crops planted by the settlers in 1492. The French refer to sugar snap peas as mangetout, which translates to “eat it all,” referring to it’s less fibrous and fully edible pod. 


An Eggceptional Clutch.
Early Egyptians domesticated quail both for their ease of care, and for the consistently high nutrient content within their diminutive shells. Weighing just 9 grams, quail eggs manage to pack more iron, B12, fat, and folate than chicken eggs, which on their own are often touted as “the perfect food.”

Photo by Bill Sitzmann


Not to be Truffled With.
Mushrooms are not only among the most versatile ingredients available today, their cost, use, and nutritional benefits vary wildly. From humbly delicious and vitamin D-packed baby 'bellas and shiitake, to $300,000 white truffles and the incurably toxic death cap, mushrooms are a species to be respected.


Bananas About This Berry.
High in potassium, B6, and tryptophan, bananas are considered the perfect pre-workout and mood booster. It’s no wonder more than 100 billion of them are eaten worldwide every year. 

Radicchio (red lettuce)

Chicory Chic.
Radicchio may be a bitter beauty, but its mild spice and high nutrient content have seen it employed as both a delicate side dish on Italian tables and as a blood purifier by ancient elders and medicine men since no earlier than 23 AD.

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

 Dragon Fruit

Cactus Flower.
Named for their spiny, scaly exterior, dragon fruit packs no fiery punch. Instead, each sweet bite delivers lycopene, vitamin C, iron, Omegas 3 and 6, and protein. The flavor is often likened to a cross between a kiwi and a pear, and is best eaten chilled.

Kohlrabi (greens)

Bold Brassica.
Kohlrabi may be the slightly spicy, somewhat sweet cousin of cabbage you didn’t know you needed. Low in calories and high in vitamins A, K, and B, this iron-rich root vegetable is excellent served raw in slaws or cooked in casseroles.

Photo by Bill Sitzmann


Served as a sacrifice to Aphrodite by ancient Greeks, hunted by Caesar Augustus’s military, and revered as a symbol of fertility by cultures around the world, asparagus doesn’t produce edible fruit until its fourth year of flourish, but is always worth the wait. 

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

Photo by Bill Sitzmann


Photo by Bill Sitzmann


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