Jul 25: In and Out Burger; Quinoa ‘Fried Rice’

Lunch

Another Burbank Monday, and In and Out Burger for Foodie Philip. Foodie Greg had left-over rissoles and salad already accounted for.

Lunch today cost $4.03 with tax.

Dinner

Because Quinoa puffs up so much during cooking, we had a lot left over from the salad last night. Since we’d enjoyed a Cauliflower ‘fried rice’ in the past a similar experiment with quinoa seemed like a good idea.

It was a good idea. Very tasty. Three generous serves resulted.

  • We purchased about half a pound of quinoa for $3.01 but used the 3/4 left, or 75c per serve
  • Five organic eggs are 50c each, or 83c per serve
  • Bacon ends and pieces are $3.49 per pack. We used about 30% of the container or 35c per serve
  • Frozen peas are $2.79 per pack and we used about 1/3 or 31c per serve
  • Onion, ginger, spring onion, soy and other ingredients add another 45c per serve.

Dinner tonight was very tasty and filling for $2.69 per serve.

Jul 24: Supermarket Sushi; Rissoles with Edamame, Quinoa and Feta Salad

Lunch

A lazy Sunday so we opted for sushi from a nearby Whole Foods.

Lunch today cost $11.69 per serve.

Dinner

An Australian classic, rissoles are like individually fried, tiny meatloaves! Lots of that loverly outer crust gets formed!

Served with a salad from cooked edamame, quinoa that was cooked earlier in the day, and – of course – more of that Valbreso feta! The recipe makes four serves and is based on a lunch salad we used to buy at Sprouts.

The ground beef came direct from the farm in our Prather Ranch meat delivery.

  • 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
  • We purchased about half a pound of quinoa for $3.01 but used only 1/4 of that, or 19c per serve
  • The Valbreso feta is $9.99 for a 600g tin, of which we used 1/6, or 42c per serve
  • The cooked edamame came from Trader Joe’s and was $2.49, or 63c per serve
  • We added some picked fire roasted red bell pepper that are $5.99 a jar and we used a quarter, or 38c per serve
  • A pack of fire roasted corn kernels is $2.49 but we used about 1/4 of the pack, or 16c per serve.

The salad was really good and we served the rissoles with a little of my brother’s home-made tomato relish, another Australian classic. Dinner tonight cost $7.13 per serve.

 

 

Jul 23: Tuna Wrap; Mango, Avocado and Arugula salad with Chili-lime Shrimp

Lunch

We still had the lavash flat bread, but as we’d run out of chicken and gyro meat, it was time for a tuna salad (tuna with a little mayonnaise, capers and cucumber) with arugula in the wrap.

  • The lavash is $1.99 for six pieces or 34c per serve
  • The can of tuna in water cost $1.49 or 75c per serve
  • Add 30c for arugula and the seasoning.

Lunch today cost $1.39 per serve.

Dinner

A simple salad of avocado, mango and arugula with chili-lime shrimp was perfect on a hot day.

Last time we used a mango it came from Whole Foods and was a big disappointment because it was completely tasteless. Today’s mango came from Smart and Final and was full of flavor and half the cost!

  • The mango was 89c or 45c per serve
  • Two avocado’s were $2.58 but we used only one, or 65c per serve
  • The baby arugula was $2.99 for the pack, or 75c per serve
  • The pack of frozen shrimp was $14.99 or $7.50 per serve
  • Add 15c for the chili lime seasoning for the shrimp and salad.

Dinner tonight was $9.50 and a great meal with a very generous serve of shrimp.

Jul 22: Huevos Rancheros; NY Strip Steak with Strawberry, Balsamic, Cucumber and Blue Cheese Salad

Lunch

Time to check out a recommended Mexican take-out in Chatsworth by ordering a favorite: Huevos Ranchero or Rancher’s Eggs.

Lunch today was $7.00 a serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

Thursday night is traditionally our steak night, but this week we’re off by one day! Fortunately cooking on the griddle over the induction cooktop doesn’t generate much heat, and a salad requires no heat!

