Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Healing Soup

Last week, being cold constantly finally caught up with me, and I caught a cold. On Wednesday, I was so achey with a sore throat. So, I fixed up a bowl of Healing Cabbage Soup, which I made often the last time we lived in Japan. I love this soup, but I never make it in the U.S. because cabbage is so dang expensive! Here, cabbage is super cheap, and it is always stocked in my fridge for so many uses--yakisoba, okonomiyaki, etc.

Anyways, after 2 big bowls of healing soup made late at night, I went to bed. In the morning, I felt 100% better! It really is healing! I made some for our boss, who was getting an eye infection, and the next morning, her eyes were completely cleared up. Maybe it's just the garlic, but this soup is amazing and yummy, too!

Healing Cabbage Soup (adapted from Allrecipes)

3 Tbsp. oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
8 or 9 cups water
4 tsps chicken bouillon (or veggie bouillon)
1 tsp. salt
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 to 1/2 cup rice
1/2 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. sugar
Pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in oil in large pot until softened. Add water and turn heat to high. When boil, dissolve bouillon in water. Turn heat to med-high and add cabbage, carrot, and salt. Cook for 10 mins. Add in rice, tomatoes, and sugar. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. You may need to add more water and bouillon if the soup is getting too thick. Eat and be healthy!

Any other good recipes for cabbage?
Sunday, January 16, 2011


The moving stress has vanished! We are now safely settled in Japan, land of no insulation, in the middle of winter. I am getting serious ab muscles from shivering constantly :)
But it's all good--because Japan has many wonderful things to make up for their intense seasons.


Daiso--Japan's most popular dollar store. This place sells wool yarn, button covers, fabric, felt, and so many cooking goodies, like nori seaweed heart punches! Also, pillows, slippers, plants. It's amazing.

France sticks--Japan has so many baked goods, just a huge section of pastries in every store. Yummy! Last time I was here, I was a big fan of Nice sticks, but I have since discovered France sticks. Just a big long piece of sugary white bread filled with caramel cream or almond cream. Under $1. Yes! I won't say how many of these I have had for lunch!

Japanese bathrooms
--No, I'm not talking about the squatter toilets or even the nicely heated toilet seats. Sadly, we didn't get a cool toilet seat this time. I am talking about pretty much unlimited hot water and deep soaking tubs. There is a reason why Japanese people take daily baths. Another cool and random thing: Our toilet has a sink built into it, so when you flush, the sink runs with the clean, refilling water. Saves space and water. I think it's pretty neat. Also love that the toilets have a "little" flush option and a "big" flush option.

--Our new city has a Dream, my favorite store for craft supplies and fabric. All the fun Japanese fabric I have been wanting is here! In America, it's $16 a yard, whereas here it's about $6. It's probably a good thing that I didn't bring my sewing machine.

--of course! My kids have been eating miso soup and udon, which warms my heart! I have been using Japanese mayo on pretty much everything--it is so yummy! And the 50 cent blocks of grilled tofu and pineapples for $1 are really nice!

So I am cold but happy! We can still get American TV on our computer, so I have been watching "I Used to Be Fat", which also makes me happy--such an uplifting show. Fun to watch while eating France sticks :)

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