Jan 17: Avocado & Lemon Pepper Salmon, Avocado & Smoked Turkey; Crispy Lamb with Lentils

Lunch

With an avocado to use, our sandwiches were based around that: one with a Lemon Pepper Salmon pouch and the other with sliced smoked turkey breast.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The avocado  was 4 for $3.49 or 44c per serve
  • The salmon was $2.79 or $1.40 per serve
  • The smoked turkey was $2.99 for 7oz and we used about 2oz or 43c per serve.

Both sandwiches were tasty and satisfying for $2.59 per serve.

Dinner

A return to the Crispy Spiced Lamb & Lentils with Tomato Cucumber Salsa and a Lemon Tahini dressing. They are supposed to be served in a lettuce cup but we got the wrong sort of lettuce, so we served it as a salad.  The lamb recipe came from the linked page, but the salsa and dressing were created by Foodie Greg.

The lamb and lentil recipe serves four. The dressing and salsa just two.

  • The lamb was $7.99 or $2.00 per serve
  • The Simple Truth lentils were 99c for the can or 25c per serve
  • Add 30c for spices and oil
  • A Persian cucumber is 40c or 20c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used 2, or 70c per serve
  • The feta in brine was $6.50 and 1/4 went into dinner, or 41c per serve
  • The “tahini & lemon” dip works out at around 45c per serve
  • The Living Spring Mix was $2.24 and we used about 1/4 or 28c per serve.

We added a little spice to the lamb mix based on our experience last time, but otherwise this is a great combination. A little easier to eat as a salad than in lettuce cups and pretty good for $4.59 per serve.

Jan 16: Chicken, Cheese and Mustard; Southwest Beans and Sausage with Brown Rice

Lunch

With a chicken breast to use up we sliced it and shared across two identical toasted sandwiches with sliced cheese and Dutch mustard.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The chicken is $1.75 for the breast or 88c per serve
  • 12 slices of yoghurt cheese are $4.79 and we shared two or 40c per serve
  • Add 5c for the Dutch Mustard.

It was a satisfying sandwich for $1.65 per serve.

Dinner

Although a long term favorite of ours we haven’t had Southwest Beans and  Sausage with rice, for a year. It’s surprising how many cultures have some kind of bean and rice dish: not coincidentally that combined rice and beans have all the amino acids needed for the body to create protein and grow muscle.

The recipe makes four serves and it basically just involves cutting up stuff, opening a couple of cans, and cooking some rice, which is always faster in the pressure cooker!

  • The Andouille Sausage is the most expensive component at $5.99 or $1.50 per serve
  • Bell pepper: 20c per serve
  • Onion: 10c per serve
  • Fire roasted diced tomato (canned): 99c a can or 25c per serve
  • The pinto beans are 99c a can or 25c a serve
  • For the herbs, 15c a serve
  • And the rice: 33c a serve

Dinner tonight cost $2.78 a serve. It’s a very tasty, warming stew with a little heat from the andouille.

Jan 15: Roast Beef & Cheese Toasted Sandwich; BBQ Chicken Leg with Black Rice, Edamame and Slaw

Lunch

The typical Burbank Monday was disrupted and Foodie Philip was home for lunch and had a toasted roast beef, chutney and cheese sandwich.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The sliced roast beef works out at 47c per serve
  • 12 slices of yoghurt cheese are $4.79 and we shared two or 40c per serve.

A good, quick lunch for $1.09 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight was “cook’s night off” with the protein coming from out supermarket roast chicken, the salad from the remainder of yesterday’s salad kit and a mix of black rice and cooked edamame from the refrigerator.

  • The chicken leg is $1.75
  • Black rice adds 40c per serve
  • Salad kit was $3.95 but we’ll get four serves for 99c per serve
  • Shelled edamame was $1.29 or 33c per serve.

Dinner tonight was a decent, but not exciting, meal for $4.44 per serve.

Jan 14: “Quesadilla” with Eggs; Vinegar Braised Pork Shoulder with Roast Sweet Potato and Tahini, Pepita & Apricot Slaw

Lunch

Because it was the weekend we added egg(s) to our flatbread quesadilla with the cider braised pork.

