Jun 6: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Lamb Loin Chops with Farro Tabbouleh


As Foodie Philip was traveling near a Popeye’s at an appropriate moment of the day we had Dark Meat Spicy with Red Beans and Rice.

  • 11 Piece Special is $16.41 with tax – $1.49 per chicken piece – or $2.98 per serve
  • Red Beans and Rice is $4.36 with tax or $2.18 per serve.

We like fried chicken for $5.16 per serve.


Uncertain whether our meat box would arrive on time, we had Lamb Loin Chops as backup, and backup is what we needed! Served with a Farro Tabbouleh it’s a good combination.

  • Lamb Loin Chops were $14.25 or $7.13 per serve
  • Persian Cucumbers were $2.29 for five, and we shared one in the tabbouleh, or 23c per serve
  • The farro was $1.79 for the pack, but we shared ⅓ or 10c per serve
  • Tomatoes were $3.49 for five but we shared one, or 35c per serve
  • Mint came from our garden.

The Lamb Loin Chops got great grill flavor and paired perfectly with the Farro Tabbouleh for $7.81 per serve.

Jun 5: Avocado & Sardine Sandwiches; Bacon and Black Bean Chili with Avocado and Labné


The avocado we purchased for tonight’s chili, was huge so we decided half would go to lunch. We paired with some Boneless, Skinless Sardines in water (the blandest kind of sardine possible) and some garlic spread.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per sandwich
  • The avocado was $1.25 and we shared half, or 32c per serve
  • Skinless, boneless sardines in water are $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Add 30c for garlic spread.

An enjoyable sandwich for $2.28 per serve.


We’re moving out of Chili season, but tonight we defrosted the last of our Bacon and Black Bean Chili recipe.

  • The chili is $2.94 per serve
  • The avocado was $1.25 and we shared half, or 32c per serve
  • Add 20c for Labné.

Enjoyable as ever for $3.46 per serve.

Jun 4: Pork Sirloin Panini Rolls; Marinated Cauliflower Antipasto Salad


For lunch we finished the final 1/5 of the pork sirloin by stuffing it in a Panini Roll spread with Carolina BBQ sauce and topped with pickled onion.

  • The panini roll is 63c
  • The pork sirloin is $1.00 per serve
  • Add 25c for BBQ sauce and pickled onion.

The pork flavor came through and was nicely balanced by the crispness of the pickled onion, all of which was complemented by the BBQ sauce. Nothing dominated this sandwich. Just $1.88 per serve.


We’ve had various Antipasto style salads – heavy on the meats – in the past, but this variation with Marinated Cauliflower seemed interesting.

  • Cauliflower florets were $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • Kalamata Olive were $2.99, but we shared ¼, or 38c per serve
  • Fire Roasted Yellow and Red Peppers were $1.99 and we shared ¼ or 25c per serve
  • Sliced Salami was $4.49 for the tray, and half went into this meal, or $1.25 per serve
  • Add 75c per serve for marinade ingredients and capers.

We found this surprisingly tasty and enjoyable. The steamed cauliflower had the perfect amount of texture and had taken the marinade well. The salty balance of the olives and salami were balanced by the lemon juice in the marinade. An enjoyable meal for $3.83 per serve.

Jun 3: Gyro Slices & Cucumber Sandwiches; Breakfast Taco with Crispy Potato, Soy Chorizo and Fried Egg


We cooked off some sliced gyro meat and placed that on top of cucumber over tabouli.

  • Tabouli was $2.69 and we used about ½ or 67c per serve
  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10 oz pack. There are really four serves, so $1.00 per serve
  • The Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per serve
  • Add 20c for garlic dressing.

A great balance between the meat, spices and crunchy fresh bit from the cucumber. A pretty good sandwich for $3.53 per serve.


One of the more successful meat substitutes we’ve auditioned has been the Soy Chorizo, so tonight we used it in a Breakfast Taco with some left over Potato and Pepper mix we had frozen. Served on a Corn and Wheat Tortilla and topped with a fried egg and salsa, it sure looked good.

  • Tortillas were $3.99 for the pack and we used four of 12, or 67c per serve
  • The soy chorizo is $2.29 at Trader Joe’s and we used it all for $1.15 per serve
  • Pastured eggs are 51c each or $1.02 per serve
  • The roast potato mix was $2.99 or 75c per serve
  • Add 40c for salsa
  • Add 20c for seasoning.

The meal was very spicy, which we mostly enjoyed. The tortilla’s we didn’t really enjoy that much, and we’ll be sticking to all wheat from now. The yolk drizzled down into the chorizo vegetable mix and created a great combination in a decent meal for $4.19 per serve.

Jun 2: Skewers Naan Bread Sandwich; Pork Sirloin with Baked Apple and Stir-fried Green Beans


Because it was Sunday we treated ourselves to Naan Break Sandwiches from Skewers Halal. These start with a great Naan bread split, then stuffed with Beef Koobideh/Falafel and simple salad slathered in an excellent garlic yogurt sauce.

With tax and tip is works out at around $10.00 per very generous serve.


We had a pork sirloin in our meat box this month so we sous vidé it and then fried it off in the wok to give it color. The same wok was used to stir-fry some green beans with fish and soy sauces. These were plated with a baked Granny Smith apple.

