Mar 19: “Chinese”; Bacon and Black Bean Chili


As we were in Whole Foods for other shopping we decided to experiment with some prepared, but not hot, Chinese food. We had hoped they would have steamed pork buns, but the only steamed buns were vegetarian, so we added Shrimp Dumplings and steamed everything hot when we got home.

Not a bad take out meal for $6.39 with tax.


As the weather warms we’re moving out of Chili season, but tonight we revisited our Bacon and Black Bean Chili recipe. We will get six serves, although we’re going to freeze them for later use.

  • The ground beef was $10.34 or $1.73 per serve
  • The beans are $1.00 per can and we used two, or 33c per serve
  • Canned tomatoes were $1.29 or 22c per serve
  • Tomato paste was 79c or 13c per serve
  • Bacon is $4.99 for the pack and we used 40%, or 33c per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for seasoning
  • The avocado was two for $1.38 and we shared one, or 35c per serve
  • The labne adds 20c per serve.

This is one of those recipes that are not only simple, but very tasty for $3.49 per serve.

Mar 18: “Rueben”; Sesame Soba Noodles with Asian Vegetables


Since we have corned beef why not make a version of a Reuben with sauerkraut, dressing and Swiss cheese.

  • The Rye Bread is 32c per serve
  • Corned beef works out at $2.13 per sandwich serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve
  • Add 30c for butter and garlic spread.

Our Russian Dressing may not be authentic, but we had a good sandwich for $3.09 per serve.


Our meatless Monday was a return to the Sesame Soba Noodles with Asian Vegetables stir fry kit, which was again, pretty decent for $2.50 per serve.

Mar 17: Scrambled Eggs on Fry Bread with Giant Baked Beans; Lamb and Roast Vegetable Skewers with Fragrant Rice


For lunch the Foodies decided on scrambled eggs on fry bread with Giant Baked Beans.

  • Two eggs per serve costs $1.02
  • The bread is 16c
  • Add 20c for butter
  • The baked beans work out at $1.00 per serve.

A satisfying lunch for $2.32 per serve.


The Foodies had planned on dinner out with a friend, but plans changed at the last minute, so we took the opportunity to get take out from Skewers Halaal a little way down the hill in Chatsworth.

We had the Lamb Skewers, with grilled mixed vegetables (tomato, bell pepper, onion and button mushrooms) and a very generous serve of fragrant rice.

With tax and tip the meal ran $16.72 per serve.

Mar 16: Soy Chili in Rustic Panini; Top Round Corned Beef with Carrots and Cabbage


For lunch we finished a panini roll and filled it with Swiss and some fo the (yet still) remaining Soy Chili. The soy chili has been fully costed across the six meals we’ve already had from it, so today (and any more) it costs nothing.

  • The roll is 63c
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve.

It turned out well for 97c per serve!


Traditionally we did the “Irish” Dinner on Foodie Greg’s birthday, but this year we delayed it until the night before St Patrick’s Day. We served the top round corned beef, which we prefer over brisket, with carrots, cabbage and an onion sauce.

  • The corned top round was $21.28 and we had 60% at this meal, or $6.38 per serve
  • The cabbage was 38c but we only had half, or 10c per serve
  • Carrots were $3.99 and we used half or $1.00 per serve
  • Half and Half is $1.99 and we used half or 50c per serve
  • Add 20c for flour and onion.

We always enjoy this meal, which we can only get around St Patrick’s Day. Tonight it cost $8.18 per serve.

Mar 15: Cafe Firenze; Smoked Trout Avocado Mix on Tostados


The Foodies were on a trip to buy plants so on the way through Moorpark stopped in at Cafe Firenze, which is high end Italian. Foodie Philip had the Truffle Gnocchi with Sausage, while Foodie Greg had the Baked Eggplant in Marinara Sauce. Not only is this restaurant very reasonably priced for quality and experience, but you save from Ventura County’s lower sales tax.

With tax and tip lunch averaged $20.09 per serve.


After such a generously portioned lunch we wanted something lighter for dinner so we opted for Smoked Trout Dip on Tostados.

