Mar 15: Tomato, Swiss & Mayo; Top Sirloin with Satay Sauce, Black Rice and Vietnamese Slaw


Today we stuck with the tried and true: cheese and tomato toasted sandwiches! In this case, kumato and Swiss.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used one, or 35c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 17c per serve
  • Add 20c for mayo.

Toasted crisp they were delicious for $1.04 per serve.


Thursday night steak night was our deconstructed satay: grill top sirloin with satay sauce, black rice and a Vietnamese inspired slaw.

  • The top sirloin from the Prather Ranch delivery was $11.99 or $6.00 per serve
  • The peanut butter was $3.99 and we used about 1/8,  or 25c a serve
  • Other seasonings in the satay sauce add 35c per serve
  • The remainder of the organic green cabbage was  63c per serve
  • Carrot adds 30c per serve
  • Salad seasonings add 20c
  • Mint came from our garden
  • Black rice adds 40c per serve.

Even though thin, the steaks were perfectly cooked, the satay sauce bought umami, sour and salt to the party and the black rice was a nutty carrier for the other flavors. The Vietnamese/Thai inspired salad contrasted with a sharp sour, but fresh, bite.  A good meal for $8.13 per serve.

Mar 14: Corned Beef, Swiss & Sauerkraut Wrap; Pan Fried Pork Chop with Japanese Rataouille


For lunch we sliced up some of the corned beef and built it on top of a wrap smeared with mayo and shrimp sauce (for a fake Russian dressing) and topped with sliced Swiss cheese. We stuffed the wrap too full, but otherwise they were excellent.

  • The quesadilla tortillas were $1.99 for a pack of six, or 34c per serve
  • The corned beef serve is $3.54 and we used about ¾ of a serve in each wrap, or $2.65 per serve
  • Gouda slices are 12 for $3.99 or 17c per serve
  • The Bubbies (natural) Sauerkraut is expensive at $6.99 or 22c per serve, but it is a very superior sauerkraut without the bad odor of most sauerkraut
  • Add 20c for mayo and shrimp sauce.

A tasty wrap for $3.58 per serve.


The combination of cooler weather, and thin pork chops, made pan frying a better choice. We served with more of the Japanese Ratatouille from a couple of nights ago.

  • The pork chops were $6.22 per serve
  • The ratatouille is $2.02 per serve.

A filling and satisfying meal with a good meat/vegetable balance for $8.24 per serve.

Mar 13: Supermarket Sushi; Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes


Shopping for dinner required a trip to Whole Foods, so some sushi was on the agenda for lunch.

Spicy tuna rolls and Firecracker rolls averaged $9.19 per serve.


Foodie Greg’s birthday tradition has been top round corned beef – what we call silverside in Australia – with a traditional boiled dinner: potatoes and cabbage.

A simple New England Boiled Dinner, it is very tasty. We served with an onion horseradish white sauce.

  • The corned beef was $28.31 and we’ll get eight serves, or $3.54 per serve
  • Russet potatoes were 75c or 38c per serve
  • An organic green cabbage was $2.49 but only used half for this meal, or 63c per serve
  • Heavy cream was $1.79 and we used half or 45c per serve
  • Add 40c for horseradish,  flour and butter.

A very satisfying, comforting meal for $5.40 per serve.

Mar 12: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Gordon Biersch


Foodie Philip’s plans changed while he was still in Studio City just before lunch, so he stopped at Popeye’s on the way home for the 10 pack special with a large red beans and rice.

  • The chicken is $2.98 per serve with tax
  • The red beans and rice is $2.12 per serve with tax.

Lunch today was as good as it usually is, for $5.10 per serve.


We were back in Burbank to meet with an associate who works in the same industry and have dinner at Gordon Biersch. Foodie Philip returned to the smokey chicken tostadas, while Greg tried the Spicy Chicken Lettuce Tacos, also from the ‘lighter side’ submenu.

The tostadas were every bit as good as they were last time, and Foodie Greg enjoyed his Spicy Chicken Lettuce Tacos.

The Tostadas were $12.99 per serve, and the Tacos $14.29, but with tax and tip that averages $17.92 each.


Mar 11: Pork Tumeric Coconut Curry; Japanese Rataouille


For lunch we decided to reheat the leftover curry from last night, which we did and enjoyed it again. Instead of rice we served it on some tostadas.

  • The curry was $3.91 per serve
  • The tostadas are 22 for $2.29 or 42c per serve.
The pork, turmeric coconut curry on tostadas.

A good lunch for $4.33 per serve, although the tostadas got soggy with the liquid from the curry. Still tasty.


A change to the vegetarian. We enjoyed the Japanese Ratatouille Recipe last time we cooked it and did again.

The dry baking of the vegetables is extra work, but it intensified the flavor, while the dressing added another layer of flavor. With the recipe making so much we served without rice, and will still get six meals.

  • The Kaboc squash was $2.21 but we only used half for the six serves, or 18c per serve
  • Two Chinese eggplants went into the dish costing $1.18 or 20c per serve
  • The bell pepper was $1.49 or 25c per serve
  • Grape tomatoes were $2.99 or 50c per serve
  • An onion adds 5c per serve
  • Miso Easy is $5.99 for the bottle that we used about 1/8 of in this dish, or 13c per serve.
  • Add 30c for ginger and oil
  • Add 20c per serve for the remaining ingredients.

A very tasty dish for $2.01 per serve.

Mar 10: Steak and Stout Pie; Pork Tumeric Coconut Curry with Black Rice


A gray, rainy day is obviously a pie day, and today we enjoyed Trader Joe’s Steak and Stout Pies again, for $3.25 per serve.


