Feb 21: Gyro Wraps; Smoked Fish Chowder

Lunch

Now that the ham is gone, it’s on to finding new lunch ideas. Today we took Trader Joe’s Gyro slices, heated them in the panini press and combined with hummus and tabouli on a wholemeal wrap. Yum.

  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10oz pack. There are really four serves, so $1.00 per serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c per serve
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • We served 1/2 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today was tasty, filling and only $2.50 per serve.

Dinner

A long time favorite has been a salmon chowder, but tonight we tried a smokey fish version using smoked trout, that we now think is better than the salmon version!

We prepared half the recipe so we used both serves tonight.

  • The rainbow trout fillets are $7.49 or $3.75 per serve
  • Three slices of bacon are $$2.05 or $1.03 per serve
  • Onion, leek and celery add 35c per serve
  • The clam juice was $3.39 and we used ⅓ or 57c per serve
  • The organic red potatoes were $1.25 or 63c per serve
  • Heavy cream was $1.79 and we used half or 45c per serve.

We really liked this chowder. The smoked trout carries more flavor than salmon or canned fish and made a great meal for $6.78. Foodie Philip added a rustic roll for 63c more, but it was really too much and unnecessary.

Feb 20: Ham, Brie & Watercress, Pastrami & Swiss; Vegetable Gyoza with Poached Egg in a Ginger Miso Broth

Lunch

The very last of our ham went into another toasted ham, spreadable brie and watercress sandwich that we paired with a pastrami & Swiss sandwich. Both were good, as usual.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Ham is 4c and ounce, and we probably had an ounce each, or 4c per serve
  • Watercress was 79c for the bunch and we used 1/4 or 10c per serve
  • The brie was $6.49 and used 1/3 or $1.08 per serve
  • The pastrami was $6.96 for 16 oz and we used two, or 44c per serve
  • Gouda slices are 12 for $3.99 or 17c per serve.

Lunch today was two good sandwiches for $2.15 per serve.

Dinner

Sometimes you need a meal on the table with minimum fuss, but you don’t want to compromise on flavor. Tonight was such a night and this dish comes together really quickly.

We’ve had Trader Joe’s Pork and Shrimp gyoza in the past, and thought them very good, but tonight’s vegetarian version were even better. The ginger miso broth also comes prepared from Trader Joe’s, with the egg adding a little protein.

  • The Miso Ginger broth was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • The gyoza were $4.99 and, or $2.50 per serve
  • Add 20c for seasonings.
  • A pastured egg is 55c.

Tonight’s meal was excellent. Really tasty and full of Thai flavors for $3.25 per serve, and on the table in about 20 minutes.

Feb 19: Conference Lunch; Split Pea Soup with Ham

Lunch

Foodie Philip was speaking on a AI-related panel at the HPA Tech Retreats and the salmon Caesar Salad was paid for by the conference.

Dinner

Since Foodie Philip was uncertain of how late he would be arriving home, we decided to reheat some of the split pea soup and add some ham.

  • The stock has no real cost
  • The pack of split peas was $1.59 or 27c per serve
  • The frozen organic peas are $1.99 a pack, or 33c per serve
  • We added a garnish of  cubed ham that was 8c per serve.

For dinner tonight the soup cost $0.68 per serve. We chose not to do a roll or bread with the soup as it is very filling on its own.

Feb 18: Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs; Skillet Pork Chops with Cabbage

Lunch

Because it’s Sunday we made an extra effort for lunch, doing scrambled eggs with the remaining grill asparagus and smoke salmon. Yum!

  • Two eggs are 55c each or $1.10 per serve
  • The smoked salmon was $6.49 or $3.25 per serve
  •  The remaining asparagus was 33c or 17c per serve
  • A slice of toasted bread adds 16c.

Lunch was excellent and we got to enjoy our $4.68 lunch outside in the sun.

Dinner

Tonight was a new recipe: Skillet Pork Chops with Cabbage. It reminded us a lot of Choucroute Garnie, which is very similar but starts with sauerkraut instead of raw cabbage.

The recipe made two serves.