  • The smoked trout is $3.49 per can or $1.75 per serve
  • The avocado was $1.39 but we shared one, or 70c per serve
  • We used Garlic Spread/Dip instead of mayo for 20c per serve
  • The endive was 96c or 48c per serve
  • Add 30c for spring onion and seasoning.

These were good, without being outstanding, for $3.43 per serve.

Mar 14: Soy Chorizo Chili; Seared Lamb with Marinated Halloumi and a Mediterranean Salad


For lunch we each had a fun serve of the Soy Chorizo Chili for $1.70 with labné but no avocado.


On what is apparently leftovers day, we finished the Seared Lamb with Marinated Halloumi and served with the remaining Mediterranean Salad for $4.72 per serve.

Mar 13: Roast Duck with Chinese Broccoli; Mushroom Pot Roast with Chinese Broccoli


For Foodie Greg’s birthday we travelled to Van Nuys to Sam Woo for some Roast Duck, Chinese Broccoli and rice, which we carried home to eat. The duck was excellent and the Broccoli in Oyster Sauce a good balance for $13.35 per serve.


After such a filling lunch, we delayed dinner until later than our normal time, where we reheated the Chinese Broccoli in Oyster Sauce in a saucepan and steamed the remaining meat from Sunday night’s pot roast.

  • The Chinese Broccoli is already included in today’s food costs
  • The meat was $5.44 per serve.

The Oyster Sauce worked surprisingly well with the pot roast, making a good meal for $5.44 per serve.

Mar 12: Sushi/Soup; Seared Lamb with Marinated Halloumi and Herbs, Served with Mediterranean Salad


Foodie Philip had a business lunch in Burbank for $22.30 each, while Foodie Greg had a prepared soup for $1.99. They average at $12.15 per serve!


For dinner we went very Greek/Mediterranean with Seared Lamb with Marinated Halloumi and Herbs, served with Mediterranean Salad kit, so we had both halloumi and feta! We will get four serves out of this.

  • The ground lamb was $8.99 or $2.25 per serve
  • Halloumi was $4.32 an we used about half, or 54c per serve
  • Lemons were 89c or 23c per serve
  • The salad was $3.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Add 70c per serve for herbs, oil and seasoning.

This is a great way to treat ground lamb, as it almost reconstitutes it to a solid meat. The marinated halloumi was a subtle texture variation but didn’t carry a lot of flavor from the marinade. A darn good meal for $4.72 per serve.

Mar 11: The Country Deli; Soy Chorizo Chili


The Foodies decided to have lunch at The Country Deli for unimportant reasons. The Foodies orders there don’t vary much: Foodie Philip with the Marinated Skirt Steak with Home Fries and Eggs Over Easy; Foodie Greg with a Pastrami on Rye! Always good for an average of $22.67 per serve.


Meatless Monday was easily catered to with leftover Soy Chorizo Chili at $1.70 per serve, without an avocado.

Mar 10: In and Out Burger; Mushroom Pot Roast


Another shopping trip found us near an In and Out Burger where we got a Cheeseburger/Double Double Animal Style and bought it home. It was not as good just that little bit cooler than it is when you eat in.

The burgers average $3.87 with tax per serve.


The main reason we enjoy a shoulder, butt or other working muscle in our meat box is because they have so much flavor if prepared in a slow cooked meal. Tonight we found a recipe for Slow Cooked Mushroom Pot Roast. We will get four serves from this even though our roast is smaller and we skipped the potatoes.

  • The roast was $21.76 or $5.44 per serve
  • The mushrooms were $2.49 per pack and we used two, or $1.26 per serve
  • Carrots were $3.99 and we used half or 50c per serve
  • We used beef bone broth that cost $2.99 for the pack, but we used only ¼ or 19c per serve.
  • Add 10c per serve for onion and garlic
  • Add 50c per serve for seasonings.

This turned out really well. The beef was fall apart tender and meaty beefy flavor enhanced the broth. A great pot roast for $7.99 per serve.