  • The flatbreads add 50c per serve
  • Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 26c
  • A serve of pulled pork is $5.46 but we used half, or $1.37 per serve
  • 2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve
  • Eggs are 55c each or 82.5c per serve (average).

Lunch today was a good quesadilla for $3.48 per serve.

Dinner

Although we had a little of the cider-braised pork on our lunch quesadilla, we went full on with the vinegar-braised pork shoulder chops, although we substituted a little maple syrup for the sugar.

We served with baked Japanese sweet potato, and a Tahini, Pepita and Apricot Slaw.

  • The pork shoulder is an inexpensive cut at $11.60 for 1.29 pounds, which is a generous serve for $5.80 per serve
  • Add 40c per serve for the seasoning
  • The sweet potato was $2.89 or $1.45 per serve
  • Salad kit was $3.95 but we’ll get four serves for 99c per serve.

The pork was perfectly tender and had a nice sharp flavor. We chose not to serve the liquid, but drizzled balsamic reduction on top. The salad was acceptable but definitely not the best of the salad kits we’ve enjoyed. Sadly, the Japanese sweet potato – perfect for mash – became mealy when baked and neither of us finished it. Overall, a good meal with a generous serve for $8.64 per serve.

Jan 13: Liverwurst, Schallot & Mustard, Roast Beef, Tabouli & Mustard Aioli; Smoked Trout Potato Salad

Lunch

Today we returned to toasted sandwiches. A new favorite snack of Foodie Philip’s is a Liverwurst, Shallot and Mustard sandwich. The flavor combinations build on each other to transform the sandwich into something unlike any of the ingredients. We also toasted a roast beef and tabouli with mustard aioli, although we held the tabouli back until after the sandwich was toasted.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Liverwurst works out at 40c per serve
  • Shallot and mustard/aioli add 25c per serve
  • The sliced roast beef works out at 47c per serve.

Each sandwich was particularly tasty and very different from each other. Not a bad lunch for $1.54 per serve.

Dinner

We’ve been enjoying exploring what we can create with smoked trout. Tonight we flaked up some whole smoked trout fillets (from Trader Joe’s) on top of the purple potatoes stacked on a bed of watercress.

The whole fillets are less salty than the canned smoked trout and we enjoyed them more.

  • The rainbow trout fillets are $7.49 or $3.75 per serve
  • Potato adds 25c per serve
  • Add 30c for watercress.
  • Add 30c for dressing ingredients.

The lemony dressing, potato, watercress and trout all blended together into a really great meal for $4.60 per serve.

Jan 12: Baguette with Chicken, Tomato & Mayo; Butter Poached Shrimp with Savory Oatmeal and Steamed Bok Choy

Lunch

After a side trip to Jon’s Market we enjoyed a baguette, with roast chicken breast and kumato. It’s hard to beat a simple meal when every ingredient is perfect.

  • A baguette is $2.79 and we shared half over lunch or 70c per serve
  • The chicken is $6.99 and we shared one breast or 88c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used one, or 35c per serve
  • Add 2oc for mayo.

A great lunch for $2.13 per serve.

Dinner

After the last shrimp experiment we decided to do another. This time simple butter poached shrimp sous vidé with soy savory oatmeal and butter/soy bok choy. We used butter and soy to tie the different dishes together.

Every component was excellent. The shrimp perfectly cooked (of course), the savory oatmeal is way more tasty than mashed potato, and the butter/soy bok choy tied both components together while bringing its own fresh sweetness.

  • The shrimp was $7.99 for the pack, and we used half, or $2.00 per serve
  • The butter is $3.99 per block, and we used about 1/4 for two serves, or 50c per serve
  • The steel cut oats are $3.19 for 24oz, and we used 8oz or 53c per serve
  • The bok choy was $1.99 for four, or 50c per serve
  • Add 30c for oatmeal seasonings.

Dinner tonight was very tasty for $3.83 per serve.