The Balsamic Strawberry and Cucumber salad has been a long time favorite of ours. We had it sufficiently often that Foodie Greg became bored with it, so it’s been a while! Marinating the strawberries in the balsamic vinegar transforms them. The cucumber and blue cheese bring perfect balancing notes.

As usual, we prepare these dry aged, organic steaks with just a sear to the outside. That also keeps the amount of heat generated to a minimum.

  • The steak came from our Prather Ranch delivery and cost $9.98 per serve
  • We used half the $2.99 punnet of strawberries, or 75c per serve
  • A box of Persian cucumbers was $2.49, and we used about half, or 63c per serve
  • Blue cheese comes in a $6.99 tub, but we used so little, it comes to 22c a serve
  • Add 20c per serve for the balsamic vinegar.

Dinner tonight cost $11.78.

Jul 21: Avocado & Arugula on an English Muffin; Muffaleta Pasta Salad with Cheese Tortellini

Lunch

Something different was called for when we discovered we had a ripe avocado in the fridge. The secret to the success of this meal was Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend which is amazingly good. We can’t wait to try this on watermelon!

  • The avocado was $1.49 and we shared it, for 75c per serve
  • The English muffin is 50c per serve
  • Add 20c for arugula and the seasoning.

Lunch today cost $1.45 per serve.


Dinner

While we’ve had a Muffaleta Pasta Salad before, this was an interesting variation using Cheese Tortellini as the pasta and cheese components. It worked very well.

Regardless of what the recipe says, this makes four serves.

  • The tortellini cost $7.49 or $1.88 per serve
  • The salami cost $3.50 or 87c per serve
  • Black olives cost $2.40 or 60c per serve
  • Green olives cost $2.40 or 60c per serve
  • The bunch of organic parsley was $1.49, but we only used 1/6 or around 10c per serve
  • An organic bell pepper was $1.63 or 41c per serve
  • Add 25c per serve for seasoning and oil.

Dinner tonight worked very well and was $4.71 per serve.

Jul 20: Gyro Wrap; Spinach and Feta Crustless Quiche

Lunch

Since we still had gyro meat left we opted for that, but instead of our regular flatbread, we experimented with a lavash, which is not as good as it is a little too ‘bready.’

  • 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 lavash is $1.99 for six pieces or 34c per serve
  • 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 $2.34 per serve.

Dinner

Time to eat the second half of the Spinach and Feta Crustless Quiche.

As it was on July 18th, this dish is tasty and only $2.21 per serve.

Jul 19: Gyro Wrap; Smoked Pork Chop with Waldorf Salad

Did we slip into a time warp? Today was a repeat of July 12!

Lunch

Gyro slices are still available at Trader Joe’s and are more tasty than roast chicken for about the same cost per serve.

  • 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.

Dinner

Since the last time was such a success, when we saw pair of thin cut pork chops in our Prather Ranch meat delivery we had to smoke them again even though we did this a week ago!

Once again we brined the chops. We generally brine pork to ensure it stays moist during cooking. It also brings a little saltiness to the meat, which, when combined with the smoke, makes the pork chops reminiscent  of, almost, ham flavor.

We’ve avoided the fry off in the past out of concern that it would overcook the pork, but tonight the chops came out of the smoke a little under-done, so we used a quick fry to finish the cooking and add some maillard reaction flavors to the outside – not that we noticed them against the smokiness!

Again we used an Envy apple after the success. It retained it’s texture and was crips and wet with a good balance of sweet and tart. Foodie Greg prefers the dressing as a mix of mayonnaise and cultured sour cream. The tartness of the sour cream offsets a little of the fatty mouth feel of the mayonnaise and is a better complement for the salad. And we didn’t grow up in the South of the USA!

