May 18: Chicken Wrap; Roast chicken, red beans & rice and salad

Lunch

Chicken wraps again.

  • Supermarket roast chicken is $7.99 and we get four portions from it, with one breast split into two wraps, or $1.00 per serve.
  • The salad kit is $3.49 and we used about 1/3 split over two serves, or 75c per serve.
  • The flatbread is 25c per serve
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/12 or 17c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.17 per serve.

Dinner

A leftovers night anchored by the roast chicken legs and thighs from the supermarket chicken, with the left-over red beans and rice, and the remainder of the salad kit we’ve been using for lunch wraps.

We reheated the red beans and rice in the cast iron pot it was cooked in,on the induction cooktop set to 195ºF, so it never actually boils. The chicken was placed on top to gently steam hot, which was very successful with no drying.

Note: In our ‘new’ home we don’t have a microwave oven. We thought we’d really miss it, but after three months, we find we can comfortably avoid one.

  • 1/4 of the roast chicken is $2.00 per serve
  • Leftover red beans and rice is $2.61 per serve.
  • The salad kit is 75c per serve.

Dinner tonight was quick because it was mostly leftovers or prepared food, and cost $5.36 per serve.

May 17: Chicken wrap; Lamb Sausages, roast fennel, semi-dried tomatoes and dolmas

Lunch

Chicken wrap time again! Back to the smaller chicken and with a change to the ready-to-mix salad rather than a premixed small one. The salad kit provides more salad for the dollar, and covers more meals.

  • Supermarket roast chicken is $7.99 and we get four portions from it, with one breast split into two wraps, or $1.00 per serve.
  • The salad kit is $3.49 and we used about 1/6th split over two serves, or 32c per serve.
  • The flatbread is 25c per serve
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/12 or 17c per serve.

Lunch today cost $1.74 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight we had lamb sausages, home-made semi-dried tomatoes, packaged dolma’s and roasted fennel with feta. The feta substitutes for the parmesan in the original recipe.

  • The lamb sausages which were perfect and not over seasoned so the lamb flavor came through, and cooking on a flattop grilled them to perfection:  $17.26 for six, or $5.75 per serve
  • Roast fennel was an experiment because one of the semiSerious Foodies is sensitive to aniseed flavors, but the roasting softens those flavors and ups the sweetness. $2.96 for three bulbs or 99c per serve
  • Plum tomatoes were $2.26 or 38c per serve
  • The tin of dolma’s is $2.49 or 83c per serve.

Dinner tonight was really delicious and cost $7.95 per serve. The lamb sausages were perfect, the roast fennel equally so, and while the tomatoes were a little more than ‘semi-dry’ they still tasted good.

May 16: Chicken with red rice and beans; Asian Peanut Noodles

Lunch

It was supposed to be a Burbank Monday with the normal In and Out Burger but a last minute change saw Foodie Philip back home for lunch, scratching for leftovers.

  • The 10 piece pack is on special for $13.99 ($15.20 with sales tax because it’s hot takeout), or $1.52 per serve of one piece
  • Leftover red beans and rice from last night is $2.61 per serve.

Lunch today cost $4.13.

Dinner

We last tried Asian Peanut Noodles late in February where it showed enough promise to give it another go. We dropped the cilantro, carrot and sugar, substituting sweat chili sauce for some sweetness with added flavor. Greg chose ponzu over soy because of it’s citrus overtones.

  • The soba buckwheat noodles were $3.49 and we used the whole packet or $1.60 a serve
  • The peanut butter was $3.99 and we used about 1/4 in the recipe or 50c a serve
  • Our ginger came free from a friend clearing her pantry before leaving town for an extended period.
  • The bell pepper was $1.49 or 50c a serve
  • The cucumber was 46c or 15c per serve
  • Scallions (spring onions) were $1.29 or 43c a serve
  • Add 25c a serve for the seasonings

Dinner tonight cost $3.43 a serve. It might not be the pretties dish we’ve served, but it’s very tasty.

