Aug 18: Gyro Wrap; NY Strip Steak, Ratatouille with Pastured Eggs

Lunch

A return to the gyro meat wrap. We ran out of cucumber!

  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10oz pack. There are really four serves, so each serve is very slightly cheaper than the chicken, at $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 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.50.

Dinner

Thursday night is, by tradition, ‘steak night’. We interpret it very loosely but tonight NY Strip is definitely steak! Paired with the last of the ratatouille and one (or two) organic eggs, it is essential steak, eggs and cooked tomato!

As usual we prepared the steak ‘blue’ – essentially uncooked in the middle – because the aged beef is tender that way and, since it’s not concentrated feed lot beef, it’s safe that way.

  • The steak was from our Prather Ranch delivery: just under 12 oz for $19.45 or $9.76 per serve
  • The ratatouille was $2.05 per serve (details on Aug 12)
  • Each pastured egg is 50c or an average of 75c per serve tonight.

Dinner tonight cost $12.56 and reminds me that we do pay a premium for pastured eggs and grass raised beef, but it’s important to us that the animals that contribute to our feed – with their lives frequently – should have a good life. We also appreciate the improved flavor in the steak and eggs.

Aug 17: Gyro Wrap; Filet Americain

Lunch

A return to the gyro meat wrap with the addition of cucumber, as it was so good in a wrap.

  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10oz pack. There are really four serves, so each serve is very slightly cheaper than the chicken, at $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
  • A box of Persian cucumbers was $2.49 for five, and we used one, or 25c per serve
  • We served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.75.

Dinner

A return to a favorite: Filet Americain or Belgian style tartar.

This is the same recipe we prepared last Saturday, although we prepared less this time. We paired it with crip bread and a cucumber, edamame and avocado mix marinated in rice wine vinegar.

  • The Sirloin was sourced locally for $14.03 for 1.17 lb, or $4.67 per serve
  • The shallot added 98c or 17c per serve
  • Mayonnaise cost $3.49 for the jar, and 1/5 was used, or 12c per serve
  • Worcestershire sauce is $4.13 per jar but only two tablespoons (not four) were used which works out to 5c per serve.
  • Similarly mustard adds 7c per serve.
  • The crisp bread comes in a pack of 8 for $2.99 or $1.13 each
  • Our side salad cost an additional 45c to prepare.

Dinner tonight cost $6.66 per serve.

Aug 16: Business lunch; Succotash Salad

Lunch

We had a working lunch down in the Hollywood area and ended up at Eat This Cafe. We had two different panini’s: Foodie Philip had the Grilled Truffle Cheese and Foodie Greg had the Italian. Both were very good, but we agreed the Grilled Truffle Cheese was the winner! The (presumably) home made chips were also very good.

Lunch was $17.00 per serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

We’re always looking for summer salads that aren’t heavily built on leafy greens! Not that there’s anything wrong with leafy green salads, but they can get boring during the long hot summers we enjoy/endure.

Succotash salad was new to us but turned out well. It’s also an easy preparation if you drop the onion. Cooked edamame and frozen roast corn came from Trader Joes, as did the tomatoes and feta. Preparation is as complex as cutting the tomatoes, rinsing the corn (to defrost) and mixing everything together.

We dropped the cooked onion and substituted a small amount of shallot we had sliced and left over from another meal. We decided to add some mint in place of the cilantro, which worked very well.

  • The roast corn kernels are $2.49 for the pack, but we used only 1/3 or 42c per serve
  • Pre-cooked and shelled edamame is also $2.49 per pack, but we used half or 63c per serve
  • Organic cherry tomatoes are $2.99 per pack, but again only 1/3 was used, or 50c per serve
  • The greek feta is $6.49 for four blocks, and we used half of one block in this salad, or 41c per serve
  • The mint came from our garden.

Dinner tonight was a refreshing and filling salad for just $1.96 per serve

 

Aug 15: Vegetable Wrap; Pork Sausages with Ratatouille

Lunch

With some cucumber as the main ingredient, the wrap with hummus and tabouli was really good.

  • The flatbread is 50c
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • A box of Persian cucumbers was $2.49 for five, and we used one, or 25c per serve
  • We served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $1.75 per serve

Dinner

Some excellent ‘rustic’ pork sausages from our Prather Ranch delivery, paired exceptionally well with room temperature ratatouille. We smoked the sausages to heat them while adding another layer of flavor.

  • The pork sausages are $6.23 for four, or $3.12 per serve
  • The ratatouille was $2.05 per serve (details on Aug 12).

Dinner tonight was $5.17 per serve.

Aug 14: Smoked Salmon Bagel; Thai Salad Medley

Lunch

What better for an early Sunday lunch than a smoked salmon bagel?

  • Smoked salmon $5.99 for the 4oz pack or $3 a serve
  • The pack of six onion bagels is $1.99 or 33c per serve
  • Cream cheese is about 60c a serve
  • 1 lb of Persian cucumbers was $1.99, of which one went into this meal, or 12c per serve
  • Add 5c for capers.

Lunch today cost $4.10 per serve.

Dinner

After Foodie Philip’s singing showcase we joined with a friend and had three Thai salads for dinner. Following some egg rolls, the Squid, Pork and Roast Duck salads were all excellent and an interesting change from our usual Thai choices.

Dinner at Krua Thai cost $13.95 per serve.

Aug 13: Reuben Wrap; Mexican with Friends

Lunch

Today we decided to try the ingredients for a reuben sandwich – swiss cheese, sauerkraut and grain mustard -in a wrap.

