Mar 5: Seminar sandwiches; Gastro Pub burger


Today we were at the FCPeXchange event where lunch was supplied. Subway-style sandwich platters, but for us, lunch was free.


The plan was to reheat the left-over Eggplant, sausage and ziti casserole from yesterday, but a group from the seminar went to Gordon Biersch so we had the Gastro Pub burger, again.

With tax and tip, that runs out at $16.02 per serve.

Mar 4: English muffin with smoked salmon; Eggplant, sausage & ziti casserole


For lunch we had an English muffin with avocado and wild caught smoked salmon.

  • The muffin is 50c
  • The smoke salmon was $5.99 from Whole Foods or $3.00 a serve
  • The avocado was 99c or 50c per serve.

Lunch today cost $4.004 a serve.


Eggplant, sausage and ziti casserole: from a hybrid of recipes. The basic inspiration is from an Emeril recipe from Food Network. When we’ve cooked this in the past we found the recipe to hav41$e too much oil, so we grill the eggplant.

Instead of Emeril’s meat sauce we used a metacook recipe. The béchamel sauce stayed untouched, although made with half-n-half.

  • The meat came from our meat box and was somewhat expensive at $8.83 lb for the beef, or $2.21 per serve.
  • Onion works out at 15c per serve
  • Carrot is 17c per serve
  • Celery is 11c per serve
  • Bacon cost $4.99 for the container, but this recipe used about 1/4 of that, or 31c per serve
  • A glass of wine is 20c per serve
  • A half pint of heavy cream (for the meat sauce) is $1.99 and it was all used in the meat sauce or 50c per serve
  • A pint of half & half is $1.49 and half is used in the béchamel, or 19c per serve
  • The eggplant cost $1.92 or 48c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost us $4.32 per serve. We have left-overs for Saturday night, as we expect to be home later than usual.


Mar 3: Chicken wraps; Business dinner out


Chicken and wraps. This time with

  • 1/4 of the roast chicken – breast, divided between us is $1.75 per serve
  • Five Lavash sell for $3.99 or 80c per serve
  • The container of hummus is $2.99 and we used about 1/3 or that between two, or 75c per serve
  • Kowal organic sprouts were $3.99 for the container, or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $3.97 per serve.


We had a business meeting over dinner tonight, so we were back at Gordon Biersch in Burbank where it took us longer to find a parking spot than it used to take us to walk there!

We both had the Gastro Pub burger:

Bacon jam, housemade bleu cheese sauce, mixed greens, tomato, gorgonzola cheese and caramelized onions atop our fresh steakburger

Listed at $12.25 dinner cost $16.02 with tax and tip.

Mar 2: Slut Spaghetti; Grilled chicken, lentils and sweet potato


For lunch we had the remains of the Slut’s Spaghetti from Monday night.

As it did then, lunch today cost $1.76 a serve.


A quick dinner because we were heading out to the Home Owners Association annual meeting. We used the leg and thigh from our Whole Foods organic chicken, left over lentils from Saturday night, and some baked sweet potato.

  • 1/4 of the chicken is $3.50
  • The lentils work out to 75c per serve
  • The sweet potato was 99c and we shared half at this meal or 25c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost us $4.25

Mar 1: Lavash wrap; Sausage, Potato and Kale soup


Back to our roast chicken pattern, except we experimented with our local Whole Foods: our $6.99 chicken is now a $13.99 chicken! It’s organic, but I’m not convinced organic is right for chicken because chickens can’t be free range (which they should be) and have their diet controlled to be organic.

  • 1/4 of the roast chicken – breast, divided between us is $1.75 per serve
  • Five Lavash sell for $3.99 or 80c per serve
  • We added left over lentils at about 70c per serve
  • Spinach from the garden rounded out the meal.

Lunch today was $3.25: much higher because of the chicken and lavash.


For dinner tonight we had the Sausage, Potato and Kale soup we cooked on Sunday.

