Jul 8: Supermarket Sushi; Salade Lyonnaise


After wasting time waiting for a table at Brent’s Deli and finding ultimately that the promised wait time was, at best, optimistic we decided on supermarket sushi, since that was out next destination anyway.

  • Lunch today cost $11.24 per serve


What to do with a beautiful, organic cos lettuce, when you just had a meat delivery that included organic bacon? Salade Lyonnaise is a simple salad that originated in Lyon, France. It’s really tasty.

As an alternative for croutons we took par baked bread, cubed it and baked it off. Not as crispy hard as most croutons, but better suited for mopping ups the deliciousness that is the combination of the bacon fat dressing and the egg yolk. When frying off the bacon, retain the fat to use in the dressing instead of olive oil.

We choose pastured eggs over organic, since a chicken is supposed to have a varied, and bug-filled, diet, which isn’t possible if you’re guaranteeing organic!

  • An organic lettuce is about $1.99, but we used half, or 50c per serve
  • A pastured egg is 50c each, with the average of our two serves being 75c
  • The par-baked bread is $2.50 for the loaf, and we turned 1/4 into croutons, or 32c per serve
  • The bacon comes from our Prather Ranch meat delivery, so it a little more expensive, but it’s full of flavor and we can be comfortable that the animals were raised humanely. At $1 a rasher, it was $2.00 per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $3.87 and was perfect.

Jul 7: Steak sandwich; Shanghai Noodles with Ground Pork


Slice some leftover steak, add tomatoes, horseradish cream (homemade, of course) and sandwich in a toasted onion bagel, and that’s lunch.

  • The Cross Rib Roast was $3.56 a serve, which halved for the bagel or $1.78
  • The baby cherry tomatoes were $3.99. We used 1/3 or 67c per serve
  • An onion bagel is 33c per served
  • Add 10c for the sour cream and horseradish.

Lunch today cost $2.88 per serve.


Since we had some ground pork left in the Prather Ranch delivery from last month (and a new delivery today) we decided to do a repeat of the Stir Fried Shanghai Noodles with Ground Pork and Cabbage, which makes four generous serves.

The mung bean sprouts add a nice crunch and a refreshing wetness.

  • The pork came from our Prather Ranch meat delivery – 1 lb of ground pork cost $8.47 or $2.12 per serve
  • The pre-cooked organic noodles retail for $3.19 or 80c per serve
  • The various seasonings add around 30c per serve
  • We used one third of the $1.29 spring onion on two serves or 22c per serve
  • The mung bean sprouts are $1.49 and we used half or 75c per serve.
  • Instead of cabbage we used the remainder of the coleslaw mix from the supermarket which was $1.25 but we used less than half, or 16c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $4.35 per serve for a filling and very tasty dish.

Jul 6: Gyro wrap; Cross Rib Roast with Spring Gnocchi


The gyro meat is back in stock at Trader Joe’s, so add some hummus and tabouli in a wrap, and that’s lunch!

  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10oz pack. There are really four serves, so each serve is very slightly cheaper than the chicken, at $1.00 per serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • We served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.50 per serve.


One of the interesting side effects of a monthly meat delivery is the inclusion of cuts we would otherwise not be aware of, or consider. This month we got a Beef Cross Rib Roast. At first it seems like a slow-cook cut, but research suggested roasting, which we did to medium rare.

There seem to be 6-7 serves in the roast, but we’ll call it six for easy math.

The creamy blue cheese sauce with asparagus and peas was a repeat and still pretty damned good!

  • The Cross Rib Roast was $21.37  or $3.56 a serve
  • The gnocchi was $1.69 or 57c per serve
  • The half pint of cream is $1.99 or 67c per serve
  • The asparagus was $2.99 but we only used half, or 50c per serve
  • The crumbled blue was $3.49 for the container. We used half or 58c per serve.

Dinner tonight was definitely restaurant worthy and cost $5.88 per serve.

Jul 5: Popeye’s Fried Chicken with home-made Red Beans and Rice; ‘Quesadilla’ with Eggs


Time to eat the remainder of Sunday’s Popeye’s Fried Chicken, but with home-made red beans, and rice.

  • Eight pieces of chicken were $9.99, but that makes four serves in all, making each serve $2.50
  • Red beans and rice $2.09 a serve.

Lunch today cost $4.59 as a mix of home-made and store bought.


In a lunch-for-dinner mode, we had our version of a quesadilla. Adding eggs makes it dinner!

We prefer fried eggs sunny-side up, but it’s difficult to keep the yolk soft and runny, while cooking the white so when out we tend to order ‘over easy’. The real trick to getting a great result is to use a saucepan lid over the eggs during the second half of their cooking. This is a gentle steam of the top, setting the white.

  • 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
  • Each egg is 50c or $1.00 per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $2.46.


Jul 4: Bacon Cheeseburger; Smoked Pork Sausages with Apple Slaw


Since we were both in Burbank, with a modified Monday schedule, we opted for Jack’s ‘shack’ bacon cheeseburger. This is a really good burger, more toward the Australian style. An Australian burger would be expected to have lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, tomato sauce (not ketchup, they’re different) and pickled beetroot. A works burger would also have bacon, cheese and a sunnyside egg.

But this burger is great too! Lunch today cost $6.00 per serve with tax.


I suppose there are more ‘American’ recipes for Independence Day, but smoked pork sausages with the remainder of the Apple Slaw, seemed good to us. The stove-top smoker is getting a workout this week!