  • The wholemeal wrap is 50c
  • The slice pastrami is $4.99 per pack, but we used less than 1/4 or 63c per serve
  • The sliced Swiss cheese is $3.99 per 12oz pack, or 50c per serve
  • The sauerkraut is $6.99 for the container. We used one eight or 44c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.07 per serve.

Dinner

In our first evening meal out for the month, we met with friends at The Mission Cantina in Hollywood. The food was good and the company great.

Dinner cost about $26.00 per serve with tax and tip.

Aug 12: Ikea Meatballs; Ratatouille with Egg

Lunch

We were in Burbank. We were buying something at Ikea. Having lunch there was inevitable!

Swedish Meatball lunch, with soup and drink, is $9.30 with tax.

Dinner

As an antidote to meatball overload, we opted for Ratatouille for dinner. It probably breaks a French law but we cooked in duck fat, not olive oil. I’m good with breaking that law!

We scaled the recipe down, and used many of the leftovers from our kebabs. The recipe makes about six serves.

  • Two bell peppers were $2.63 but we used only one, or 22c per serve
  • Baby bella mushrooms were $2.49 but we used the second half or 21c per serve
  • The eggplant was $3.06 and we used the remaining 3/4, or 25c per serve
  • .46 lb of roma tomatoes cost $1.76, or 30c per serve
  • Zucchini squash was 69c or 12c per serve
  • Organic eggs are 50c each. Foodie Philip had two, Greg one, or an average of 75c per serve
  • Add 45c for garlic, onion and herbs
  • An English muffin is 50c.

Tonight’s dinner was delicious, although a little salt was needed that wasn’t included in the recipe. At $2.80 it’s a great way to feed a crowd.

Aug 11: Japanese; Cross Rib Steak and Burgundy with Egg Noodles

Lunch

We were shooting another Lunch with Philip and Greg and our guest chose Sushi Roku in Pasadena. The atmosphere was appropriate, and the food – especially the eggplant in our bento boxes – was excellent.

Lunch was $19.60 per serve, with tax and tip.

Dinner

We had some cross-rib steaks in our freezer and decided to make a ‘beef and burgundy’ style casserole. It was partially successful, but lacked a lot of the depth of a real beef and burgundy.

  • The .69 lb cross rib steak was $5.98, or $2.99 per serve
  • A packet of frozen pearl onions is $1.69 for a 16oz pack, but we used the last quarter, or 21c per serve
  • We used the second half of the baby bella mushrooms from the kebabs: $2.49 or 63c per serve
  • One cup of red wine is around $1.33 or 67c a serve
  • Egg noodles are $1.99 for the pack, but we only used half, or 50c per serve.

Dinner tonight could have had a bit more flavor. It was okay, but lacking excitement, for $5.00 per serve.

Aug 10: Pastrami, Swiss and Sauerkraut on English Muffin; Meatloaf with Gorgonzola Gnocchi

Lunch

A new alternative to the supermarket chicken is sliced pastrami. Today with swiss cheese, sauerkraut and grain mustard on an English muffin.

  • The muffin is 50c
  • The slice pastrami is $4.99 per pack, but we used less than 1/4 or 63c per serve
  • The sliced Swiss cheese is $3.99 per 12oz pack, or 50c per serve
  • The sauerkraut is $6.99 for the container. We used one eight or 44c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.07 per serve.

Dinner

Dinner tonight was a repeat of the Meatloaf and Gorgonzola Gnocchi.

  • 2 lbs of dry aged ground beef were $18.08 or $4.52 per serve.
  • Onion and seasonings add 25c per serve
  • The gnocchi was $1.68 from Trader Joes, or 42c per serve
  • Chopped and trimmed asparagus was $3.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Peas were $1.39 or 35c per serve
  • Blue cheese comes in a $6.99 tub, but we used so little, it comes to 22c a serve.

Dinner tonight cost $6.34 a serve.

 

Aug 9: Quesadilla; Grilled Halloumi and Vegetable Kebabs with Lemon Rice

Lunch

With no advance planning, we decided on our take on a quesadilla for lunch.

  • One flatbread (half of two) costs 50c a serve
  • Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 26c
  • A very generous serve of salsa is 20c per serve
  • 2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve

Lunch today cost $1.46 per serve.

Dinner

We decided on a meat free meal, and chose a Chowhound recipe for Grilled Halloumi and Vegetable Kebabs, except we dropped the tomato sauce in favor of one made of hummus and lemon juice.

While the flavors were there, this was pretty much a disaster of a cooking method. We felt that the recipe had been created without being tested, as the unevenness of cooking on the vegetables, combined with halloumi’s inability to stay skewered left us with fried halloumi separate from the grilled vegetables. This fried halloumi was better than the two pieces that remained in the kebab that were only cooked on the edge.

The hummus and lemon sauce worked really well with the vegetables. Next time we try this recipe, we won’t do the skewers: instead we’ll cook the vegetables and cheese directly on the grill plate.

A side rant: supermarket receipts from Smart and Final and Ralph’s are terrible. Smart and Final put the measure ahead of the item identification making it seem like the wrong item; Ralph’s (Kroger) abbreviate the item names so much it’s often impossible to identify what item is being referred to. Thankfully Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have readable receipts.

  • Two bell peppers were $2.63 but we used only one, or 66c per serve
  • Baby bella mushrooms were $2.49 but we used only half or 63c per serve
  • The eggplant was $3.06 but we used only about 1/4 or 38c per serve
  • A lemon for the sauce was 79c or 40c per serve
  • Hummus for the sauce was 33c per serve
  • Halloumi $3.99 or $1 a serve
  • And the rice: 33c a serve.

Dinner tonight tasted great despite the cooking challenges, and cost $3.73 per serve.