Jan 11: Flatbread “Quesadilla” with Cider Braised Pork Shoulder; Sirloin Steak with Satay Sauce, Black Rice and Bok Choy ‘Vietnamese’ Salad

Lunch

Today we simply repeated yesterday’s lunch: refried black beans, cheddar, cider braised pork shoulder and pickled onion quesadilla.

  • The flatbreads add 50c per serve
  • Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 26c
  • A serve of pulled pork is $5.46 but we used half, or $1.37 per serve
  • 2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve.

Lunch today was a good quesadilla for $2.63 per serve.

Dinner

We liked the idea of marinating and grilling the sirloin whole before adding the satay sauce, so we did it again, serving with black rice and Nigella Lawson’s  Vietnamese Chicken Salad, without chicken and built on bok choy instead of cabbage.

The leaves of the bok choy are quite bitter, but the stems balance that by being quite sweet, so the salad worked particularly well, and the satay sauce was a different – and better – recipe, or we just didn’t follow it well last time!

  • The dry aged top sirloin steak from Prather Ranch was $12.63 or $6.32 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 bok choy was $1.99 for four, or 50c per serve
  • Carrot adds 30c per serve
  • Salad seasonings add 20c
  • Black rice adds 40c per serve.

Dinner tonight was $8.32, which is definitely high for satay but the beef was really tender with a good beef flavor. One of the better tasting steaks we’ve had. The peanut sauce is really tasty – none was left – but it should be noted, does not pair well with red wine! The change in the salad to bok choy was a good one and the black rice has a good nutty flavor with a little more chew than white or brown rice. It was a good pairing for this meal.

Jan 10: Flatbread “Quesadilla” with Cider Braised Pork Shoulder; Little Dom’s

Lunch

We found some of the flatbread we used to be able to get in our freezer, so we tried making a quesadilla in the panini press. Along with the refried black beans and cheddar we added some of the cider braised pork shoulder and pickled onion to the quesadilla. It worked really well.

  • The flatbreads add 50c per serve
  • Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 26c
  • A serve of pulled pork is $5.46 but we used half, or $1.37 per serve
  • 2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve.

Lunch today was a good quesadilla for $2.63 per serve.

Dinner

We were meeting with a friend to socialize and decided to go to Little Dom’s for dinner. Little Dom’s seems to dominate the restaurant trade in the local area. Wednesday night, Little Dom’s had a 45 minute wait for a table, while the other restaurants in the area had only one or two tables occupied mid evening!

We had a mix of pastas and hanger steak, all of which were good. The meal averaged at around $28.00 per person, without wine but including the HealthyLA surcharge (4%), tax and tip.

Jan 9: Trader Joe’s Meat Pies; Dutch Mustard Soup

Lunch

A gray, rainy day definitely calls for meat pies. Foodie Philip chose the Steak and Ale while Greg chose the Chicken Balti pie. Both hit the spot for an average of $3.13 per serve.

Dinner

With the continuing cold weather, soup for dinner was always on the cards, so we returned to a favorite: Dutch Mustard Soup, made with actual Dutch Mustard.

Like a creamy, mustard version of French onion soup, this recipe is outstanding. The lardons of bacon on top give it a meaty flavor and texture, without dominating the dish. The onion and leek add sweetness, offset by the sharpness of the mustard, with the sour cream (in our version) moderating the flavors.

  • Bacon ends and pieces cost $3.99 or 50c per serve
  • Yellow onions were $2.79 for 2 lb, or 23c per serve
  • The leek was $1.38 or 35c per serve
  • Add 10c for butter
  • Garlic adds 5c per serve
  • Sour cream adds 50c per serve
  • Mustard adds 25c per serve
  • Add 20c for the remaining seasoning.

Dinner tonight was easy to prepare, delicious and only $2.18 per serve.

Jan 8: Double Double; Deconstructed Pizza Casserole

Lunch

Back to our normal Monday schedule and Foodie Philip was in Burbank for an In and Out Double Double Animal Style for $4.27. Foodie Greg had packet soup with a cheese quesadilla.

Dinner

For dinner we revisited the Deconstructed Pizza Casserole from two nights ago. The heat had intensified over the intervening period but it was still tasty for $6.18 per serve.