poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


CSA Update: 8/27/12

Here’s what we got last week in our Eatwell Farm CSA box:

heirloom cherry tomatoes
early girl tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
Middle Eastern cucumbers
Italian flat leaf parsley
mixed sweet peppers
yellow onions
fingerling potatoes (Russian Banana variety)

As you can see, we had tomatoes coming out of our ears. The cherry tomatoes were great by themselves or in a salad. For the heirlooms, I wanted to feature them… and what better way than in a BLT sandwich? These sandwiches were great, even though I did over-toast the first batch of sourdough bread.

A BLT to die for…

We used one of two early girl tomatoes in breakfast scramble, along with farm fresh eggs, onions, and peppers. Sorry, no photos — we ate it too quickly, as we were both famished after a long run.

When I saw the fingerling potatoes, I single-mindedly decided that they shall be roasted! We roasted chicken legs too, and had a side of caramelized onions and zucchini. Simple and delicious. Also, I realized that it’s very hard to over-roast a chicken leg. Typically, I put them in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 425F. Today I forgot about them until ~ 45 minutes — they were still amazingly tender and juicy. Pretty much fail proof.

roasted stuff

The other thing we had a lot of was zucchini and potatoes. My solution? Enter the terms “zucchini and potato” into the iPhone allrecipes app and voila! Zucchini and potato bake. It looked pretty good and had great reviews, so we decided to give it a whirl. Indeed, it was a success. I altered the recipe slightly, by adding a jalapeno and more garlic. We thought it would also be good with eggs, sausage, or bacon. Anyway, it was so good that I’m including the recipe here. Enjoy!

Zucchini and Potato Bake, adapted from allrecipes.com


  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into large pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • paprika to taste
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

zucchini and potato bake


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a medium baking pan, toss together the zucchini, potatoes, red bell pepper, garlic, bread crumbs, and olive oil. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and lightly brown.

Get in my belly!

p.s. Can’t get enough of CSA goodies? Check out this week’s link party over at In Her Chucks!


CSA Update: 7/9/12

Before I start, I want to make a little request. Some of you might remember a post that I wrote a year ago, describing my decision to leave academic science. I’m in the process of writing a follow-up, which will be in a Q & A format. So, if you have any questions related to that (what I’ve been up to professionally, etc.), please either leave a comment below or email me at willblog4food [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

I don’t know why, but I’ve been quite a slacker lately when it comes to CSA posts. Better late than never though, right? Here’s what we got in our Eatwell CSA box two Wednesdays ago:

Italian flat leaf parsley
Wakefield cabbage
Canela potatoes
garlic for drying

We made the same zucchini, cabbage, basil and ground pork stir fry that we made last time, which was quick and delicious, as usual.

One thing we’ve been making a lot is smoothies, thanks to a blender we got from our friends SP and DP. We have a bunch of frozen strawberries from Strawberry Day that we’ve been using, in addition to: bananas, blueberries, frozen beet greens (and sometimes spinach too), yogurt, orange juice, and soy milk. It took me a while to get used to the tiny hairs from beet green stems, but now I’m OK with them. I’m looking forward to freezing stone fruits for some variety, as well as adding tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and papaya.

Smoothie ingredients, ready to go!

Cheers to your health!

I was tired of roasting potatoes, so I ended up mashing them, using a vegan recipe from Post-Punk Kitchen. The thing I love about vegan recipes is that they are lactard-friendly, and in the case of Post-Punk Kitchen, still hella delicious. I put a ton of garlic and thyme in the potatoes too, which was tasty but left the breath a little stinky. (OK, a lot stinky.)

Who knew vegan mashed potatoes could be so tasty?

Mashed potatoes alone do not make a meal, so TC and I went crazy and cooked everything all at once: more zucchini, this time sautéed with basil and lemon (just so-so), roasted beet salad with walnuts and vinaigrette (very good), and baked chicken drumsticks in a soy garlic glaze (awesome!!). The chicken, an impromptu thing I made up, turned out so good, easy, and quick that I will share the recipe with you.

A little bit of everything.

