Working on our house – constructing a pathway – totally distracted from food today and it was late before we grabbed some wraps from Ralphs nearby. Each wrap was $3.99 and it turns out half is enough. $2.00 a serve.
Clearly another ‘steakhouse’ night with steak, potatoes and creamed spinach/arugula. The sirloin tip came from our monthly meat package. In Australia that cut is known as ‘rump’ (which is different from rump here in the USA) and was my father’s favorite steak.
Grilled in the outdoor kitchen here at Avalon Burbank. We should make the most of it before we move out. You may notice that we like our beef generally on the rare/blué side.
Sirloin tip is not a tender as filet, but it has great flavor, particularly this steak from our supplier.
We did the crash hot potatoes on January 7, and they’re a regular side for us because they mix a creamy interior with a crisp exterior. Creamed spinach – or a spinach/arugula combination – is incredibly easy and very, very tasty.
Tonight’s steak was nearly 11 oz for $6.11 or $3.06 per serve. That serving size is just slightly below a standard restaurant protein serve of 6 oz. We prefer to go ‘meat light’.
All the $2.99 spinach and arugula mix was used, and half the $4.69 whipping cream. (We tend to go premium for dairy so we can be happier about the lives the cows live.) $2.67 a serve.
We’ll allow 55c for the potatoes and seasoning.
Tonight’s steakhouse meal cost $6.28. Now go to a steakhouse and have a 6 oz steak, and two sides and see what it costs.
Busy day, all over the place today, so we stopped in again at the Country Deli in Chatsworth (near our ‘new’ home) before heading up to that home to clean the yard and supervise a plumber.
With an Arnold Palmer, tax and tip my $14.50 marinated skirt steak was just over $20. But it was very good. 10 oz of really good skirt steak cooked perfectly, three good eggs and crisp home fries. And a bagel.
Because we weren’t sure what time we’d be back from the house, we planned on an easy ‘reheat’ dinner: the double potato halloumi bake from Jan 17, and the thighs and drumsticks from this week’s roast chicken.
The chicken was $1.73 a serve
Halloumi $3.99 or $1 a serve
A whole head of garlic was used: 12c or 3c a serve (I feel the labor involved in peeling was worth more!)
The whole red onion was roasted: 86c or 22c a serve
Orange bell pepper four ways is 50c a serve
Yam/Sweet potato was $1.03 or 26c a serve.
Tonight’s reheat dinner cost $3.74 and very little time.
Because we needed to shop, it was easy to pick up some fresh sushi from Ralph’s at the same time. $6.39 a serve today.
The Lemon Chicken Orzo soup is a great mid-week dish as it take little time to prepare because it uses pre-cooked chicken. The meyer lemon is again perfect for this dish because it lacks the extreme sourness of most lemon. The recipe made three very generous serves, even with less chicken than the recipe called for.
Not only is it easy to cook, but it is amazingly delicious for the tiny amount of work it takes.
We served with a par-baked Roast Garlic Bread.
Orzo is a small pasta shaped like rice, but a little bigger.
Carrots cost 25c or 8c per serve
Celery, thyme, oil and garlic adds 20c per serve
Chicken broth cost 40c per serve
The store-bought rotisserie chicken breast is $1.74 for a breast, divided into three serves makes 58c per serve.
The orzo is $1.42 for a 1 lb box, but only half was used for our three serves, or 24c per serve
Add in 15 c for the other seasonings, etc.
Served with Simple Truth Ready to bake garlic bread – $3.99 for the loaf (expensive for bread but delicious) or $1.33 per serve
There are nutritionally valuable foods but health is a state of being.
A recent Washington Post article No food is healthy. Not even Kale.has a slightly clickbait headline (as does this post). The point of the article is that no food is – in and of itself – healthy. Eat only one food and you will not remain healthy. We need a balance of nutrition from a variety of food.
What is important is the nutritional value of the food. Our philosophy is to eat a variety of real food, minimally processed.
Back to our routine weekday lunch: chicken wraps. This week an Edamame & Bean salad.
