poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


CSA Update: 8/14/12

Well hello there! I got back from Taiwan last Monday, and was greeted on Wednesday with a fresh box of goodies from Eatwell Farm, which included:

heirloom cherry tomatoes
Roma tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
Middle Eastern cucumbers
mixed lettuce
Italian flat leaf parsley
gypsy peppers

I looked at the list and immediately thought: SALAD!!! As great as the food was in Taiwan, I just didn’t get enough fresh, raw veggies. (Fruit was another story… we ate so much fresh fruit every day. It was awesome.) I basically threw the following into the salad spinner and called it a day: heirloom cherry tomatoes, mixed lettuce, cucumbers, 1 pepper, and a couple of boiled eggs. It was delicious and nutritious — just what I needed to help me with my post-vacation detox.

This salad looks small because of the giant utensils, but trust me when I say it was a HUGE salad.

That same night (Wednesday), we went over to check out our friends’ sweet new digs around the corner. When we got back, TC said he was hungry, but not for salad. Not wanting to cook (it was almost 11), I scrounged around and found a Trader Joe’s veggie pizza in the freezer. We put some zucchini, fresh basil, and heirloom tomatoes on it and popped it in the oven. It was magical! I’m already a big fan of TJ’s pizza, but this was a whole new ballgame. Highly recommended.

Gourmet frozen pizza anyone? I don’t know why, but I took this picture BEFORE we baked the pizza. Trust me that it looked better AFTER.

I ended up using the rest of the peppers, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini to make a quick pasta sauce, but it was just so-so. Not photo worthy either. Despite that, we had a pretty successful CSA week. We still have potatoes and the chard to deal with… not sure what we’ll do with those yet. Any suggestions?


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


Junk in My Trunk: Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe’s

One side of the Joe-Joe's box... the other side is teal. I like the disclaimer, "Not actual cookie size."

It’s been so long since my last “Junk in My Trunk” post, you probably thought I forgot about that series, didn’t you? Well, fear not, my loyal readers, for I have a new snack to share with you all! It’s from Trader Joe’s, seemingly the only place from which I buy junk food. I admit that part of the reason that these posts have been so few and far between is because I try not to buy snacks at all. Lately, however, with my training for the Oakland Half Marathon, I had a two-fold reason for snacking:
1. An increase in metabolism = increase in appetite – same size meals = need for extra calories.
2. I really curbed my drinking since alcohol tended to make my training runs more hellish. I went from ~1 drink/night to ~2 drinks/week. Without a glass of wine with dinner, I felt like a sweet treat afterward might satisfy my need for a little indulgence.

I’m proud to say that I possess a good amount of self-restraint. Even with a whole package of cookies, I’ll only have 2/day, 3 at the most. Unfortunately, TC doesn’t share my ability to eat just 2. For instance, I bought a package of palmiers from Trader Joe’s (also ridiculously delicious), thinking that it would take me forever to eat all 12 cookies. (They’re really big cookies, and very rich and buttery too.) Well, with TC’s “help” they were gone in less than 3 days. Good thing the man has super metabolism on his side. Me, not so much.

Anyway, on to today’s featured snack: TJ’s Joe-Joe’s. These are like Oreo cookies except with chocolate filling. I had somewhat low expectations; after all, how can anything be as good as an Oreo? But I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only is the cookie good, but the chocolate cream filling is smooth and rich. Very satisfying! I’ve had the vanilla Joe-Joe’s too; I can’t say that I’m as big of a fan of those.

In summary, TJ’s chocolate Joe-Joe’s: go getchu some!

getting close to finishing the box of Joe-Joe's... so sad

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Beans + Quinoa = “Beanoa”

This recipe was inspired by two parties: LJ and Trader Joe’s. Y’all are probably familiar with Trader Joe’s great selection of frozen and prepared foods, so I won’t go on and on about them. Recently (?), they came out with a frozen “Quinoa Medley Duo,” which consists of red and white quinoa, diced butternut squash, diced zucchini, and some curry spices. It’s delicious and super easy. And if you haven’t heard of quinoa, it’s a miracle food of sorts. Even though it looks and tastes like rice, it is a great source of protein and fiber.

In a stroke of pure genius, LJ added chicken sausage to the quinoa, and voila! “Meat-oa” (pronounced MEAT-WAH) was born.

I was about to replicate LJ’s dish a couple of weeks ago, when JL suggested using beans instead of the meat. Seriously, guys, I’m surrounded by geniuses! Since I’ve been trying to cook more vegetarian meals, I thought this was a great idea. I’ve made this with a couple of different variations but the most recent iteration was my favorite, so I’m giving you the recipe below. This shouldn’t even qualify as a recipe, it’s so easy, but I like to throw these kind of easy, weeknight meal ideas out there. Enjoy!

So nutritious, delicious, and easy!

Weeknight Beanoa (Pronounced BEAN-WAH)

1 bag, TJ’s frozen quinoa medley duo
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 package TJ’s spiced soybeans (any beans will do, but these are spiced very compatibly to the quinoa)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Optional: red pepper flakes, chicken or vegetable stock


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium to medium large saucepan on medium high heat.
  2. Add carrots, saute for 2 minutes. Add corn, saute for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add beans and red pepper flakes. Mix quickly.
  4. Add quinoa. Stir and add 3 Tbsp liquid (either water or stock). Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn off heat. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3.