I'm so glad that National Nutrition Month is in full swing. In case you didn't know, March is National Nutrition Month, and this year's theme is "Get Your Plate In Shape". This theme is very fitting as My Plate was unveiled not too long ago, and this is the first National Nutrition Month using the new food USDA food guidance system. As part of National Nutrition Month, March 8th (yes, I am a day late!) was National What's On Your Plate Day. Since I have tons of food pictures piling up on my computer (and camera), I wanted to share with you a little of the things on our plates over the past few weeks here in Japan.
First up is a French restaurant that was recommended to us, and we were lucky we found it since around here directions are given using landmarks only. The place is really cute on the outside...and of course on the inside too.
I wish I knew what this meant, but this was the sign out front.
Both of our meals came with soup and salad. After using Google Translate to explain I do not eat meat, the owner had the cook (I suspect this was her husband) make me a fresh bowl of soup using no meat in the broth. It was really good.
The salad was small and really just some lettuce, but at least it gave us a vegetable with dinner.
Ryan ordered the steak. Seriously, he is on the hunt for a good steak since it has been weeks since he really ate a steak. He is not a huge meat eater, but does like to order steak from time to time when we eat out (since I don't cook it at home). Plus, he has been looking for Japanese beef, not necessarily kobe, but similar.
My dinner came with rice, but I am not entirely sure why since my dinner also came with fries and pasta.
No, there is no change to My Plate. It is still supposed to be- make half your plate fruits and veggies. While half my plate may have been starches/grains, I didn't eat all of it. I also had some carrots with the meal, so that was good. The protein here was scallops (yes, I know they are fried). My options were limited really to this, fish or the big lobster dinner. I plan to go back and do the lobster next time.
Next up is Lee Garden, which is a new Chinese restaurant that recently opened up. Actually, on this night they were still not officially open, just a soft opening.
Ryan ordered a chicken dish, but he wasn't a huge fan of it.
We split the eggplant, and this was delicious!
We tried the spring rolls, but it turned out they had meat inside.
I ordered crab and tofu, which is probably one of my favorite Chinese dishes. I made sure to order the eggplant because I knew this dish was limited on vegetables.
Next up is from our return visit to Marche, a French restaurant (not the same one from above, but the same one from my last post). We went there for dinner with only one thought in mind, and that was splurge! No, I am not kidding. Ryan wanted the Japanese steak dinner and I wanted the fisherman's platter, complete with lobster.
Ryan's dinner came with a shrimp cocktail, and since he doesn't eat shrimp, I tried this out.
Ryan had some onion soup.
Knowing we needed some veggies with dinner, we both ordered salads to start.
Like I said, I wanted the fisherman's platter. Check out all the seafood:
This was a 1/2 pound lobster, shrimp, catfish, and salmon. No, I could not eat everything, but I did start with the lobster just to make sure I ate it all. It was so good.
Ryan had the Japanese steak, and this hit the spot. This was the steak he has been searching around for.
Next up is a meal from another night, back at Lee Garden, with a friend of mine. Ryan wasn't a huge fan, so when someone else invited me there, I made sure to go because I did see other things on the menu I wanted to try.
So, the plan was to order A LOT of food, and just try a little bit of everything, and take leftovers home as needed. This was truly an impressive spread of tasty treats.
These are mayonnaise shrimp, which I think sounds gross, but it is just a mayo based dressing, with other flavors and seasonings, so it is not just plain mayo over fried shrimp- but yes, still mayo-ish and fried shrimp...so it's a good thing we ordered some healthier dishes to balance our plates out.
Pickled veggies! Yum!
I ordered a tomato salad, which I know from other places is just a whole tomato. Yes, I was served (and I ate) a whole tomato. It was so pretty, so I couldn't resist.
This is chili shrimp. Very tasty too.
We ordered the eggplant since I said it was so good the other night.
My friend tried a pork dish.
I ordered the crab fried rice because it sounded too good to pass up. It was good, but it was even better when I ate the leftover the next day.
We tried out the dessert sampler, but nothing was really that good. Oh, the mango pudding was actually pretty tasty, but the others were questionable. We took a bite or too each, but mostly passed on the desserts. It was worth it to try it though.
Next is my dinner from a Friday night out at an Italian restaurant. Yes, the Japanese have Italian restaurants too.
I started with the salmon salad. The waitress made sure to let me know that the salmon was raw and ask if that was OK with me. It was! I don't actually think it was really raw since it tasted just like lox.
Dinner was a seafood pasta. Yum! They have great seafood around here since we are right by the Pacific Ocean.
I am nearing the end of my food pics and I just had to post this. I could not resist taking this off the conveyor belt at the sushi place. These are fried crab claw balls. I can't even begin to explain this one, but I am glad I gave them a try.
Last is one of my favorite meals. Although it's not on a plate, it is still tasty, and I do get quite a bit of veggies in here- mushrooms and seaweed. I love soba!
Well, that's it for some of my plates when eating out. Coming up in a future National Nutrition Month post I will share pictures from a vegetarian/vegan potluck I hosted in honor of National Nutrition Month. I also have pictures to share from a Japanese cooking class.
QUESTIONS: What was on your plate for dinner? What's your favorite way to fill up your plate (favorite meal)?
Just in case I do not post again before March 11th, I want to ask everyone to keep Japan in your hearts as we celebrate the one year anniversary of the earthquake an tsunami. Although I was not living here yet, many people I know were here and many were affected by this tragedy. I am only hours from Sendai, which suffered huge losses and still continues with the recovery efforts to this day (among other smaller coastal towns that were hit hard). It is very much on everyones minds in Japan right now and lots of remembrance activities are going on this weekend (and really in the next week or so). Please, please continue to pray for Japan.