May 8: Egg Salad Panini Roll; Chipotle Bacon and Black Bean Soup

Lunch

Because we were having guests mid afternoon, and there would be cheese served, we opted for a repeat of the Egg Salad Panini Roll with Watercress.

  • The panini roll is 63c per serve
  • The egg salad is $3.69 for 10 oz and we used 2 oz per serve, or 92c per serve
  • The watercress cost $1.99 and we shared about 1/8 or 12c per serve.

We enjoyed this roll a lot for $1.67 per serve.

Dinner

A return to an old favorite: Chipotle Bacon and Black Bean Soup. This makes four serves.

  • Bacon ends cost $4.99 for the container, but this recipe used about 1/4 of that, or 32c per serve
  • Onion and garlic – about 5c a serve
  • Spices – about 12c a serve
  • The beans were 99c a can, or 50c a serve
  • The adobo chipotle adds 50c per serve
  • The avocado cost $4.29 for five and we shared one or 43c per serve
  • Sour cream cost $2.99 but we used 1/8 on tonight’s meal, or 19c per serve.

All up dinner cost us $2.11 for a very filling serve.

May 7: Tuna & Swiss, Turkey Breast, Kumato & Swiss; Black Pepper Beef with Soba Noodles

Lunch

Back to toasted sandwiches today, starting with Turkey, Kumato and Swiss, along with Spicy Tuna, Capers and Swiss.

  • Sprouted rye bread is 32c per serve
  • The tuna pouch was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve
  • Add 30c for butter, and garlic spread
  • The turkey is $3.49 and we shared ⅓ or 58c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we shared one or 35c per serve.

Decent sandwiches for $2.89 per serve.

Dinner

Although we’ve made this Black Pepper Beef stir fry before, this is the first time we’ve done it with ground beef. We crossed cultures by serving with Japanese style Soba noodles!

  • 1 lb of Keller Crafted ground beef is $8.25 or $4.13 per serve
  • Soba noodles add 40c per serve
  • Bell Peppers were 79c or 40c per serve
  • Chipotle powder adds 10c per serve
  • Onion and garlic add 25c per serve
  • Add 50c for the other ingredients.

We didn’t really think this idea through! Marinating ground beef isn’t entirely successful. Because of the higher fat content in ground beef, the meat never really fried. While the taste was still good, it wasn’t a complete success for $5.78 per serve.

May 6: Pulled Pork Panini Roll; Red Chili Chick’n with Brown Rice

Lunch

We reheated the rest of the pulled pork and stuffed it in a hot panini roll spread with a little Carolina Style BBQ sauce and topped with pickled onion.

  • Pulled pork is 4.62 per serve or $2.31 each
  • The panini roll is 63c
  • Pickled onion is 35c
  • Add 20c for Carolina BBQ Sauce.

We really enjoyed this sandwich for $3.64 per serve.

Dinner

We returned to a chicken chili recipe we used to cook regularly, with Chick’n instead of chicken. Chick’n is a vegan substitute that we’ve been experimenting with on our Meatless Mondays.

  • The chickenless “tenders” were $2.99 per serve
  • Chicken broth is $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Canned black beans are $1.00 or 50c per serve
  • Brown rice add 33c per serve
  • Add 50c per serve for ancho chili powder, onion, garlic and green onion.

We are giving up on trying to substitute fake meats! The texture is completely wrong, to the extent that it ruins the experience of the meal. Our future Meatless Mondays will not be faking meat!

Overall, a very average meal for $5.32 per serve.

May 5: Brisket Roll; Jambalaya/Frittata

Lunch

One serve of brisket left and what better to do than pack it into a hot panini roll with Tabouli and Béarnaise sauce?

  • The brisket was $4.58 per serve and we shared a serve, or $2.29 per serve
  • The roll is 63c
  • The Béarnaise sauce was $3.29 and we used less than ¼, or 42c per serve
  • The Tabouli was $2.69 and we used about ½ or 67c per serve.

The cold brisket was more like cold roast beef than our previous experience of brisket. Overall the roll was really tasty for $3.38 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight we cleared out the refrigerator. Foodie Philip finished the Jambalaya while Foodie Greg finished the Frittata.

  • The Frittata is $3.93 per serve
  • The Jambalaya without Shrimp is $3.23 per serve.

Tonight’s meal was an average of $3.58 per serve.

May 4: Pulled Pork Rolls; Souse Vidé Brisket with Eloté

Lunch

We reheated some of the pulled pork and stuffed it in a hot panini roll spread with a little Carolina Style BBQ sauce and topped with pickled onion.

  • Pulled pork is 4.62 per serve or $2.31 each
  • The panini roll is 63c
  • Pickled onion is 35c
  • Add 20c for Carolina BBQ Sauce.

We really enjoyed this sandwich for $3.64 per serve.

Dinner

We had a brisket in our Keller Crafted meat box and, not being Jewish, weren’t sure how to cook it. Foodie Greg found a Souse Vidé recipe that required a 24 hour cook, to be finished on the grill at the end.

A 24 hour souse vidé is a slow cook, but we were concerned as other recipes suggested 36 or more hours to cook. We need not have worried.