  • The Prather Ranch pork chops were $11.24 for 12 oz or $5.62 per serve
  • Shredded cabbage was $1.29 or 65c per serve
  • The Granny Smith apple was 58c or 29c per serve
  • Onion, garlic and seasoning add 15c per serve.

The pork chop was perfect, but the cabbage mix was disappointing. Choucroute Garnie has a lot more flavor from the cabbage we think it’s a lot better. Still, tonight’s meal was good for $6.71 per serve.

Feb 17: Popeye’s Chicken with Salad; Tostadas with Mexican ‘Chili’, Avocado, Tomato and Cotija

Lunch

We reheated the chicken and served with a Avocado Ranch Salad, and ate outside! California does Winter my way! The salad was uninspiring, but decent.

  • The chicken is $2.98 per serve with tax
  • The salad was $3.49 or $1.75 per serve.

Lunch today was reasonable for $4.73 per serve.

Dinner

Continuing our experiments with tostadas we decided to take the Mexican ‘chili’ from a couple of nights ago and serve on a tostada with avocado and some freshly chopped heirloom tomato. A dusting with cotija cheese completed the serve.

We had two each.

  • The tostadas are 22 for $2.29 or 44c per serve
  • Avocado was $3.49 for four and we shared one, or 44c per serve
  • The tomato was $1.49 or 75c per serve
  • The chili was $2.99 per serve, and we had half a serve each, or $1.50
  • Cotija cheese is $3.99 for 8oz and we shared 1oz or 25c per serve.

The Mexican ‘chili’ was better served this way, with the avocado and tomato adding moisture the otherwise dry mix. We really enjoyed these for $3.48 per serve.

Feb 16: Bahn Mi; Rib Eye with Blue Cheese, Onion Cream Sauce and Grilled Asparagus

Lunch

I’ve raved about Pho Saigon 1’s Bahn Mi before. It was every bit as good today, for $8.50 per serve.

Dinner

Trying to decide what between asparagus and other choice for vegetable to go with tonight’s rib eye, Foodie Greg walked into the supermarket to discover a bundle of good, thick asparagus on special for 99c!

We had previously decided on an onion, blue cheese and cream sauce for the steak that we’d had before and enjoyed immensely.

  • The .75 lb rib gave two good six ounce serves for $10.12 per serve
  • We used ⅔ or the asparagus, or 33c per serve
  • Heavy cream was $1.79 and we used half or 45c per serve
  • An onion is 12c, or 6c per serve
  • Blue cheese crumbles are $3.49 for the pack but we used about 1/3 or 75c per serve.

The steak was perfectly cooked. The asparagus had good smokey flavor from the grill and also cooked so it still had some ‘tooth’ but was not crunchy, and the cheese sauce was – as it always is – spectacular for such a simple sauce. While the dry aged beef from Prather Ranch puts the price up a bit, this was an exceptional meal for $11.71 per serve.

Feb 15: Ham, Brie & Watercress Rolls; Lamb Meatloaf with Yogurt Sauces, Tabouli and Roasted Cauliflower

Lunch

Instead of toasted sandwiches, we finished baking a par baked rustic roll and filled it with spreadable Brie, Ham and Watercress.

  • The rustic roll is 63c per serve
  • Ham is 4c and ounce, and we probably had two ounces each, or 8c per serve
  • Watercress was 79c for the bunch and we used 1/4 or 10c per serve
  • The brie was $6.49 and used 1/3 or $1.08 per serve

Lunch today was two good sandwiches for $1.89 per serve.

Dinner

A new recipe for us – Lamb Meatloaf with Yoghurt Sauce – turned out to be a little disappointing for the amount of effort required in preparation. Despite what the recipe says, we got three serves, although we only had ⅔ of the amount of lamb.

We served with roasted cauliflower and tabouli.

  • The ground lamb was $7.99 or $2.67 per serve
  • An egg is 55c or 18c per serve
  • The cauliflower florets were $2.29 or $1.15 per serve
  • Add 50c per serve for the other ingredients
  • Add 75c for the yoghurt dressing ingredients
  • Tabouli is $2.69 for the tub, and we had 1/4 each, or 68c per serve.