  • The thin cut Pork Loin Chops were $9.95 or $4.98 per serve
  • The Envy apple was $1.29 or 65c per serve
  • Celery bunch $1.49 for 12 stalks and we used 1/4 or 18c per serve
  • Instead of walnuts, we used pecans where the pack was $4.49 but we used about 1/4, or 57c per serve.
  • Cultured sour cream is $3.29 for the container, or 33c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $6.71 per serve and is an excellent example of how a simple meal with only five ingredients can be elevated when every one of the ingredients is of the highest quality. It’s hard to imagine how this could be better from a restaurant.

Jul 18: In and Out Burger; Spinach and Feta Crustless Quiche

Lunch

Back to a somewhat normal Burbank Monday, featuring an In and Out Double Double Animal Style. Foodie Greg had leftover Beef Massaman, which was already accounted for in last night’s dinner.

A Double Double is $4.03 including tax.

Dinner

A variation on Pioneer Woman’s Lazy Chili Rellenos featuring spinach and feta, which make an excellent flavor combination. We find the recipe makes four generous serves.

We choose pastured eggs over organic because feeding chickens an unnatural diet in order to make them ‘organic’ seems wrong. Chickens should be eating bugs, worms and other natural foods. Pastured chickens also get to spend more time outside. Our supplier of choice is Vital Farms.

As with our meat delivery, these are not the cheapest options, but it is worth it for both the quality of the product, and so we can be assured that the animals have a decent life.

A generous amount of feta is called for.
A generous amount of feta is called for.
  • Five pastured eggs are $2.50 or 63c per serve
  • The Valbreso feta is $9.99 for a 600g tin, of which we used 1/3, or 83c per serve
  • 7oz of baby spinach was $2.99, or 75c per serve.

Dinner tonight was a really great, tasty dish. The feta and spinach is a winning combination for only $2.21 per serve.

 

Jul 17: Chicken Wrap; Beef Massaman Curry

Lunch

Back to our standby lunch of chicken wraps because we’d been working around the house and didn’t have time for anything else.

  • The $7.99 chicken is broken into quarters, and one breast is shared for lunch wraps, or $1.00 a serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • The tabouli salad is $1.68 for four serves, or 42c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.25.

Dinner

We had a cross rib steak remaining from last months’ Prather Ranch meat delivery, so why not a massaman curry. We had a cross rib roast last month so we knew it would work in the massaman.

Because we’re rebels, we didn’t cut it into chunks, but simmered it in two halves after frying it off for some mayard reaction. We also simplified the recipe by using a massaman curry mix instead of kaffir lime, cinnamon, tamarind, fish sauce and chili.

  • The cross rib steak was $6.55 or $3.28 per serve
  • The can of massaman curry mix is $4.30 or $2.15 per serve
  • Plain peanuts are in limited supply in this part of the world, with a jar costing $2.99, of which we used around 1/5, or 30c per serve
  • Three small potatoes each cost 55c per serve
  • Coconut cream is $1.49 per can, or 75c per serve
  • Rice adds another 50c per serve.

Dinner tonight was $7.53 per serve, but should count for slightly less as Foodie Greg finished the remains for lunch next day.

Jul 16: Country Deli; Seared Tuna with Cucumber, Snap Pea and Feta salad

Lunch

Once we determined we would be traveling to Lowes to pick up some renovation supplies, stopping at the Country Deli on the way, was an easy decision.

Lunch at the Country Deli tends to average around $20.00 per serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

After the ‘steak and eggs’ lunch at the deli, we balanced it out with tuna and salad in the evening. Foodie Greg is on a quest to find salads that don’t revolve around lettuce, or leafy greens, as their foundation. Tonight’s was an excellent combination, and used up some more of that excellent Valbreso feta.

  • The feta is $9.99 for a 600g tin, of which we used 1/6, or 83c per serve
  • The tuna steaks were $7.19 for the two, or $3.60 a serve
  • A box of Persian cucumbers was $2.49, and we used about half, or 63c per serve
  • The pack of organic sugar-snap peas was slightly too much, but we used it all, or $1.65 per serve
  • Organic Mint was $1.99 but only half was used, or 50c per serve.

Dinner tonight was quick, easy and tasty for $7.21 per serve.