Aug 3: Kumato & Swiss, Sweet & Spicy Tuna & Swiss; Smoked Salmon “Cobb” Salad

Lunch

Back to the sweet and spicy tuna pouch, but still with shallot and Swiss and a return to a favorite: tomato, mayo and Swiss.

  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used one per sandwich, or 70c per serve
  • The tuna was $2.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter, mayo and shallot.

A pair of good sandwiches for $2.80 per serve.

Dinner

The hot weather continues to inspire salads, and being Friday (a fish meal in some Christian traditions) so we returned to our smoked salmon “Cobb” style salad. We dropped the bacon because, with smoked salmon, we didn’t want two salty elements in the dish. The burrata also replaced the salty cheese element.

  • Smoked salmon is $5.99 for the 4oz pack or $3.00 a serve
  • A pastured egg is 50c
  • The cherry tomatoes were $3.49 and we used about half, or 88c per serve
  • Add 20c for spinach
  • The avocado was $1.49 or 75c per serve
  • The burrata is $4.99, or $2.50 per serve.

This is a great variation on a Cobb for $7.33 per serve.

 

Aug 2: Tuna & Swiss, Tomato & Swiss; Rib Eye with Feta, Beet & Pomegranate Salad

Lunch

A different tuna pouch, but still with capers and Swiss and a return to a favorite: tomato, mayo and Swiss.

  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used one per sandwich, or 70c per serve
  • The tuna was $2.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter, mayo and capers.

A pair of good sandwiches for $2.80 per serve.

Dinner

Thursday night grill night, and fortunately our Keller Crafted meat box arrived right on time with tonight’s rib eye! Served with a simple salad of balsamic drizzled beets, feta and pomegranate seeds, it was really good.

  • The rib eye was $16.20 or $8.10 per serve
  • The French feta is $9.99 for 10.5 oz and we shared 1/6 or 42c per serve
  • The pomegranate seeds were $4.99 and we used half, or $1.25 per serve
  • Peeled baby beets were $1.99 or $1.00 per serve.

At medium rare Foodie Philip slightly overcooked the steak but it was good anyway, and the salad had a great combination of earthiness, sweetness and acid from the balsamic drizzled beets all balanced with the slightly funky saltiness of the feta. Not a bad steak and salad for $10.77 per serve.

Aug 1: Shredded Chuck Roast with Swiss, Sweet & Spicy Tuna with Swiss; Hot Beef Salad

Lunch

Because we didn’t want to put the oven on, we did a pair of toasted sandwiches. On one we put the shredded chuck roast with a smear of BBQ sauce and Swiss; on the other we did a pouch of sweet and spicy tuna with capers and Swiss.

  • The roast was $20.88 or $1.74 per serve for this meal
  • The tuna was $2.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter, BBQ sauce and capers.

Two decent sandwiches for $3.84 per serve.

Dinner

A new – and intriguing – recipe for Hot Beef Salad, which is a savory meat sauce over Romain lettuce.

We’ll get three full serves.

  • The dry aged ground beef was $9.35 or $3.12 per serve
  • Romain lettuce was $2.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • Add 75c for the other ingredients.

A surprisingly good meal for $4.87 per serve. We thought the meat sauce would be better over a bowl of bean sprouts!

July 2018 Summary and Observations

Other than the monthly LACPUG pizza and a visit with SoCal Creatives, our other evening meals were all at home.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.57 ($2.57 in Jun)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $11.28 ($11.28)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $6.13 ($6.13)
  • Dinner eaten out: $11.80  ($11.80)

Our lunches at home are consistent around the $2.17 per serve. Lunches prepared outside the home are a little lower because we averaged in lower cost meals.

Our most expensive meal was at Cafe Firenze at $25.91 per serve. Our evening meal out was less because there is only the subsidized pizza.

Our most expensive at home meal was Grilled Rib Eye Steak, with Cauliflower Gnocchi in Blue Cheese sauce at $13.39 per serve.

Lunches at home cost 21% of the cost of eating food prepared outside the home , while dinners at home cost 58 % the average of dinner out this month.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $321.78 per person in April. We actually spent $38.99 for lunches at home plus $124.53 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $163.52 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $310.00. We actually spent $161.19 for dinners at home and $10.00 for dinners out: $171.19 in total.

We saved $297.20 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 18 different recipes for evening meals.

Jul 31: Shredded Chuck Roast in Panini Roll with Kale Sunflower Crunch Salad; Caramelized Pork and Bean Sprout Salad

Lunch

Lunch was a do-over of Sunday night’s dinner! The Shredded Chuck Roast on a rustic panini roll with Kale Sunflower Crunch salad. We did not have the dipping liquid but made sure there was plenty of juice on the roll.

  • The roast was $20.88 or $2.61 per serve for this meal
  • The panini roll is 63c
  • The salad kit was $3.49 and we’ll get four serves, or 88c per serve.

The pulled beef is every bit as tasty as pulled pork, and it was an excellent lunch for $4.12 per serve.

Dinner

We decided to rethink the Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Rice Bowl of a couple of nights ago. Instead of rice we filled the bowl with bean sprouts and carrot, drizzled with some rice wine vinegar. The pork was sprinkled across the top.

  • The ground pork was $8.35 and we shared the third serve, or $1.39 per serve
  • Add 25c for ginger, onion, garlic and chili, etc
  • Bean sprouts were $1.49 but we used almost the rest of the bag or 40c per serve
  • Add 20c for grated carrot.