As I said, the meatloaf was disappointing, but still made a decent meal with the rather good yoghurt dressing, for $5.33 per serve.

 

Feb 14: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Smokey Egg and Cheese Tostadas

Lunch

Foodie Philip was out in Studio City just before lunch, he stopped at Popeye’s on the way home for the 11 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.

Dinner

Since our recent enjoyment of the Smokey Chicken Tostada at Gordon Birsch earlier in the month, we have been exploring tostada ideas. We decided on a Smokey Egg and Cheese Tostada – well two each!

We bought baked tostada instead of baking them ourselves. They are a great platform as they don’t shatter like fried tostadas.

  • The tostadas are 22 for $2.29 or 21c per serve
  • Pastured eggs are 55c each or $1.10 per serve
  • The cheddar is $3.99 a block and we used 1/4 or 50c per serve
  • The salsa is $2.99 and we used 29c worth per serve
  • Avocado was $3.49 for four and we shared one, or 44c per serve
  • Add 10c for spring onion.

Tonight’s meal was really, really tasty. The flavor combinations worked particularly well for $2.64 per serve. Our only thought for improvement would be to spread a little of the salsa over the avocado, so it mixed better with the egg. Did I mention this was really, really good, particularly since it is so fast to prepare.

Feb 13: Kabocha Squash & Ham Quiche; Mexican Quinoa “Chili” with Tostadas

Lunch

For lunch we had the remaining serves of the kobocha squash and ham quiche from a couple of nights ago. We served on a slice of “fry bread”: regular bread done in the panini press (with some butter, of course).

The quiche was $1.11 per serve and we added 20c for the bread and butter, or $1.31 per serve.

Dinner

A new recipe for us: Mexican Quinoa On-Pot Meal, which is like a chili, but with a Mexican flavor profile. It makes a good six serves and we served with baked tostadas broken up.

  • The beef, from our Prather Ranch delivery, was $10.34 or $1.72 per serve
  • We purchased about half a pound of quinoa for $3.01 but used half, or 25c per serve
  • Ro-tel diced tomato was $1.19 or 20c per serve
  • Chicken stock adds 8c per serve
  • The black beans were 99c for the can or 17c per serve
  • Roasted corn was $2.49 and we used half or 42c per serve
  • Taco seasoning was $1.59 for the pack, or 27c per serve
  • Onion and garlic adds 15c per serve
  • Avocado was $3.49 for four and we shared one, or 44c per serve
  • Baked tostadas are $2.29 for a pack of 22 and we had one each, or 10c per serve.

The ‘chili’ was a little dry with just the avocado, which is probably why the recipe calls for sour cream and shredded cheese as toppings. The flavor was excellent and worked really well with the baked tostadas for a $3.80 per serve.

Feb 12: Ham, Brie & Watercress, Ham & Swiss; Split Pea Soup with Ham

Lunch

Some toasted sandwiches we liked revisited: Ham, spreadable Brie and watercress on one, and ham with Swiss on the other.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Ham is 4c and ounce, and we probably had two ounces each, or 8c per serve
  • Watercress was 79c for the bunch and we used 1/4 or 10c per serve
  • The brie was $6.49 and used 1/3 or $1.08 per serve
  • Gouda slices are 12 for $3.99 or 17c per serve.

Lunch today was two good sandwiches for $1.75 per serve.

Dinner

A baked ham gives us a ham bone. A ham bone means ham stock. Ham stock means split pea soup!

Our version of the recipe now includes one pound of fresh peas (defrosted from frozen) blended in at the end. We also add some Worcestershire sauce to the mix, but we think it would be better added at the end to give it some extra acid and freshness. We get six serves (at least).

Add some cubed ham for protein and garnish, and you have an excellent warming meal.

  • The stock has no real cost
  • The pack of split peas was $1.59 or 27c per serve
  • The frozen organic peas are $1.99 a pack, or 33c per serve
  • We added a garnish of  cubed ham that was 8c per serve.

For dinner tonight the soup cost $0.68 per serve. We chose not to do a roll or bread with the soup as it is very filling on its own.