I am very excited about the new 7Meals available from Japan's 7-11 stores which I just read about over at Maki's blog. Think of it as the 'Lite n'easy' of Japan only much more appetising and convenient!
Japan’s 7-11s are not quite the same as the ones in the U.S. to say the least. One of the services they offer is takeaway or home delivery of pre-ordered meals, including bentos. They have a dedicated web site for this service, called 7meal (セブン・ミール) (in Japanese only.)
7-11 does have readymade and ready to buy bentos and other prepared foods for sale in their stores, but this is a bit different. Basically, you place an order via the web site, by phone or at your local 7-11 for a bento or other meal such as noodles (ramen, udon or soba) a day or so ahead. There is a different bento menu every day. You can order a single meal, or order ahead for a full 6 days, say for lunch every day. You can order for lunch or dinner delivery or pickup. Delivery is free.
The emphasis of the site is on healthy, balanced meals. Conbini bentos and other takeout meals have come under a lot of criticism for being unhealthy and fattening, and this is an obvious attempt to combat that. Their 7meals philosophy page states that they do not use any artificial colors or preservatives in their delivery meals, and that each meal is planned based on ‘strict nutritional guidelines’ and food safety considerations.
Check out the online PDF menu or the website (Japanese only) for more information.
I want to order one for delivery when I am over at Gracie's new Shimokita apartment next week! Calorie counting has never been so fun!
P.S. I mentioned to the lovely Bree that Mr Y and I were having onigiri for Australia Day lunch today and she just emailed to say she was inspired to make some herself. Luckily for us she has shared some pictures of her delicious onigiri along with a few recipes. おいしそう〜！
One of our 'I heart food' shopping bags from Isetan Food Market. Have you heard about Bagbusters Bagshare where community members can borrow a green bag from retailers and return next time they shop? (It's a good place to donate any unwanted reusable shopping bags - I'm not parting with my cute Isetan ones though!)
Inspired by my lovely friend Yumi at Dear Plastic, and in attempt to start 2010 with a health kick, I've started shopping at co-ops and growers markets.
On New Years Eve Mr Y and I took our polka-dot canisters (from my favourite Tokyo suburb Shimokita) and stocked up on yummy things like tamari almonds, blueberries and kombu from Alfalfa House Co-op.
And this morning we woke early to buy fruit and vegetables from the Growers Markets. Home by 9:30am and with bags full of healthy things like okra, it was such a lovely way to start the weekend.
Oh, and I treated myself to some sunny cottage-style flowers. All this for AUD$25! eeep!
P.S. Have you seen It Will Stop Raining? It's my absolute favourite food blog!
Beautiful images above from It Will Stop Raining.
You might also like Pip's food blog - Mikes Recipe Journal and Just Hungry for some inspiring recipes. And won't it be great when Bree publishes her Vegetarian Japanese Recipe Book!
Well Sandwiches, Happy Healthy Oishii 2010!
Thank you Pretty Pretty Yum Yum for letting us know about This Cute Charaben (Character Bento) flickr collection.
Aren't these brekkies just lovely! Each one of them makes me smile!
I recently discovered Cesca's lovely flickr via Kate's blog Lovelorn Unicorn after she wrote this lovely post including me.
I love how Kate has summed up Cesca's lovely breakfasts:
Her amazing, colourful & delicious breakfast compositions blow me away. To me there’s joy in domestic life, in turning every day routine into a enjoyable, personal ritual; enjoying clean crisp sheets, fresh flowers or drinking from your favourite teacup in the morning sunshine. I think Cesca takes it to a whole new level and elevates breakfast to extraordinary – imagine what the day could bring or what you’d accomplish after sitting down to dreamy morning meals like these.
Kate, I agree with you completely! These are just so gorgeous and a fantastic way to start the day! And lovely Cesca, I think you need to be a stylist!
Ohayo everyone and I hope you have a happy Friday!
Special thanks to Kate and Cesca for your help with this post! xxx
Another treat from Mr Y's Japan package was a stock up of my favourite seaweed, Hijiki. This seaweed used to be available in Sydney but unfortunately I have not been able to find it stocked anywhere in Sydney over the last few years - This may be because of the safety concerns associated with eating hijiki. In any case, I don't think it is too much to worry about providing you don't eat too much of it all the time.
The above image is from Oishii Yo
This Hijiki salad recipe is my favourite way to cook the hijiki! I hope you will enjoy too (if you manage to get your hands on it in your country!) We cooked this on Saturday night as part of our Japanese dinner for Gracie.
Above image from Radish Boy
Speaking of our dinner with Gracie...Look at this gorgeous handmade thank you card that I found on my desk at work this morning! It's a little drawing of the dinner we all shared together!!! Oh my goodness right~?!
From left to right: Gohan with ebi furikake, lettuce and tomato salad, pickled cucumber, hijiki seaweed salad, tamagoyaki with nori roll, ohitashi spinach, miso and the main plate is my favourite miso mayonnaise baked salmon. Gracie even illustrated my gingham table cloth and polka dot chop sticks! Don't you just love her!
P.S. Find out more about Japanese seaweeds here.
By the way, this is the recipe for the never fail miso-mayonnaise baked salmon that I cook regularly.
2 portions salmon fillet
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 shitake mushrooms thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
For the miso-mayonnaise paste:
4 tbsp Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp white or red miso paste
作り方 (Tsukuri kata):
Preheat the over to 180degrees. Thoroughly mix the miso and mayonnaise. Make a deep cut in each of the salmon fillets without cutting through them completely. Cut two pieces of foil large enough to completely enclose each piece of salmon. Spread half of the miso-mayo paste into the middle of each foil piece. Divide the spring onions and mushrooms evenly and scatter on top of the paste. Place each salmon fillets on top of the paste and spoon the remaining miso-mayo paste and the grated cheese into the cuts in the salmon. Tightly enclose the salmon in the foil and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Open the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned. Serve with your favourite Japanese side dishes and enjoy!
P.S. Find out more about Japanese seaweeds here.