This was an experiment that worked really well. The bean sprouts are a crunchy wet counterbalance to the umami of the pork while the carrot bring a hint of sweetness to the dish. We both really liked it for $1.24 per serve!

Jul 30: In and Out Burger; Yellow Tadka Dal and Paleek Paneer with Brown Rice

Lunch

A return to the Burbank Monday routine for Foodie Philip so naturally he headed to In and Out Burger for a Double Double Animal Style for $4.34.

Dinner

We opted for a simple vegetarian meal tonight by heating two Indian meal pouches and serving them with some pressure cooked brown rice.

One pouch came from Trader Joe’s at $1.99: the other from Ralph’s at $3.99. It is quite obvious that these have the same manufacturer, yet the OEM version at Trader Joe’s is half the price of the brand name that manufactures the product. It pays to shop around.

  • The Yello Tadka Dal was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • The Paleek Paneer was $3.99 or $1.98 per serve
  • Brown rice adds 33c per serve.

Both sauces were tasty contributing to a decent meal for $3.31 per serve.

Jul 29: Spinach Frittata; Shredded Beef Chuck Roast on a Rustic Panini Roll with Kale Sunflower Crunch Salad

Lunch

For lunch we wilted spinach and then filled the pan with egg and cooked it slowly on the cooktop. Very slowly. We finished in the oven.

  • Spinach was $2.99 and we used the remaining ¾ or $1.13 per serve
  • We shared five pastured eggs or $1.25 per serve
  • The French feta is $9.99 for 10.5 oz and we shared 1/6 or 83c per serve
  • Add 20c for seasoning.

A most satisfying lunch for $3.41 per serve.

Dinner

We had a beef chuck roast in this month’s Keller Crafted meat box, so we decided to prepare it “pulled pork” style, using a Martha Stewart recipe.

Our roast was only two pound and only took three hours to cook. We’ll get four full size serves or eight like tonight.

We served a half serve on a hot panini roll with a purchased Kale
Sunflower crunch salad kit.

  • The roast was $20.88 or $2.61 per serve for this meal
  • The panini roll is 63c
  • The salad kit was $3.49 and we’ll get four serves, or 88c per serve.

The pulled beef is every bit as tasty as pulled pork, and it was an excellent meal for $4.12 per serve.

Jul 28: Lox Bagel, Pastrami Swiss Bagel; Caramelized Pork Rice Bowl with Bean Sprouts and Carrot

Lunch

Foodie Greg was near Western Bagel around lunch time and we shared a “Traditional” (Lox) bagel and a pastrami and Swiss bagel. Both were decent, although we prefer smoked salmon over lox.

The bagels were $8.78 per serve.

Dinner

A return to the  Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Bowls, tonight with mung bean sprout and grated carrot that was drizzled with rice wine vinegar.

Again, we cut the sugar back from five, to two tablespoons.

  • The ground pork was $8.35 and we’ll get three serves from that, or $2.78 per serve
  • Add 50c for ginger, onion, garlic and chili, etc
  • Add 33c for brown rice
  • Bean sprouts were $1.49 but we used only ⅓ or 20c per serve
  • Add 20c for grated carrot.

Dinner tonight was tasty for $4.01 per serve.

Jul 27: Grilled Eggplant & Swiss, Ham, Bread & Butter Pickles & Swiss; Spicy Creole Chili

Lunch

We had a new pack of the roast vegetable melange so we took some pieces and cooked them in the panini press while assembling the sandwich. The other was Black Forest ham with Bread and Butter Pickles with Swiss.

  • The ham was $3.69 for 8 slices and we used two or 46c  per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • The roast vegetables are about 5c per serve.
  • Add 45c for butter and garlic dip.

Two good sandwiches for $1.61 per serve.

Dinner

For dinner we had another server of the Spicy Creole Chili. This time we left off the avocado because we didn’t feel it contributed much to flavor.

  • The andouille sausage was $7.98 or $1.33 per serve
  • Simple truth canned tomatoes were $1.29 or 22c per serve
  • The beans are $1.00 per can or 33c per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for the bell pepper
  • Add 30c per serve for onion, chili powder, and other seasonings
  • Add 10c for labné.

It definitely had more depth of flavor than the Southwest Beans and Rice version, but was definitely similar, probably due to similar ingredients. Overall a decent meal for $2.48 per serve.

Jul 26: The Country Deli; Eloté

Lunch

Circumstances took us close to The Country Deli so we stopped in for lunch. Foodie Philip had the usual marinated skirt steak with eggs and home fries. Foodie Greg forwent his usual Pastrami on Rye and had the sandwich version of the skirt steak, with sautéed mushrooms, bell pepper and onion.

Today’s lunches averaged $22.34 per serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

After such a meat heavy lunch, as delicious as it was, we opted for eloté, our second vegetarian meal of the week.

We had eloté at Cafe Habana recently and enjoyed it, but our version is much better because we only grill. There is no pre-boil or steam. Cooking it fully on the grill develops a lot more depth of flavor than the hybrid approach necessary for practical food service. Grilling alone takes too long for a restaurant but is fine at home.

  • The  corn was 87c or 44c per serve
  • The micro greens were $2.99 but we used about 1/10th or 15c per serve
  • Cotija cheese is $3.99 for 8oz and we shared 2oz or 50c per serve.

On a day of great food, this was the best of the day for $1.09 per serve.