As it did on Sunday, dinner tonight cost $3.70 per serve.

Greg used the induction cooktop to cook originally on Sunday, but also to reheat because the induction cooktop can be set to a temperature, and won’t exceed it. When set to 195ºF it won’t ever get higher, so the soup won’t boil when being reheated.

Feb 29: Take out; Slut’s Spaghetti (pasta alla puttanesca)


Monday’s finds The semiSerious Foodies in different locations: Philip in Burbank eating In-and-Out while Greg has leftover Indian at home.

Averaging the two meals (there was only Baingan Bharta and rice with peas (peas pull0) left) gives an approximate cost of $4.15 each.


Tonight’s Slut’s Spaghetti is Nigella Lawson’s translation and interpretation of the classic pasta all puttanesca, or whore’s pasta. The name is thought to have come from ‘working girls’ who did not have time to shop or cook, throwing together a pasta dish from pantry items. How scandalous!

The recipe makes a generous four serves.

  • Anchovies are $1.59 a can, or 40c per serve
  • Garlic and seasonings add about 10c per serve
  • The pasta was $1.29 or 33c per serve
  • Canned tomatoes were $2.19 or 55c per serve
  • A jar of pitted olives is $2.99 but only half is used in the recipe or 38c per serve

Dinner tonight cost $1.76 a serve.

Feb 28: Indian take out; Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup


In between trying to get some work done around the house, we had a side trip to Lowes, so on the way back we tried some local Indian takeout.

Generous serves of chicken tikka masala, Baingan Bharta, garlic naan and rice with peas (peas pull0).

With tax the total was $26.12, but we only finished the naan ($3.26) over two serves. The rest made up four serves for $5.71 a serve. Add half the naan to each serve, and lunch today cost $7.34 a serve.


Another favorite makes a return appearance: Pioneer Woman’s Sausage, Potato and Kale soup. According to Pioneer Woman:

This is a make-at-home version of Olive Garden’s “Zuppa Toscana.”

It’s a generous recipe making at least six serves. For the protein we used ground pork from our monthly Prather Ranch delivery. Greg also uses half chicken stock and half ‘half-n-half’ instead of the more dairy focused version in the recipe.

  • 1lb Prather Ranch ground pork was $8.55 or $1.43 a serve
  • Chicken broth $1.99 or 33c per serve
  • Kale cost $1.99 for the bunch or 33c per serve
  • Tomatoes were $2.19 as weighed or 37c per serve
  • Half and half was $1.45 or 24c per serve
  • Roast garlic bread (five serves) was $2.50 or 50c per serve
  • Potatoes $2.40 or 40c per serve
  • Add 10c per serve for herbs and seasonings.

Tonight’s dinner cost $3.70 per serve. It’s an excellent soup and well worth the effort.

Feb 27:Smoked ham and gruyere melt; Pork belly with lentils


Lunchtime found us in Santa Monica ahead of Philip giving a Lumberjack Presentation, so we ate Le Pain Quotidian where we both had:

PARIS HAM & AGED GRUYÈRE served with mustard trio

Tonight’s quick, but very tasty meal, cost $4.14 per serve.

Feb 26:Ikea Meatballs; Mixed


Because we were in Burbank returning the keys to our apartment and because we had to go to Ikea anyway, we had the meatball lunch including some pretty good soups: Turkey Gumbo and Split pea and kale.

The combo meal is $7.61 including tax per serve.


It’s Alpha Dogs’ Editor’s Lounge night tonight and at least one of us eats free! The other cooked some pasta with a basil pesto, for under $1.75.

Feb 25:Steak and Ale Pie;Cobb Salad


For lunch we reheated a Trader Joes Steak and Ale pie. It’s more of a British style meat pie, than an Australian one, but not bad anyway.

Today’s lunch cost $5.99 a serve.


Dinner tonight was complicated by one Foodie collecting someone from the airport while the other stayed at home a little under the weather.

Ultimately we shared a Cobb Salad for about $7 a serve with tax.