I have been making a bit of an effort to buy more additive-free and organic pantry items. I have started keeping my eyes peeled for organic/additive-free products in the supermarket. My food philosophy tends to be eat as healthy as possible with what is available. You should be able to find some of these items in your local supermarket. I have found a lot of additive-free and organic food at the local OK Supermarket, a discount supermarket.
Organic soy sauce
有機しょうゆ (ゆうき しょうゆ yuuki shouyu)
I have been using this soy sauce for a couple of weeks and I like it. It is made by Yamasa which is the company I usually buy non-organic soy sauce. This is a picture of the bag it was sold in.
無添加 ソーセージ (むてんか ソーセージ mutenka souseeji)
I spotted this about a week ago for the first time and tried them. They taste like normal chemical laden sausages. They were about 270 yen for one pack so they are a bit more expensive than regular sausages.
Additive-free potato chips
無添加ポテトチップス (むてんか ぽてと ちっぷす mutenka poteto chippusu)
My husband got into these before I had a chance to eat them. He said they tasted good.
(Mostly) Organic soy sauce
有機しょうゆ (ゆうき しょうゆ yuuki shouyu)
This one is made from organic soy beans but all other ingredients are not organic. I have never made soy sauce before so I can’t say how much non-organic material is in the soy sauce.
有機コーヒー (ゆうき こうひい yuuki kouhii)
I don’t drink coffee so I will not be able to review it but it is there for you to try.
有機納豆 (ゆうき なっとう yuuki nattou)
Another product I can’t stomach but the boys of the house love it. Aside from OK Supermarket, which sells organic natto for the same price as non-organic, supermarkets seem to sell organic natto in two packs for the same price as a three pack of non-organic. Not too bad if you don’t go through a lot.
Do you have a favorite organic or additive-free product? Please leave a comment (preferably with a link to a picture) below in the comments.
I like the idea of funky bento boxes but I rarely buy them because they are not all that practical for me. Most bento boxes are based on the assumption that you will have rice in one compartment, not anything sloppy or juicy. I don’t eat a lot of starches but I do eat a lot of stews and they leak when I use normal bento boxes. Bento boxes aren’t that sandwich friendly either. I don’t eat a lot of sandwiches but when I want to make them I have nothing to put them in.
What’s important for me when choosing lunch containers:
- shape – will it fit the types of foods I eat
- size – not too big as to encourage overeating but not to small as to require extra containers
- leakiness – I eat a lot of soupy things so leak proof is a must (both levels in case of a multi level container)
- aesthetics – I have yet to find something both functional and beautiful but I keep up hope. I always have and always will choose function over form.
What I covet
- Lego bento box – I don’t really need to explain why I covet it. It doesn’t look too leak proof so I will have to satisfy my lego love by picking up some lego chopsticks next time I go to the lego store. I just bought the fork and spoon set for the resident toddler. Image source.
- Wooden bento box – I love wood. I have a wood for and spoon set that I use at home all the time. I can see this getting stained by something tomatoey or leaking all over my bag. I would buy this if I drove to work everyday and could keep my bag flat at all times.
- Slim bento boxes – I had one. When I bought it I thought it would fit in my bag better than a wider box but discovered that it didn’t. These also have a leaking problem. The bottom level is for rice and the lid for that doesn’t stop leaks, even from things that aren’t saucy. If you only use the bottom for really dry things you will be fine.
- Donburi bento box – I love the shape and the non-pink ones look cool. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t eat a lot of starches so there is nothing that will absorb excess juice from stews. I have a feeling these babies will leak.
What I actually use is pretty boring but effective. All links are for Amazon Japan.
- Larger bento box with rubber around the inside edge – (top left) this one is for meal salads. Sometimes I put smaller containers, sans lids, inside so I can take things like humus and chickpea salad without mixing.
- Bento boxes with rubber around the inside edge – (top right) this is the one I have for non-salad meals. It is perfect for stews, pastas and curries. I would choose the black version if you eat a lot of tomato sauces as it could get stained over time. Mine hasn’t but I don’t make tomato sauce that often.
- Ziplock screw lock containers – these have never leaked on me, even with soup. I have all three sizes. The large ones are great for salads, you can layer the ingredients with the dressing and the hard veggies on the bottom and the leafy stuff on top. Then you just shake it up at lunch to get everything coated. No extra containers and no soggy lettuce. I use the middle size one the most.
What do you use for your lunches? If you have any product recommendations please leave them in the comments below.
I only pick the really weird Pepsi flavors to try and I couldn’t resist salty watermelon. I’ve tried adzuki Pepsi and shiso Pepsi and this is the most drinkable.
I think the kiddies are going to like this Pepsi flavor. But before you pass the bottle over to the nearest little person, keep in mind that there is caffeine on the ingredients list. This tastes pretty good – watermelony with a bit of a salty aftertaste. I would recommend picking this up to share with someone because while it’s good, it still tastes like a kids’ drink.
One of my favorite apps for the iPhone/iPad is Snapdish. I post a lot of meal photos there and get inspired. If you have a smart phone I highly recommend that you download and start using it. There are a lot of Japanese users so it is a great opportunity to see everyday home cooking as well as typical restaurant food. I’m Kirsten Adachi on snapdish if you would like to add me.
Three of my pics from Snapdish.
Taiyaki filled with banana and almond butter and grapefruit on the side.
Chicken, tomato, green pepper and onions cooked in the rice cooker and seasoned with Spiceluck’s kebab spice.
Chickpeas, eggplant, zucchini, carrot and tomato cooked in the rice cooker.
For some reason I am in love with sakura flavored stuff this year. In past years I didn’t give sakura flavoring the time of day. Probably because sakura season is during allergy season so I don’t participate in all of the hoopla. No picnics for me. I think I have only done it twice in my eight years here.
In the picture:
1. Sakura green tea
2. Sakura salt
3. Sakura macaroons
4. Sakura umeshu
5. Sakura bean paste
6. Pancakes topped with sakura bean paste
7. Sakura rice mix