A pound of ground pork always comes in our Prather Ranch meat delivery, and we’ve been honing a few favorite ways to use it, including tonight’s Turmeric Coconut Curry with Pork.

We substituted bok choy for the cabbage because we have it (and it tastes better).

  • The pork came from our Prather Ranch meat delivery – 1 lb of ground pork cost $8.31 or $$2.08 per serve
  • Add 45c for onion, ginger and turmeric
  • Coconut milk was $1.89 or 48c per serve
  • Bok Choy was $1.29 and we used half, or 65c per serve
  • Almond flakes were $2.49 but we used only 1/5 or 25c per serve
  • Add 44c per serve for black rice.

Dinner tonight had a good balance of heat. The bok choy provided a nice textural alternative to the pork and rice. A decent meal for $4.35 per serve.

Mar 9: The Country Deli; Creamy Chickpeas and Prosciutto


We ended up at The Country Deli for lunch where Philip had his usual marinated skirt steak with eggs, while Foodie Greg had a pastrami on rye with fries.

Lunch at The Country Deli runs $21.62 per person (average) with tax and tip.


After the meat heavy lunch, we went meat-light for dinner with a new recipe: Creamy Chickpeas and Prosciutto. We opted to not serve with any bread because we didn’t need the extra food.

There was some discussion on the recipe’s page about the calorie count for the meal. The two calorie heavy components are the flat bread and chickpeas. Most cans of chickpeas do run 12-1300 calories, but the Simple Truth brand (Kroger/Ralph’s) we got comes in at 450 calories for the can, reducing the overall calorie count to around 780.

Foodie Philip had two eggs, while Greg had one.

  • Pastured eggs are 50c each or 75c average per serve
  • The beans were $1.00 or 50c per serve
  • The prosciutto was $5.99 but we used ⅔ or $2.00 per serve
  • Heavy cream was $1.79 and we used half or 45c per serve
  • Add 30c for tomato paste and smoked paprika.

Dinner tonight was better than expected! It could have used  more tomato paste, and perhaps a little chopped tomatoes for a little acid, but overall, it is a good dish and well worth the $4.00 per serve it cost.


Mar 8: Pastrami, Tabouli & Swiss; Rib Eye with Roast Kabocha Squash and Buttered Balsamic Mushrooms


We had some pastrami that needed to be used, so we made two identical Pastrami, Tabouli and Swiss toasted sandwiches.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Add 25c for butter
  • The 1.25 lb of beef pastrami was $7.69 (32c an ounce), and we used two on the sandwich, or 64c per serve
  • We served 1/2 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve
  • Gouda slices are 12 for $3.99 or 17c per serve.

Lunch today was decent for $2.05 per serve.


It’s “Thursday night steak night” and tonight we picked a rib eye from our Prather Ranch meat delivery and grilled it, as there was a break in the cold weather.

We paired it with roast kabocha squash – rapidly becoming a favorite – and an impressive Buttered Balsamic Mushrooms. We skipped the sugar but added a reduced balsamic glaze

  • The rib eye was $19.97 or $9.99 per serve
  •  The mushrooms were $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • The kabocha squash was $1.98 and we used half, or 50c per serve
  • The balsamic glaze adds 35c per serve
  • Rosemary came from our garde
  • Add 35c per serve for seasonings, oil and shallots
  • The butter is $3.99 per block, and we used about 1/5 for two serves, or 40c per serve.

Dinner tonight was better than most steak house meals we’ve had. The buttered balsamic mushrooms were intensely flavored, and almost too much, but paired with the steak or squash, it was perfect. A great meal for $12.84 per serve.

Mar 7: Roast Beef Roll; Pork and Eggplant Stir Fry with Brown Rice


The Foodies were attending a seminar that provided lunch: roast beef, tomato and iceberg on a roll. They were okay, and free.


As we were uncertain what time we would arrive home, we had the pork and eggplant stir fry from last night to fall back on. Some fresh brown rice in the pressure cooker and a quick reheat – with some fish sauce and lime juice added – and we were ready to eat.

  • The pork was $15.53 or $3.88 per serve
  • Bok Choy was $2.77 and we used 2/3 or 46c per serve
  • The eggplant was $1.05, or 26c per serve
  • The bell pepper was $1.25, or 32c per serve
  • The simmer sauce was $1.99 or 50c per serve
  • Add 33c for brown rice.

The sauce was better with the fish sauce and lime juice added and a decent meal for  $5.75 per serve.

Mar 6: Sardine & Avocado Toasted Sandwich; Pork and Eggplant Stir Fry


A ripe avocado has to be eaten almost immediately so we decided to mix with some boneless, skinless sardines and sprinkle heavily with chili lime seasoning before toasting.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The avocado was 89c or 45c per serve
  • The sardines are $1.99 a can or $1.00 per serve
  • Add 35c for butter and chili lime.

Without the chili lime ‘salt’ this would have been very boring, but the hint of acid works well, creating a decent sandwich for $2.12 per serve.


We had some pork cutlets in our Prather Ranch meat box, so we decided on a stir fry with eggplant, bell pepper, bok choy and a Trader Joe’s green chili simmer sauce.

The recipe was Foodie Greg’s invention and made four good serves.

  • The pork was $15.53 or $3.88 per serve
  • Bok Choy was $2.77 and we used 2/3 or 46c per serve
  • The eggplant was $1.05, or 26c per serve
  • The bell pepper was $1.25, or 32c per serve
  • The simmer sauce was $1.99 or 50c per serve
  • Add 33c for brown rice.

The simmer sauce was disappointing as it lacked any real spice or flavor, so overall the meal was okay, without being great, for $5.75 per serve. We’ve added some fish sauce to the remainder to amp up the flavor.