 

May 15: Frittata; Fried Chicken, red beans and rice

Lunch

Time to clear out some remaining vegetables from the refrigerator, and what better way than to make a frittata?

  • Trimmed leaks are $2.99 per pack, but we only used one, so 75c per serve
  • Two packs of fresh, sliced mushrooms cost $3.99 a pack, or $2 a serve
  • Five eggs were left, so all five went into the frittata – $1.25 per serve

Lunch today cost $4.00. It’s todays lead picture.

Dinner

A revisit to the remaining Popeye’s chicken, with home made red beans and rice.

  • The 10 piece pack is on special for $13.99 ($15.20 with sales tax because it’s hot takeout), or $1.52 per piece. We served two pieces per serve for $3.04.
  • Each can of organic beans was 99c and we used three, or 50c per serve
  • In place of the andouille sausage used a smoked chicken sausage, which was way too high in salt: $2.49 for the sausage, or $1.25 per serve
  • Chicken broth $2.29 or 38c a serve
  • Onion, oil and garlic and seasonings about 15c per serve
  • And the rice: 33c a serve

Dinner tonight was $5.65 per serve.

May 14: Pseudo Reuben; Cobb Salad

Lunch

For lunch we resisted our pseudo-Reuben: a toasted onion bagel with corned beef, beet and cabbage slaw and gouda cheese.

  • The pack of six onion bagels is $1.99 or 33c per serve
  • The Wildbrine Red Beet and Red Cabbage salad is $6.99 for the container but we used only a couple of tablespoons on each sandwich, or 88c per serve.
  • Sliced gouda cheese is $2.99 per pack of 12 slices and we used one per sandwich, or 25c per serve
  • The sliced, nitrate free corned beef is $4.99 a pack and we used about half or $1.25 per serve
  • We added a little mustard, say 5c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.76 per serve.

Dinner

Not only is it the most American of salads, but a Cobb Salad is a favorite of ours, particularly when you have leftover chicken!

  • Blue cheese crumbles are $3.49 for the pack and we used about 1/3 or 58c per serve.
  • You can tell by the deep gold yolk that these are pastured eggs: 50c each -one per serve – but worth it for the taste.
  • Avocados are so unpredictable: last week we had amazingly good avocados but tonights – from the same source – was definitely not at its peak when purchased. Still 50c per serve.
  • Bacon ends and pieces is $3.49 per pack. We used about 20% of the container or 35c per serve
  • The $6.99 chicken pack contains six serves, or 59c a serve
  • The organic baby plum tomatoes were $2.79 for the pack or $1.40 per serve.
  • Add 10c for the greens.

Tonight’s Cobb Salad cost $4.02 per serve.

May 13: Chicken Wrap; Popeye’s Fried Chicken with Red Beans and Rice

Lunch

Circumstances dictated a late lunch, and with an early dinner planned, a full wrap seemed like too much, so we had half each. We used theTrader Joe’s Just Chicken’ again.

  • The $6.99 chicken pack contains six serves, or 59c a serve
  • The flatbread is 25c
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/12 or 17c per serve
  • Today’s salad was a repeat of the Kale and Broccoli pack we had a couple of days ago. The pack is $2.49 and for today’s lunch we used 1/8 or 16c per serve.

Lunch today cost $1.16.

Dinner

We combined a trip to the Apple Store in Simi Valley with a side trip for Popeye’s Fried Chicken. As well as the Red Beans and Rice we served it with the remainder of the Kale and Broccoli salad from Trader Joes.

  • The 10 piece pack is on special for $13.99 ($15.20 with sales tax because it’s hot takeout), or $1.52 per piece. We served two pieces per serve for $3.04.
  • Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice is $4.35 with tax (also hot) and we split it for $2.18 per serve.
  • Kale and Broccoli pack we had a couple of days ago. The pack is $2.49 just over half was left, or 78c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $6.00 per serve.

