Aug 13: Tomato & Mayo; Gordon Biersch

Lunch

We still had a large heirloom tomato to use, so we had toasted tomato and mayo sandwiches.

  • The heirloom tomato was $1.33 and we used about ⅓ or 22c per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter and mayo.

Excellent ingredients, treated well make for a great sandwich for 99c per serve.

Dinner

Although schedule to have dinner with a business associate, we ended up eating at Gordon Biersch alone. While waiting we shared the calamari appetizer. The calamari was lightly drenched and perfectly fried.

We both chose the Smokey Chicken Tostadas, which is full of flavor because it’s on the ‘light’ menu. We find vegetarian or ‘light’ food tries harder to add flavor because they can’t fall back on meat.

Tonight’s meal was one of the better options at Gordon Biersch for $27.74 per serve.

Aug 12: Roast Chicken Breast, Heirloom Tomato on Fresh Baguette; Deconstructed Jambalaya Take 2

Lunch

We made a shopping trip to Jons supermarket, where they have the best supermarket roast chicken by a good margin. Once again, it proves that good ingredients make the simplest meal exceptional.

  • The chicken is $6.99 and we shared a breast, or 88c per serve
  • The heirloom tomato was $1.33 and we used about ⅓ or 22c per serve
  • The baguette is $2.79 and we used half at lunch, or 70c per serve
  • Add 20c for mayo.

A great roll for $2.00 per serve.

Dinner

We revisited the deconstructed Jambalaya by dropping the shrimp and slicing the andouille before frying it off to make it crispy (as inspired by the Yardhouse version).

The perfect Jambalaya would have this rice mix, sous vidé shrimp and fried off andouille, but it was pretty good without shrimp.

  • The andouille sausage was $7.98 for the pack and we used half or $2.00 per serve
  • Rice adds 33c per serve
  • The celery was $1.69 and we used ¼ or 11c per serve
  • Organic bell pepper was $1.17 or 29c per serve
  • A can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes is $1.69 or 43c per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for seasonings.

The crispy andouille worked very well. A good meal for $3.36 per serve.

Aug 11: Baked Beans & Swiss; Soutzoukakia with Tabboleh and Dolmas

Lunch

We smooshed a can of Giant Baked Beans onto two sandwiches, topped them with Swiss and toasted until the cheese was good and melted. They were pretty good!

  • The baked beans are $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter, mayo and capers.

Not the wildest flavor sensation but a tasty sandwich anyway, for $2.00 per serve.

Dinner

It was time to revisit Soutzoukakia.  Once again we used one can of fire roasted crushed tomato, and a can of Trader Joe’s Grecian Style Eggplant,Tomato and Onion. This is an excellent addition and it really elevated this dish. We cannot recommend it highly enough.

While the recipe could easily serve three people, we consumed the lot!

  • Ground lamb was $6.99 or $2.33 per serve
  • An egg is 50c or 17c per serve
  • 8 oz Panko breadcrumbs are $2.99 and we used half, or 25c per serve
  • Cotija cheese, substituting for Parmesan is $3.99 for 8oz and we shared 2 oz or 50c per serve
  • 1/4 cup and a tablespoon of red wine – halved – is 34c per serve
  • Canned crushed tomatoes were $1.25 for the can, or 42c per serve
  • The eggplant, tomato and onion is $2.49 or 83c per serve
  • Onions, shallot and garlic adds 25c per serve
  • Parsley was $1.49 for the bunch, but we only used 1/4 or 13c per serve
  • Fresh mint came from our garden
  • Tomato paste comes in a 90c can, but we used 1/8 or 5c per serve
  • Tabouli costs $2.69 for 8 oz and we had 2 oz each, or 67c per serve
  • The tin of dolma’s is $2.49 or 83c per serve.

The lamb version creates a software patty with more flavor than with beef, so we like this version better for  $6.77 per serve.

Aug 10: Tomato and Swiss; Deconstructed Jambalaya

Lunch

Since we had a tasty heirloom tomato we decided to go for the simple cheese and tomato toasted sandwich, which was good.

  • The heirloom tomato was $1.57 and we used half on the sandwiches, or 40c  per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter and mayo.

A  good sandwich for $1.50 per serve.

Dinner

We’ve enjoyed several good jambalaya over the years, and recently a deconstructed version at the Yardhouse chain. While deconstructed this goes in a different direction. The rice gets the vegetable component in the pressure cooker, while the andouille sausage and shrimp were sous vidé to perfection. The rice mix made four serves.

  • The shrimp was $7.99 for the pack, and we used half, or $2.00 per serve
  • The andouille sausage was $7.98 for the pack and we used half or $2.00 per serve
  • Rice adds 33c per serve
  • The celery was $1.69 and we used ¼ or 11c per serve
  • Organic bell pepper was $1.17 or 29c per serve
  • A can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes is $1.69 or 43c per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for seasonings.

Keeping the shrimp separate allows us to cook it to its perfect temperature, which is a lot lower than if it sat in a boiling stew! The andouille was fine sous vidé but we think we’ll fry it off Yardhouse-style next time. A great meal for $5.36 per serve.

Aug 9: Breakfast; Grilled Japanese Eggplant with Satay Sauce and Bean Sprout Salad

Breakfast

Still in San Diego the Foodies had a working breakfast with Cirina Catania at Nutmeg Bakery Cafe.

Foodie Greg had the nutmeg scramble:

Foodie Philip had an omelette with spinach and skirt steak with a mushroom dressing, served with home fries, fruit and sourdough toast.

