What’s for Dinner?: Week of October 12, 2015

What’s for Dinner is a series dedicated to what real-life families eat.  Each week, a parent shares his or her menus for the week and talks about the food philosophy behind it.  Want to read more? Check out our WFD archives.

This week we hear from Megumi, who lives in Japan with her husband and 2-year old.

Megumi’s Family Food Philosophy: 

We are a Japanese family (husband and wife and a 2 year old girl) living in Muroto, Kochi Prefecture, on Shikoku Island, which is the fourth largest island in Japan, located in the southwest of the main island. Muroto is a rural town of about 15,000 people, looking on to the Pacific Ocean. Growing vegetables is part of everyone’s daily life here, so we have access to good local produce that is organic or nearly organic. (We don’t grow our own food yet.) It is our fifth year living here, and I am a stay at home mom.

We try to eat local and seasonal food, and we try to eat a lot of vegetables. Most of the vegetables I use are locally grown. Coming from Tokyo, where that was not quite possible, I find it a luxury. You will see that I incorporate some kind of meat in every dinner, but I try not to use too much, just enough. Eating seasonal food means I deal with the same few kinds of ingredients for a while, which can get kind of tiresome and boring, but it is one way of acquiring a sense of season, which I really like. (Talking about what’s in season is one way to communicate with the local elderly as well.) Our daughter is quite a picky eater, so it is a challenge getting her to eat everything. For the moment she just eats what she can (of course I try to make something that she likes as much as possible), and I try to adjust by giving her bananas for dessert or something like that.

What inspired this week’s menu?

This week was all about that whole cabbage we had, and eating the few vegetables we could find since it seems we are in between seasons. Because we had a series of nice, sunny days, I was busy fighting the grass in the garden, making me hungry and be impatient for cooking, thus the easy stir-fries.

So what’s for dinner?

Monday:  Spring rolls (inside: chopped pork, potato, onion, carrot stir-fry), sliced cabbage salad, steamed sweet potato, miso soup with tofu, white rice

Tuesday:  Stir-fried meat and vegetables, cabbage salad, baked bell peppers and bitter gourd, steamed sweet potato, wonton soup, white rice

Wednesday:  Sweet and sour pork with carrot, bitter gourd, edamame (boiled soy beans), cheese omelette (for the child), miso soup with eggplant, white rice

Thursday:  Grilled chicken wings, carrot and apple salad, mashed sweet potato, vegetable soup (bacon, cabbage, carrot, onion), white rice

Friday:  Pasta with homemade meat sauce (minced pork, tomatoes, garlic, onion), simple salad, clam chowder

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