May 18: Ham & Avocado Panini Roll; Lavender Lamb Loin Chops with Farro Tabouleh

Lunch

A rather cold day, and yet we didn’t feel like toasted sandwiches, so we finished some panini rolls and stuffed with avocado and ham. The addition of the garlic spread really completed the flavor profile.

  • The par baked panini roll is 55c
  • The avocado cost $4.29 for five and we shared one or 43c per serve
  • The turkey is $3.49 and we shared ⅓ or 58c per serve.

The roll is a nice variation on a sandwich for $1.56 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight we tried a dry rub on our Lamb Loin Chops with Lavender, Rosemary and Garlic. These were left for an hour or so, then grilled to medium rare. While resting we grilled a halved blood orange to squeeze over the chops at the table.

We served with Farro Tabouleh, although weft out the parsley.

  • Lamb Loin Chops were $14.71 or $7.37 per serve
  • The Blood Oranges were $2.29 for six and we shared one, or 19c per serve
  • Add 20c for Lavender and garlic with Rosemary coming from our bush
  • The farro was $1.79 for the pack, but we shared ⅓ or 10c per serve
  • Tomatoes were $3.49 for five but we shared one, or 35c per serve
  • Mint came from our garden.

While the lavender isn’t a bad pairing, we felt it didn’t enhance the flavor of the Loin Chops, but otherwise an excellent meal for $8.21 per serve.

May 17: Cafe Firenzé; Mustardy Salmon with Asparagus Pouch, served with Black Rice

Lunch

We were on a plant buying trip in Moorpark so we stooped in at Cafe Firenzé for lunch where Foodie Philip had a Ham and Spring Onion Risotto while Foodie Greg had Seafood Rigatoni.

The meal quality is excellent with both Foodies really enjoying the meal. Cafe Firenzé is also great value with lunch coming in at $20.13 with tax and tip. That’s a little less than The Country Deli ends up being!

Dinner

Being “Fishy Friday” Foodie Greg picked up some Wild Caught Salmon Fillets and we cooked them in a foil pouch. (Reynolds non-stick foil doesn’t need the paper lining.) Tonight we served with most of the remaining asparagus.

  • The salmon fillets were $6.27 for two or $3.14 per serve
  • The asparagus was $2.59 but we used about half tonight, or 65c per serve
  • Black rice adds 44c per serve
  • Add 50c per serve for the cream fraîche, mustard and other ingredients.

Tonight we managed to cook the salmon absolutely perfectly, which was the topping on a great meal for $4.73 per serve.

May 16: Asparagus & Ham Frittata; Beef Massaman

Lunch

Since we had the other half of the frittata from last night, we ate it cold for lunch.

  • Six eggs are $3.06 or 77c per serve
  • The ham is $1.02 per portion, or 51c per serve
  • The asparagus was $2.59 but we used ⅔ tonight, or 87c per serve
  • Add 10c for butter.

This turned out particularly well for just $2.25 per serve.

Dinner

Some stew meat in our meat box and a cold evening make Massaman a good choice.

  • The beef was $8.84, or $4.42 per serve
  • The curry is $3.38 per can or $1.69 per serve
  • Coconut milk is $1.69 per can or 85c per serve
  • Peanuts were $2.99 but we only used half, or 75c per serve
  • Peal onion adds 20c per serve
  • Brown rice adds 33c per serve.

This is probably our favorite curry for $8.24 per serve.

May 15: Egg Salad Panini Roll; Asparagus and Ham Frittata

Lunch

A cool day made finishing panini rolls in the over very attractive, so we did and, once again, filled with Egg Salad and Watercress.

  • The panini roll is 63c per serve
  • The egg salad is $3.69 for 10 oz and we used 2 oz per serve, or 92c per serve
  • The watercress cost $1.99 and we shared about 1/8 or 12c per serve.

We still enjoyed this roll a lot for $1.67 per serve.

Dinner

We defrosted the remaining ham from our recent baked ham, cubed it, chopped some asparagus and made a frittata.

We will get four serves.

  • Six eggs are $3.06 or 77c per serve
  • The ham is $1.02 per portion, or 51c per serve
  • The asparagus was $2.59 but we used 1/3 tonight, or 43c per serve
  • Add 10c for butter.

This turned out particularly well for just $1.81 per serve.

May 14: Tarte au Brie; Tempeh and Green Bean Stir-fry with Peanut Sauce

Lunch

As it was tending toward a gray day, we had a Tarte au Brie from Trader Joes, which was pretty good, although we could improve our heating technique for a crisper bottom.

Pretty good for $3.99 pr $2.00 per serve.

Dinner

We strongly prefer tempeh to any fake meat we’ve tried, so tonight a Tempeh and Green Bean Stir-fry with Peanut Sauce. Who doesn’t like a peanut sauce.

  • Green beans were $2.79 and we used about half or 70c per serve
  • The bell peppers were $1.79 or 85c per serve
  • Mung Bean Sprouts were $1.49 and we used about half, or 37c per serve
  • The three grain tempeh is $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • The peanut butter was $1.99 and we used about 1/2,  or 50c a serve
  • Add 20c for other ingredients.

A pretty decent stir-fry for $3.62 per serve.

May 13: Tuna Melt, Turkey Melt; Mushroom and Red Wine Meatloaf with Cauliflower Gnocchi in Blue Cheese Sauce

Lunch

Back to toasted sandwiches today, starting with Turkey, and Swiss, along with Spicy Tuna, Capers and Swiss.

  • Sprouted rye bread is 32c per serve
  • The tuna pouch was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve
  • Add 30c for butter, and garlic spread
  • The turkey is $3.49 and we shared ⅓ or 58c per serve.

