Mar 20: Bagel with smoked salmon; Pork belly, endive and red rice


Toast an onion bagel, smear with cream cheese, top with capers and wild caught smoked salmon.

  • Six bagels are $1.99 or 33c each
  • Wild caught smoked salmon is $5.99 or $3.00 a serve
  • Cream cheese is $1.69 for the pack, or 42c per serve

Lunch today cost $3.75 for about twice as much smoked salmon per serve as you’d get at a bagel place.


Tonight’s dinner is a perfect example of how easy it is to great a great looking, and tasting, meal. This would be perfect for a date night dinner: minimal preparation, maximum flavor.

Once again we used the pre-cooked Trader Joe’s fully cooked pork belly, braised some endives and prepared some sprouted red rice. This was our first experience of red rice alone, instead of in a mix. It was not significantly different from brown rice.

  • The pork belly is $6.49 and we had half each or $3.25 per serve
  • Four Belgian endive cost $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • The sprouted red rice is $3.49 for the pack. We used half and served half each, or 88c per serve.

Dinner tonight took about 20 minutes of simple preparation – not even any vegetable prep – and cost just $5.38 per person for a meal that would be more than four times that in a restaurant.

There’s a very good chance it would be exactly the same protein – the pork – as I would get in a restaurant. The dirty little secret of the restaurant trade, is that most proteins come prepared to the restaurant. There has been a recent trend to make those also available to the public by adding retail packaging. This pre-cooked pork is exactly two restaurant serves and ready to finish in each restaurant’s signature style. Or your signature style.

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