This Week’s Menu: Return to Home Cooking

Dinner from the market one evening was fresh, hot takoyaki (octopus dumplings), coleslaw, fresh strawberries and mugi-cha (wheat tea). Total cost for our tasty dinner was: $15.95

OK, I admit that it has been wonderful not having to plan meals, or cook, or clean up the kitchen for over a week. But, vacation is over and it’s back to real life.

One of the things we greatly enjoyed in Japan was the wide selection and affordability of prepared foods. If you don’t feel like cooking it’s very easy to stop at a nearby grocery or department store and pick up everything you need to put together an easy meal, from fish to chicken to just about anything you can think of. We did this a couple of evenings when we didn’t feel like going out, and were frankly surprised by how little it cost to have a tasty meal without any effort except for carrying the bags of food back to our room.

We’re picking up a roast chicken when we do our big shop at Costco today so chicken will feature in three evening meals as well as chicken salad sandwiches in one of YaYu’s lunches. We’re also looking forward to returning to the farmers’ market this week for plenty of fresh produce.

  • Tuesday (this evening): Roast chicken; stuffing; gravy; steamed green beans (no stuffing for me)
  • Wednesday: Chopped Asian salad with chicken
  • Thursday: Leftovers (YaYu has a track meet)
  • Friday: Pork and pepper stir fry; steamed rice (no rice for me)
  • Saturday: Spaghetti with marinara sauce; grilled Italian sausages; grilled zucchini; garlic bread (no pasta or bread for me)
  • Sunday: Chili rellenos casserole; yellow rice; salad (no rice for me)
  • Monday: Chicken with rice soup; country bread (no rice in my soup)

We’ll pick up fresh green and red peppers, and celery, at Costco as well as frozen green beans, and will get cabbage, cilantro, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers at the farmers’ market as well as some bananas and papayas.

Both Brett and I will be watching our carbs from now on. He will still be eating rice and such, but will be measuring his portions carefully. I’ll still be avoiding them as much as possible, although we did buy some of my favorite raisin bread to bring home – I want to have one slice a week for breakfast. The pieces are much smaller than bread in the U.S. so hopefully one slice won’t bother me too much.

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