Roast chicken:$6.99 split four ways and into two serves today: 87c
One quarter of the $2.74 salad is 69c
The flatbread is 50c
Add some hummus at 30c
Lunch today: $2.36 per serve
A long term favorite of ours, back when we had a certain pattern to our weekly meals, us Southern sausage, beens and rice. Tuesday was generally a bean dish of some kind. It’s surprising how many cultures have some kind of bean and rice dish: not coincidentally that combined rice and beans have all the amino acids needed for the body to create protein and grow muscle.
The recipe makes four serves and it basically just involves cutting up stuff, opening a couple of cans, and cooking some rice!
The Andouille Sausage is the most expensive component at $1.10 per serve. Greg purchased carefully and got a double pack (8 sausages) for the price of a single pack elsewhere. Tonight’s dish only used half the purchase.
Bell pepper: 20c per serve
Onion: 20c per serve
Fire roasted diced tomato (canned): 37c per serve
We used kidney beans instead of pinto because they taste better: 40c a serve
For the herbs, 15c a serve
And the rice: 66c a serve
Dinner tonight cost $3.08 a serve. It’s a very tasty, warming stew with a little heat from the andouille.
We had, what we call a ‘grazing lunch’. Various things you can top a slice of baguette with: tomato, cheddar or liverwurst. Serve yourself as you want, what you want.
1/4 of the $2.69 baguette went to each serve or 68c
One tomato was divided in half for 40c a serve
We used about half the $4 block of cheese, or $1 a serve
We used about 1/3 of the $3.20 liverwurst, or 55c a serve
Lunch today cost $2.63 a serve. We rediscovered our love of liverwurst when in Munich last September.
The protein tonight is two small Lamb shoulder chops which were grilled outdoors. After last night’s large meat serve, tonight we have about 4.5 oz each. Almost ‘meat light!’ A fairly fast grill over high heat for lamb.
12 oz pork chop $9.50 each/per serve. Bone in so the meat is about 10 oz – a generous serve.
For the salad:
Celery 99c or 50c a serve
Apple $1.10 or 55c a serve
Walnut pieces $2.00 or $1.00 a serve
Mayo – let’s say 1/5 th of the container, 50c or 25c each
Labne – to mix with the mayo – again 1/5 of the container, 50c or 25c each
Dinner tonight cost $9.50 for a very generous serve of farm raised heritage pork and $2.55 for the salad each.
Without a doubt this was the best pork chop I’ve ever had. Way better cooked than at Gallagher’s New York New York in Las Vegas, where it would be $36 for the chop, plus sides. This is the benefit of cooking: the best quality food without breaking the bank.
About sous vide: The times we cook this way we use a very large cast iron pot filled with water. This provides enough thermal inertia to keep the temperature relatively stable. This time round, Greg tried the (to us new) induction cooktop. Temperature mode on the cooktop proved to be quite stable and excellent for the sous vide.
Another indulgent Friday: wild caught smoked salmon on an English muffin with a poached egg on top. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to fake a ‘hollandaise’ taste with the egg and it was delicious.
Smoked salmon – normally $6.99 but Greg bought it for $5.99 on special or $3.00 a serve
The English muffin is 50c a serve
Our organic eggs are 50c each, and we had two for $1 per serve.
Lunch cost $4.50 a serve for smoked salmon.
We went back to a recipe we haven’t had for about two years: Lemon soup with Lamb. Initially we tried this soup because of the unusual way it is thickened: with eggs.
Greg used meyer lemons – give to us by a friend – instead of regular lemons and they are perfect for this recipe. The slight sweetness and reduced tartness of the meyer lemon really works in the recipe. We also used spinach off the balcony garden which was sliced and placed in the bottom of the bowl. We also used orzo instead of larger pasta and dropped the cream. It’s not needed.
Lamb shoulder $8.57 or $4.29 a serve
Onion, carrot and celery about 30c a serve
Organic chicken stock $2.30 or $1.15 a serve
Lemons and spinach – zero
Orzo pasta is $2 a 16 oz box, and 1/4 was used or 25c a serve