  • The pork sausages are $6.23 for four, or $3.12 per serve
  • One Granny Smith apple went into the slaw, or 20c per serve
  • Coleslaw mix from the supermarket is $1.25 but we used less than half, or 16c per serve
  • Add 6c for the dressing per serve
  • We used about 1/15 of the $2.99 bbq sauce bottle, or 10c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $3.64 per serve.

Jul 3: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Smoked Pork Spare Ribs with Green Apple Coleslaw


We were out and about during the late morning and lunch, so we stopped in at Popeye’s on the way home for some dark and spicy fried chicken, with red beans and rice on the side.

  • Eight pieces of chicken were $9.99, but that makes four serves in all, making each serve $2.50
  • The large Red beans and rice was $3.99 and we shared that for $2 a serve.

Lunch was $4.50 a serve.


We still had Pork Spare Ribs from our Prather Ranch meat delivery, so what better to do on a Sunday night than to smoke them and serve with a green apple slaw? The green apple slaw is a basic coleslaw with green apple added, for extra crunch and a counterpoint to the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. Instead of making a sauce we chose Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha & Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce. This stuff is really good!

We pre-cooked the ribs in the pressure cooker then smoked them in the stovetop smoker to finish them.

The apple slaw dressing was made with a little egg free mayonnaise, sour cream and apple cider vinegar. We thought we were making slaw for tonight, but there are really four serves from one half pack.

  • 1.7lb of Pork Spare Ribs cost $10.64, but the actual meat serve is more like 6oz per serve, or $5.32 per serve
  • Trader Joes’s BBQ Rub and seasoning (coffee and garlic): about 25c per serve
  • One Granny Smith apple went into the slaw, or 20c per serve
  • Coleslaw mix from the supermarket is $1.25 but we used less than half, or 16c per serve
  • Add 6c for the dressing per serve
  • We used about 1/8 of the $2.99 bottle, or 19c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $6.18 per serve.

Jul 2: Country Deli; Peruvian Meat Sauce, Rice and Quinoa Noodles with a cucumber, tomato and mint salad


Home renovation needs had us heading to Lowes, which takes us directly past the Country Deli. There was nothing else for it but to have an early lunch on the way. On Saturday, around 11:30 is a good time, before it gets really busy.

One Breakfast Burrito and one Marinated Skirt steak later, we were fortified for the homeware store!

Lunch at the Country Deli runs out around $20.00 per serve, with tax and tip.


The Peruvian Meat Sauce, a.k.a. Red Curry and Pink Peppercorn Meat Sauce, we had on June 18th, was so good we had to try it again. This time with Rice and Quinoa noodles, and a side salad of cucumber, baby cherry tomatoes and mint in a yogurt dressing.

Again we found that the recipe makes for three generous serves, particularly with the side salad.

  • 1lb of Prather Ranch ground pork is $9.30 or $3.10 per serve
  • Limes were $1.56 and about half went into the dish, or 26c per serve
  • The can of coconut milk was $1.99 or 66c per serve
  • Red curry paste is $3.69 a jar and we used 1/4 or 31c per serve
  • The soy adds 42c per serve
  • Add 35c for the toasted coriander, pink peppercorns, rice wine and cornstarch
  • The baby cherry tomatoes were $3.99. We used half or $1.00 per serve
  • Organic Mint was $1.99 but only half was used, or 50c per serve
  • The cucumber was 49c or 25c per serve
  • Yoghurt adds another 20c per serve.

Dinner tonight was, again, amazing. Definitely the best “spaghetti with meat sauce” ever, and it cost $7.80 per serve.


June Summary and Observations

Although it seemed like we ate a lot of lunches prepared out of the home, it was only 11 of the 30 days, or about the same as most months. Notably we only ate out two (Foodie Greg) or three (Philip) nights.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.84 ($2.43 in May)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $10.62 ($6.89)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.72 ($5.62)
  • Dinner eaten out: $12.50 ($15.64)

Our most expensive meal was at Gordon Biersch when we shared a working meal with another software developer, where it ran to $20.00 per head with tax and tip.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $318.60 per person in June. We actually spent $53.91 for lunches at home plus $116.77 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $268.64.

Had we purchased every dinner out at the same average it would be $375.00 each, compared with $148.64 for meals prepared at home and $25.00 for meals out, or the $173.64 total.

That’s just working on the average. Several of the meals we had would have been well over $30 a serve in a restaurant.

Jul 1: Trader Joe’s Tarte D’alsace; Grilled Chicken, Jaipur Vegetables and Rice


For today’s lunch we had Trader Joe’s Tarte D’alsace – half each. We seemed to have nailed the reheating by ignoring instructions and allowing the oven to come to temperature first, then continuing with the convection heating.

Trader Joe’s Tarte D’Alsace is $4.49 or $2.25 per serve.


The thigh and leg from this week’s supermarket rotisserie chicken were the protein, accompanied by Trader Joe’s Jaipur Vegetables and short grain brown rice.

The rice was prepared in the pressure cooker (otherwise it would have taken too long being brown rice), while the Jaipur Vegetables were boiled, while above the boiling water the chicken was reheating in the steam.

A little sriracha sauce added extra spice.

  • The $10.99 chicken is broken into quarters or $2.75 a serve
  • The Jaipur Vegetables are $1.99 a pack, or $1.00 a serve
  • Rice adds another 50c per serve.

Dinner tonight was mostly pre-prepared and cost $4.25 per serve.