poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

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New Recipes Page is Up! (Finally!)

Hi all! Sorry for the radio silence in this neck of the blogosphere.  I’ve been more preoccupied with running and less with cooking and food as of late, and my blogging has reflected that.  But I’m back today to make a couple of exciting announcements!

First of all, I’ve finally gathered all of the recipes that I’ve ever posted on this blog in one page, creatively titled, Recipes.  I confess that I did this as much for myself as for y’all, as  I was tired of searching through my own blog archive for recipes! I’m hoping the page will be a useful resource.  It’s kind of bare bones for now; maybe I’ll add photos eventually.  Let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback!

Second, I have a new job! As most of you know, I left academia in 2011 in search of the next chapter of my career.  After trying out my hand in the field of accident reconstruction and biomechanics for 3 years, I decided to return to my first love – Biology.  The job search was stressful, but relatively brief, thankfully.  I’m happy to announce that I’ll be starting a new position next week as a support staff scientist at a local university.  I’m looking forward to being back in the academic research environment in a completely different role.  Wish me luck!

And finally, because blog posts are more fun with photos…

Chicken fried steak, gravy, and home fries at a local breakfast spot. #winning

Chicken fried steak, gravy, eggs, sourdough toast, and home fries at a local breakfast spot. #winning


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!


Chinese-style steamed fish with sweet soy sauce

Steamed fish covered in yummy sauce.

As promised, here is the recipe for the steamed fish that I mentioned in my last post. A note about the fish: any flaky fish will do. I used tilapia (above), but flounder, grouper, sea bass (if you can find an environmentally friendly source), or snapper are also good choices. Also, this dish is usually made with a whole fish (as the recipe calls for) but filets work too — though you won’t need to cut slits in filets, FYI. It’s a very easy recipe, and even easier if you have a gigantic steamer like I do. If you don’t, simply invert a heavy (preferably flat-bottomed bowl) in a large stock pot, fill the pot with 2 inches of water, and place a large colander on top of the inverted bowl. Voila! You have yourself a fish steamer.

Liz’s Yummy Steamed Fish Recipe

1 fish or fish filets (at least 1 lb)
1/4 – 1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine (michiu)
1-2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2-3 Tbsp thinly sliced ginger
1/2 cup chopped green onions
6 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (more or less, to taste)
3 Tbsp water


  1. Cut slits along the body of the fish on both sides. Marinate fish in cooking wine for 5-10 minutes. Flip fish over to marinate the other side for another 5-10 minutes.
  2. Steam the fish. For a 2 pound fish, steam for 7 minutes or until the meat starts to separate from the bone. Remove the fish from heat and transfer to a large plate.
  3. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, water, and chili garlic sauce together and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Fry ginger and green onion until brown and fragrant.
  5. Add soy and sugar mix to the ginger and green onion. As soon as sauce boils, pour over steamed fish.
  6. Garnish with long pieces of cilantro, if desired. Serve over rice.