Both were both great meals, cooked exactly as ordered. Our friend generously paid for our meal.

Dinner

While Thursday night is our steak/pork chop grill night, tonight we felt like having satay sauce, but had no appropriate steak in the freezer. Having done it once before, we decided to substitute marinated and grilled Japanese eggplant.

  • Two eggplants were $1.35 or 68c 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
  • Add 50c for marinade ingredients
  • Bean sprouts were $1.49 but we used the remaining ⅓ or 25c per serve
  • Carrot adds 10c per serve
  • Mint came from our garden.

The eggplant ends up with a custardy, creamy center while being nicely caramelized from the sugars in the marinade, which also contributes to the crispy skin. Overall, way more flavor than even a great piece of top sirloin, but with a very different texture.

The peanut sauce, as usual was the star, while the bean sprout salad gave a wet, crunch balance to the spicy eggplant and satay sauce mouthful. A very satisfying meal for $2.13 per serve, about ⅓ of the equivalent steak meal!

Aug 8: Avocado & Tuna; Salads and Pizza

Lunch

Before hitting the road to San Diego we opened a pouch of tuna and spread avocado on our sandwiches, before toasting them to perfection.

  • The tuna pouch was $2.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • The avocado was 99c or 50c per serve
  • Add 15c for butter.

Lunch today was satisfying for $1.97 per serve

Dinner

The Foodies were in San Diego for Southern Cal Creatives and the opportunity to share Lumberjack Builder and mingle with a great group of people. Back at the Rancho Bernado Inn we had high hopes for the food after the excellent meal on our last visit.

We had a great time networking with some new, and old, friends from San Diego. By the number of people who went back for second and third platefuls the food was appreciated. We gave it a “pass” because it was prepared by the catering department, as is appropriate for larger groups, and not the kitchen who prepared our last meal there.

Once again OWC hosted the event, and we are thankful.

Aug 7: Tuna, Capers & Swiss, Eggplant & Swiss; Caramelized Pork on Bean Sprouts

Lunch

Our normal lunch of toasted sandwiches. Today we shared a tuna pouch with capers and Swiss, and a sandwich of elements of the Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Melange with Swiss. We used the panini press to defrost and heat the eggplant and bell pepper.

  • The roast vegetables are about 5c per serve
  • The tuna was $2.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter, mayo and capers.

Both are decent sandwiches for $1.85 per serve.

Dinner

We returned to the  Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Bowls, tonight with mung bean sprout and grated carrot that was drizzled with rice wine vinegar instead of rice

Again, we cut the sugar back from five, to two tablespoons.

  • The ground pork was $8.35 and we’ll get four serves from that, or $2.09 per serve
  • Add 40c for ginger, onion, garlic and chili, etc
  • Bean sprouts were $1.49 but we used only 2/3 or 50c per serve
  • Add 10c for grated carrot.

Dinner tonight was tasty for $3.09 per serve. It is yet another example of “pork and beans” although the beans are just sprouts!

Aug 6: Ground Beef with Onion, Garlic and Spinach; Organic Apple Dijon Salad

Lunch

Today’s plans were disrupted so Foodie Philip finished the Ground Beef with Onion, Garlic and Spinach at $4.69 per serve.

Dinner

We’re reducing meat consumption by going for a meatless Monday (night). Tonight we prepared an Organic Apple Dijon Salad, but dropped the shredded cheese that comes with the salad, and adding some good cheddar instead.

  • The salad kit was $4.49 or $2.25 per serve
  • The cheddar was $3.99 or 50c per serve.

A decent salad for $2.75 per serve.

Aug 5: Ground Beef with Garlic, Spinach and More Eggs; Cauliflower Gnocchi in a Blue Cheese Sauce with Shredded Beef

Lunch

For lunch we took another three eggs and scrambled them. Toward the end we mixed in one serve of last night’s Ground Beef, Garlic, Spinach and Egg dish, which made a much more satisfying dish.

  • The beef dish is $4.69 per full serve but we shared one, or $2.35 per serve
  • Three eggs are $1.50 or 75c per serve.

This version was much more satisfying for $3.10 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight we took the remaining shredded beef and put it on top of cauliflower gnocchi with a creamy blue cheese sauce.

  • The shredded beef is $2.61 per serve
  • The gnocchi was $2.69 or $1.35 per serve
  • Blue cheese crumbles were $3.49 and we used half or 87c per serve
  • Heavy cream is $3.29 per pint, but we used only ¼ or 42c per serve
  • Organic frozen peas were $1.99 per pack or 50c per serve
  • Add 30c for other ingredients.

A very tasty meal for $6.05 per serve.

Aug 4: Bahn Mi; Ground Beef with Garlic, Spinach and Eggs

Lunch

For lunch we had our favorite sandwich: a Bahn Mi from our local Vietnamese restaurant. A great sandwich for $8.75 per serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

Tonight we tried a new recipe: Ground Beef with Garlic, Spinach and Eggs. The recipe makes four serves. We used fresh spinach instead of frozen.

  • Dry aged ground beef is $8.99 or $2.25 per serve
  • Eggs are 50c each or $1.00 per serve
  • 1.5 packs of spinach at $3.29 per pack, or $1.24 per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for garlic and seasoning.

We felt there could have been more flavor. It seemed a little bland and we thought it would be more “eggy”, which is why we added the hot sauce. Not a bad meal for $4.69 per serve.