For lunch we resisted a favorite: our take on a quesadilla now that we have access to the flatbread again. Today we tried Trader Joe’s Refried Black Beans with Jalappeno Peppers and it was very good. It made up for the lack of Fontera salsa
One flatbread (half of two) costs 50c a serve
Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 26c
Fontera salsa is expensive (and tasty) at $4.69 a jar, but sadly it was almost empty so 5c per serve
2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve
Lunch today cost $1.30 per serve and came together in about 10 minutes. Frying in bacon fat is recommended.
The Lemon Chicken Orzo soup is close to being our most-cooked dinner. It’s a great 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 four serves.
For the observant, this is basically just a grown up version of chicken noodle soup!
We served with a par-baked Roast Garlic Bread. And, since it was National Gin and Tonic Day, a G&T with meyer lemon was the perfect pairing. Even when it’s not national G&T day!
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 $2.25 each leg and thigh, or $1.13 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
Split four ways, the $9.99 chicken is $2.50 per serve, or $1.25 today.
One quarter of the $2.74 salad is 69c
The flatbread is 50c
Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
Lunch today: $2.77 per serve
Tonight we decided on a beef massaman curry based on the eggplant version of a few days ago. Like the eggplant version, this makes four serves.
Again our beef comes from out Prather Ranch monthly meat delivery. While this means we certainly pay more than minimum for our meat, we know we are supporting small farmers, and that the animals have a decent life instead of the concentrated farming operations that allow for the extremely cheap meat in the US.
One pound of ‘Beef for Stew’ cost us $9.79 or $2.45 per serve
Red potatoes – 38c or 9c per serve
A can if coconut milk is $1.59 or 40c per serve
The organic broccoli was $3.49 or 87c per serve
The pack of peanuts was $3.29 but we only used 1/4 of the pack, or 41c per serve
An article from the BBC – Why the Calorie is broken – summed up a lot of my own thinking. Since foodie Philip started down the path to rebuilding health and fitness his average food intake has been about 300 calories short of energy expended.
If “a calorie was a calorie” then by now I should have lost 153 lbs (69 KG), which is patently ridiculous as I currently weigh 165 lbs! Over that time I’ve gone from 176 – fat and unfit with body fat percentage about 30% – down to 146 lbs and slowly built back to 165 by adding muscle (from exercise) and continuing to lose fat.
I am convinced that exercise is key, but also eating ‘real’ food – minimally processed – is also key.
Whether you agree or not, the article is worth a read.
Being Burbank Monday, foodie Philip had an In and Out Burger Double Double.
Double Double $4.03 including tax.
Roast Cauliflower with Creamy Brie Mushroom Sauce seems like it should be a winner, but it was strangely disappointing. Pairing the sauce with the roast cauliflower was probably a bad choice: it would pair better with a fairly plain pasta.
We amped up the amount and type of mushroom, and dropped the cream because it was forgotten. There are four serves of the sauce, but only two of the cauliflower.
The cauliflower was $1.61 or 80c per serve
The brie was $5.84 but only half was used, or 73c per serve
Sliced crimini mushrooms $2.29 or 58c per serve
Shitake mushrooms (don’t use the stems) $2.99 or 75c per serve
Add 20c for onion, garlic and herbs
We only used a small amount of parmesan; about 15c per serve
Dinner tonight cost $3.21 per serve, but wasn’t our best dish to date. The cauliflower, which is delicious baked, conflicted with the cheesy mushroom sauce rather than complement it.
Greg put together a quick red beans dish to go with the left over Popeye’s chicken. The quick beans are much more vegetable focused and, because they’re a quick dish, there isn’t time for the beans to break down, so it’s not as thick.
The chicken is $4.00 per serve
The quick beans are around 98c per serve.
We took a pork shoulder chop from our Prather Ranch shipment and braised it in a cider vinegar based sauce, which reduces for a serving sauce (and loses the hard vinegar edge) during the 45 minute braise. After the braise the meat was very tender.
Long cooked broccoli takes the basic vegetable to a whole other level. We generally do a light cook on broccoli – either steam or microwave – so to think of a long slow cook is odd. Add some thinly sliced onion, and a sprinkling of feta cheese and an hour in the oven, and broccoli is transformed into something different.
The pork shoulder chop was 1.2 lbs for $11.06, which makes two very generous 9oz serves for $5.03 per serve
We used a cup – 8oz – of a 32 oz unfiltered cider vinegar which costs $4.47, or 56c per serve, although not all the sauce was served.
We used about the same amount of feta as last night, or 22c per serve
The broccoli was 63c or 32c per serve
Add 20c for the onion, garlic and seasoning per serve.
Dinner tonight cost $6.33 per serve. There were no leftovers.
It’s been a while but it was time to try out our nearest Popeye’s chicken. Unfortunately the order was wrong and we got a mix of dark and white meat, not all dark as ordered! With that in mind and an inconvenient location, we probably won’t go back.
Red Beans and Rice is $3.99 or $2 a serve
The chicken is $4.00 per serve due to a combination of the wrong order, and higher prices at this location.
Lunch today was $6.00 per serve. We’ve heard of a more local “southern” food place, so we’ll most likely check that out as an alternative.
And interesting mix of a Greek-focused potato salad with feta and olives, and a quintessential Australian dish: rissoles. For the uninitiated these are small, individual portioned meatloaves.
Rissoles are a simple recipe and very Australian. The recipe makes eight rissoles, or in our house, two serves! Rissoles are fried, not baked and the dusting of flour helps form a crust, which we all know is the best part of a meatloaf!
The ground beef came direct from the farm in our Prather Ranch meat delivery. The potatoes came direct from farm via our friend’s CSA box. We sometime inherit vegetables when she has to leave town on various business trips.
Dry aged 85/15 ground beef $8.57 or $4.29 per serve
8 oz Panko breadcrumbs are $2.99 and we used half, or 75c per serve
A pastured egg is 50c or 25c per serve
The onion is 6c per serve.
The potatoes came free, but would normally add 30c per serve
Feta comes in a $6.99 tub, but we used so little, it comes to 22c a serve
Pitted olives come in $2.99 jars and one quarter was used, or 38c per serve.
The perfect sauce is my brother’s home-made tomato relish, another Australian tradition.
Although the photo shows a serving of three, foodie Philip managed to finish the others before the end of the night! Dinner tonight was $6.25 and very nostalgic.