Decent sandwiches for $2.54 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight’s dinner was a repeat of last night, with the meatloaf fried in butter to reheat, for $8.77 per serve.

May 12: Egg & Watercress Rolls; Mushroom and Red Wine Meatloaf with Cauliflower Gnocchi in Blue Cheese Sauce

Lunch

We opted for a repeat of the Egg Salad Panini Roll with Watercress.

  • The panini roll is 63c per serve
  • The egg salad is $3.69 for 10 oz and we used 2 oz per serve, or 92c per serve
  • The watercress cost $1.99 and we shared about 1/8 or 12c per serve.

We enjoyed this roll a lot for $1.67 per serve.

Dinner

With two 1 lb packs of dry aged ground beef in our Keller Crafted meat box this month (and pretty much every month), we returned to an old favorite: Red Wine and Mushroom Meatloaf. We served with Cauliflower Gnocchi in Blue Cheese Sauce

The secret to success with this meatloaf recipe is to finely dice the onion and mushroom so they don’t break the structural integrity of the meatloaf, so this time we chopped the mushroom in the food processor. It improved the overall texture, but we found it a little uniform, so we’ll probably chop the mushroom next time.

  • The beef was $10.43 per pound and we used two, but served only half the meatloaf, or $5.21 per serve
  • Portobello mushrooms were $2.99 or 75c per serve
  • Onions and garlic add 20c per serve
  • Two large eggs are $1.02 or 26c per serve
  • The butter is $3.99 per block, and we used about 3/8 for four serves, or 38c per serve
  • Red wine adds $1.00 or 25c per serve
  • Add 20c for Worcestershire sauce and other spices per serve
  • The gnocchi was $2.69 or 67c per serve
  • Blue cheese crumbles were $3.49 and we used half or 44c per serve
  • Heavy cream is $3.29 per pint, but we used only ¼ or 21c per serve
  • Organic frozen peas were $1.99 per pack or 25c per serve
  • Add 15c for other ingredients. .

The meatloaf was excellent as always and the gnocchi very filling. A flavorful and satisfying meal for $8.77 per serve.

May 11: Les Sisters; Stir Fry Pork with Vegetables and Soba Noodles

Lunch

For lunch the Foodies stopped at Les Sisters for lunch. We’ve been aware of this local institution since we moved to the neighborhood, but never visited before.

We shared Fried Chicken with Coleslaw and a Shrimp Jambalaya. We both really enjoyed the chicken, which was cooked a little darker than Popeyes, but was crunch, tender and tasty with just a little heat. The coleslaw was creamy, which is not a Foodie Greg favorite, but this one we both really liked.

The shrimp in the Jambalaya was perfectly cooked. The tomato and rice mix was tasty, and while the addition of mushrooms was unusual, it added. We both felt that the substitution of Italian sausage instead of Andouille did not benefit the dish, particularly for Foodie Philip who does not like the Fennel Seed flavor.

We’ll definitely go back to sample some more of the available choices, but probably as take out. With tax and tip it was $14.54 per serve.

Dinner

After eating out at lunch, we opted for a simple dinner, where Foodie Greg took pork chops from our Keller Crafted meat box and sliced them for a stir fry. It was our first time marinating the meat in a baking soda solution to tenderize the meat, which it did.

  • The pork was $10.85 or $5.43 per serve
  • The stir fry vegetables, soba noodles and flavor pack was $4.99 or $2.50 per serve
  • Add 20c for a little Fish Sauce to enhance the flavor.

The pork was indeed very tender and the stir fry tasted okay for $8.13 per serve.

May 10: Chipotle, Bacon & Black Bean Soup; Mediterranean Pollock with Roasted Tomatoes and Black Rice

Lunch

For lunch we finished the Chipotle, Bacon and Black Bean Soup from two nights ago.

Without the avocado it was $1.68 per serve, including sour cream.

Dinner

Keeping to the “Fishy Friday” theme, tonight we explored a Mediterranean Code with Roasted Tomatoes recipe, although we substituted pollack instead of cod. (Spoiler alert: bad mistake.)

  • The pollock was $1.49 or 75c per serve
  • Green olives were $4.29 and we used about half, or $1.08
  • Grape tomatoes cost $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • Add 30c for seasoning.

The tomatoes and olives were both the most expensive part of the meal, and the best. The pollock was very unimpressive with little to no flavor and a rather terrible texture, so I guess we get what we pay for. We will do this again with cod as the recipe says. Not a total waste for $3.38 per serve.

May 9: Avocado & Sardine Sandwiches; NY Strip Steak topped with Béarnaise Sauce, Crash Hot Potatoes and Tabouli

Lunch

As we had a ripe avocado it had to be used today, so we split it across two sandwiches and topped each with half a can of skinless, boneless sardines in water.

  • The avocado cost $4.29 for five and we shared one or 43c per serve
  • Skinless, boneless sardines in water are $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Add 25c for butter.

A quite decent sandwich for $2.00 per serve.

Dinner

This month’s meat box had a return to NY Strip steak, which is great on the grill because we can pre-cook the fat edge to get some smokiness happening in the grill.

Tonight we topped it with Béarnaise Sauce and served with Crash Hot Potatoes and Tabouli.

  • The steak was $19.97 or $9.99 per serve
  • The potatoes were $1.09 or 55c per serve
  • Tabouli was $2.69 and we used about ½ or 67c per serve
  • The Béarnaise sauce was $3.29 and we used about ⅓, or 55c per serve.

A great meal all round, from the tender and perfectly cooked NY Strip topped with Béarnaise, to the Crash Hot Potatoes that were crisp on the outside but soft inside. The Tabouli made a fine accompaniment. A great meal for $11.76 per serve.