May 12: Chicken wrap; NY Strip Steak with Arugula, Beets and Feta Salad

Lunch

Chicken wrap time again, but instead of buying a whole chicken, we opted for Trader Joe’s ready cooked “Just Chicken.” It’s all breast meat, which is what we use on the lunch wraps, and the container has three meals (six serves) in it.

The price is comparable with the whole chicken being between the per-serve cost of the regular chicken, and the per-serve cost of the organic version.

  • The $6.99 pack contains six serves, or $1.17 a serve
  • The flatbread is 50c
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • Today’s salad was a repeat of the Kale and Broccoli pack we had a couple of days ago. The pack is $2.49 and for today’s lunch we used 1/4 or 31c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.31.

Dinner

Continuing our experiment with optimal cooking of a NY Strip Steak, tonight we could have cooked a tiny bit further, but the conclusion is decisive: for the quality of aged beef we’re getting from Prather Ranch, bleu (seared on the outside, warm in the middle) is definitely the best cooking method.

The meat is tender and has great flavor. You can definitely get cheaper beef, but we choose to pay for the quality for two reasons: the meat tastes better, and the animals have had a humane life. Cheap meat comes from concentrated feed lot operations that are simply not healthy.

  • The NY Strip was $19.96 for 12.8 oz or $9.98 per serve
  • Precooked beets cost $2.50 or $1.25 per serve
  • Crumbled feta is $2.79 a pack, and we used 1/4 or 35c per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for the small amount of arugula used.

Dinner tonight cost $11.78.

May 11: Smoked Salmon on Bagel; Green Shakshuka

Lunch

For lunch a toasted onion bagel, avocado and wild caught smoked salmon.

  • Smoked salmon is $5.99 for the 4oz pack, or $3.00 per serve
  • The pack of six onion bagels is $1.99 or 33c per serve
  • The avocado was a bargain at 39c or 20c per serve
  • Add 5c for capers.

Today’s lunch cost $3.58 per serve.

Dinner

A new recipe and a meatless one at that. Tonight we prepared Green Shakshuka. This is a well known North African dish usually made with a chunky, spiced tomato sauce, making it rather like Eggs in Purgatory. It’s a versatile dish so we made it with mushrooms and green leafy vegetables and a generous amount of garlic.

  • Trimmed leaks are $2.99 per pack, but we only used one, so 75c per serve
  • Celery, oregano, cumin, oil, red pepper flakes (instead of a pepper) and garlic adds 27c per serve
  • Instead of the individual greens, we purchased a pack of mixed organic leafy greens for $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Two packs of fresh, sliced mushrooms cost $3.99 a pack, or $2 a serve
  • The crumbled feta is $2.79 per pack, but we only used 1/3 or 47c per serve
  • Pastured eggs cost 50c each or $1.00 per serve
  • Two slices of cobblestone bread – 10 slices for $2.49 – adds 50c per serve.

Tonight’s meat free meal cost $5.99 per serve and was really good.

May 10: Quesadilla; Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Lunch

Another gloomy day – it’s early for June gloom – that cleared up late in the day, but at lunch time, something warm was desirable, so it is quesadilla time again. Our variation that is.

  • 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

Once again we had Emeril Lagasse’s Stir Fried Beef and Broccoli.  This is a very simple dish, but very tasty. We upped the garlic and ginger in the sauce and replaced the honey with sweet chili sauce. We don’t mind a bit of spicy heat!

  • The organic broccoli was purchased on special for $1.79 or 80c a serve.
  • The beef came from our farm-direct meat delivery as “fajita steak”  for a fast cook at $10.35 or $5.18 a seve.
  •  The ginger and garlic was 28c or 14c per serve
  • Pressure cooked rice 92c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $7.04 per serve. Of course with more conventional beef the serve would be more like $4.90.