Baked Chicken with Soy Garlic Glaze

chicken drumsticks (I used 9)
soy sauce (1/2-1 cup; enough to cover the drumsticks with some residual liquid for basting)
cooking wine “michu” – 2-3 Tbsp (optional)
honey, to drizzle
garlic, 2-4 cloves, minced
green onion, 2 sprigs, chopped in 1-inch pieces

Optional: marinate drumsticks overnight in soy sauce, cooking wine, garlic, and green onion in the refrigerator in a flat bottom pan, turning occasionally. If you don’t have time, it’s still advisable to do a quick marinade before baking.
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix all ingredients except honey in a flat-bottomed baking dish. Drizzle the tops of each drumstick very lightly with honey. Cover with foil.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, basting 1-2 times during baking.

That’s it! I told you it was easy. The sauce is also really good over rice. Enjoy!

p.s. Can’t get enough of CSA goodies? Check out this link party over at In Her Chucks!


Magnificent, Easy-Peasy Green Beans

I still have a couple of Mendocino posts to write, but I had to post this recipe for sautéed green beans ASAP because it’s that good.

Now, I’ve only ever cooked green beans once before, and that was when I decided to make “dry-fried green beans,” aka the delicious green bean dish they serve at Chinese restaurants, usually with some finely diced shallots and sometimes with a bit of ground pork. Well, the ugly truth (and perhaps you might want to stop reading here) is that those green beans are so good because they’re fried not once, but twice. First, they are deep-fried, then they are stir fried in a ton of oil. After that slightly traumatic experience, I haven’t revisited green beans… that is, not until yesterday.

Originally, I was going to cook brussel sprouts as one of the veggie side dishes to a roast chicken (more on that later). However, the brussel sprouts looked downright heinous at the market, so I opted for the green beans. I kinda made up the recipe as I went along, and they turned out wonderfully. I happened to have drippings from the roast chicken on hand, which probably made them that much better, but really you could substitute with chicken or veggie stock instead of water and they’d be pretty good too (and healthier to boot!). Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Magnificent (and super easy) green beans


  • olive oil or animal fat (pancetta, bacon, roast chicken drippings), 2 Tbsp
  • green beans, 1 lb, top and tailed (i.e., remove the tips)
  • water or stock (~1/2 to 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • lemon juice (optional)


  1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan.
  2. Add green beans, stir for about a minute.
  3. Add salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic.  Stir and let garlic cook for a bit (until fragrant but before it burns).
  4. Add water or stock, bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and steam for ~6 min or until most of the water has evaporated, or until green beans are to desired texture. Add more water if necessary.
  6. Turn off heat. Finish with a sprinkle of lemon juice.

As mentioned above, I roasted a chicken, which I haven’t done in a while. I think the first time I roasted a chicken, it was so complicated (and I burned it), that it intimidated me a little bit. But since then, I’ve regained my confidence and a most excellent, simple recipe for roast chicken from EF. Seriously all it is is this: Wash and dry the bird. Rub olive oil, salt, and pepper on the skin and then bake at 450F until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. I put a LOT of kosher salt on the skin and it was darn tasty. Oh yeah, EF also mentioned a tip from an old friend about roasting chicken: if your kitchen gets smokey, then you’re doing it right. My kitchen got so smokey that the fire alarm went off twice, after which we took out the battery. (Don’t worry, we replaced it after lunch!) So, I guess it was a successfully roasted chicken!

The other side dishes were also exceedingly simple yet tasty (notice a trend here?). I made the Near East brand of tomato and lentil couscous, which was fantastic. I love their couscous, and I wish they made them in bigger packages/servings. The other dish I made was roasted sweet potato “fries,” which I put in quotes because they aren’t crispy like fries but I did cut them into strips. I would’ve liked to make them more crispy, but I ended up burning the first batch, due to the high oven temp (450). Usually, I roast veggies at 400 and not on the lower rack, but this time I had no choice. They still came out great; we just ate the unburnt bits.

One of the best meals I've ever made (yes, I'm quite proud of myself!)