  • The pork sirloin was about $10.00 and we served about 4/5 putting aside the rest for a sandwich or roll later, or $4.00 per serve
  • Organic Granny Smith apples were $1.51 or 76c per serve
  • Organic green beans were $1.29, or 65c per serve
  • Add 20c for fish and soy sauces per serve.

The pork was perfectly medium, although we felt it could have been served a little less cooked, and paired exceptionally well with the apple and beans for $5.61 per serve.

Jun 1: Cheddar & Kumato in a Panini Roll; Split Pea Soup


Today we stuffed a hot Panini Roll with Cheddar and Kumato.

  • The panini roll is 63c
  • Five Kumato were $3.49 and we shared one, or 35c per serve
  • The Old Crock cheddar was $5.45 or $1.02 per serve
  • Add 20c for garlic spread.

An enjoyable roll for $2.20 per serve.


Tonight we almost finished the Split Pea Soup (or is it Pea and Ham since it’s built on Ham Stock?). The soup is 43c per serve. We toasted a slice of the Dave’s Killer Bread and spit it for an additional 17c per serve.

May 2019 Summary and Observations

May was such a “normal” month that we only ate outside the home one evening, and then someone else paid for our meal.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.30 ($2.36 in March)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.16 ($9.16)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.23 ($5.23)
  • Dinner eaten out: NA ($7.75).

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month is only a few cents per serve down from last month. Lunches prepared outside the home are up quit a bit from our typical range thanks to a trip to The Country Deli and Cafe Firenzé.

We ate only eight meals prepared outside the home (either mostly take out for lunch). Our most expensive meal for the month was lunch at the Country Deli for $22.65 each.

Our most expensive at home meal was the Bone-in Pork Chop at $14.15 each.

This month, lunches at home cost 17% of the cost of eating food prepared outside the home.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $421.60 per person in May. We actually spent $57.44 for lunches at home plus $81.59 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $139.03 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $239.63 per person based on last month’s low average. We actually spent $195.71 for dinners at home.

This month’s savings from preparing most of our food at home is $246.09 and we had a lot more control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 21 different recipes for evening meals.

May 31: Trail Mix/Crispbread with Egg Salad; Hot Smoked Salmon with “Everything But the Bagel” Salad


Foodie Philip was off helping a friend move apartment and kind of forgot to eat until a pack of Trader Joe’s “Just a Handful” Trail Mix.

  • The Trail mix was 65c per serve
  • Egg salad is 90c per serve
  • The Whole Grain Crispbread is 25c each.

Today’s lunch was very ad hoc and averaged 90c per serve.


For “Fishy Friday” we hot smoked some Wild Caught Salmon and served with a “Everything But the Bagel” salad (tomato, cucumber, shallot, capers in a creamy dressing).

  • The salmon fillets were $9.83 or $4.92 per serve
  • The shallot is 25c per serve
  • Cucumbers were 15c or 8c per serve
  • Tomatoes were $2.79 but we used half, or 20c per serve
  • Add 20c for labné
  • Add 10c for “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning.

The Salmon cooked faster than expected but we caught before it was over-done, so it was near perfect. The Salad is a nice balance and the flavor profile of the meal is of a Smoked Salmon Bagel without the bread. A great meal for $5.75 per serve.

May 30: Yeros Meat & Cucumber Sandwiches; Grilled Bone-in Pork Chop with Radicchio, Apple, Gouda Salad


Back to simple sandwiches of Turkey Breast and Swiss.

  • The Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per serve
  • Persian Cucumber was $2.29 for five, and we shared one for lunch, or 23c per serve
  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10oz pack. There are four serves or $1.00 per serve.
  • Add 20c for garlic spread.

A pretty decent sandwich for $2.09 per serve.


One of our favorite meats to get in our Keller Crafted meat box is Thick Cut, Bone-in Pork Chops. Tonight we brined them, grilled to medium and served with a Radicchio, Apple, Gouda and Balsamic Salad.

  • The pork chops were $10.18 per serve
  • Add 40c per serve for brining ingredients
  • The apple was 48c or 24c per serve
  • The radicchio was $1.80 or 90c per serve
  • The 1000 day Gouda was $4.92 and we used half, or $1.23 per serve
  • Add 20c for Balsamic Reduction.

The pork chops were perfect. In the photo they look “burnt,” but that is only the sugar from the brine caramelizing on the surface. The salad was a perfect balance for the richness of the pork. An excellent meal for $14.15 per serve.

May 29: Soutzoukakia in a Hot Panini Roll; Spanish Style Meatloaf with Black Rice and Beans


We shared the final serve of Soutzoukakia in a hot panini roll, and it was excellent.

  • The roll is 63c
  • The Soutzoukakia is $6.27 for a full serve, but we shared for $3.14 per serve.

Lunch was really good for $3.77 per serve.


For dinner we cut and fried the remaining Spanish Style Meatloaf and served with Black Rice and Black Beans.

  • The Spanish Stye Meatloaf is $5.90 per serve
  • Black rice is 44c per serve
  • A can of Black Beans is 99c or 50c per serve.

A very good meal for $6.84 per serve.