Since we needed the grill anyway, we cooked corn for Eloté.

  • The brisket was $18.29 or $4.58 per serve
  • The corn was $3.00 for six cobs, or $1.00 per serve (although we have a cob spare)
  • The Cotija was $3.99 and we used about ¼ or 33c per serve
  • Add 50c for labné and garlic dip used to stick the Cotija to the corn.

The brisket was amazing. Extremely tender, more like roast beef. The fat had perfectly rendered and the meat had a true beef flavor. The Eloté was excellent, as always. This was a truly memorable meal for $6.41 per serve.

May 3: The Country Deli; Smoked Trout and Watercress Frittata

Lunch

Having collected our friend at the train we continued on to The Country Deli, where the Foodies had their favorites: Marinated Skit Steak and Pastrami on Rye.

The Country Deli averages $22.65 per serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

Being “Fishy Friday” we had a (canned) Smoked Trout and Watercress frittata. The frittata made four serves, but we only served three.

  • The smoked trout is $3.49 per can and we used three, or $2.61 per serve
  • Six Pastured Eggs are $3.06 or 77c per serve
  • Add 25c for Watercress per serve
  • Add 30c for seasoning and cream.

This was a really good frittata for $3.93 per serve.

May 2: Avocado & Sardine Sandwich; Brined and Grilled Thick Cut Bone In Pork Chop with Apple-Bacon Slaw

Lunch

Since we still had a ripe avocado we made two identical avocado and sardine toasted sandwiches.

  • The Avocado was 79c each or 40c per serve
  • Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Smokey sardines in oil is $1.69 per can or 85c per serve
  • Add 30c for butter.

A decent sandwich for $1.87 per serve.

Dinner

Last month’s Keller Crafted meat box featured two thick cut, bone-in pork chops, so we brined them ahead of grilling.

We served the chops with an Apple-Bacon slaw, made with the remaining Chinese Cabbage.

  • The pork chops were $9.71 each
  • Four slices of bacon are $2.74 or 68c per serve
  • A Nappa Cabbage was $2.39 but we split it across many meals, or 30c per serve
  • The Gala apple was 35c or 18c per serve
  • Add 20c for apple cider vinegar and seasoning.

The pork chop was grilled perfectly and the Apple-Bacon slaw provided a good acid hit to balance the rendered pork fat in the chop. An excellent meal for $11.07 per serve.

May 1: Egg Salad Wrap; Bacon and Black Bean Chili with Avocado and Labné

Lunch

For lunch we took a wholemeal wrap and stuffed it with Egg Salad and spicy clover and radish nano-shoots.

  • The wraps were $3.99 for six, or 67c per serve
  • The egg salad is $3.69 for 10 oz and we used 2 oz per serve, or 92c per serve
  • The nano-shoots add 25c per serve.

The wrap worked well and tasted fine for $1.84 per serve.

Dinner

For dinner we defrosted some Bacon and Black Bean Chili, heated it and served with Labné and Avocado for $3.49 per serve.

April 2019 Summary and Observations

April is NAB month, so we spent the best part of a week in Las Vegas for that trade show.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.36 ($2.31 in March)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.16 ($9.18)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.23 ($5.42)
  • Dinner eaten out: $7.73 ($14.55).

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month is only a few cents per serve up from last month. Lunches prepared outside the home are back to our typical range.

We ate a lot more meals out of the home because of the NAB trip, but overall evening “out of home” meals were less, mostly because we had packaged Indian one night, and an In and Out Burger another.

Our most expensive at home meal was the Flat Iron steak at $14.44.

This month, lunches at home cost 26% of the cost of eating food prepared outside the home, while dinners at home also cost 68% the average of dinner out this month.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $274.80 per person in January. We actually spent $37.74 for lunches at home plus $119.06 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $156.80 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $231.90 per person. We actually spent $109.90 for dinners at home and $30.93 for dinners out: $140.83  in total.

This month’s savings from preparing most of our food at home is $209.07 and we had a lot more control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 20 different recipes for evening meals.

Apr 30: Turkey, Tomato & Swiss, Spicy Tuna, Pickled Onion & Swiss; Jambalaya

Lunch

Back to toasted sandwiches today, starting with Turkey, Kumato and Swiss, along with Spicy Tuna, Pickled Onion and Swiss.

  • Sprouted rye bread is 32c per serve
  • The tuna pouch was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve
  • Add 30c for butter, and garlic spread
  • The turkey is $3.49 and we shared ⅓ or 58c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we shared one or 35c per serve.

Decent sandwiches for $2.89 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight we returned to a long time favorite: Jambalaya.

  • 1 lb of shrimp is $6.99,  or $1.75 per serve
  • We can now get real pork andouille sausage from our local Ralph’s supermarket for $6.99 or $1.75 per serve
  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes cost $1.69 or 43c per serve
  • Bell pepper was $1.00 or 25c per serve
  • Scallions, onion, garlic  and herbs adds 35c per serve
  • Tomato paste adds 12c per serve
  • Rice adds 33c per serve.

Even though we dropped the chicken, this is a generous portion with good spice from the andouille, for $4.98 per serve.