Elementary School Lunch: 03/11 - Mid-week Curry

Japan, FoodKristina PinoComment

I'm getting ever closer to the end of this school year. Today was my last busy day - that is, a day where I was engaged in teaching or work-related tasks all day long. If you aren't familiar - the NLT or ALT work day tends to end up being a lot of downtime depending on the sort of school situation you're in. If you're like me, and you just teach at one school, you won't be real busy all day every day, but you might be if you teach at several schools. So anyway, my schedule this year has been fixed by day, mid-week being the heaviest because that's just how things worked out. And yeah. Today was my last big day - everything from here is really just one class here, another there... bittersweet.

Today's lunch was some pork curry and rice, a "healthy" salad (this is in quotation marks because that's how it's listed in our menu), and some rice. The curry had the usual fixings in it: potato, edamame, bits of meat, onion, and carrot. As for the salad, it did comprise rather healthy ingredients: spinach, tuna, agar, cabbage, and carrot. It was all very filling and delicious.

Calorie count: 685

Elementary School Lunch: 02/20 - Chicken Curry-Rice

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

I wasn't supposed to have lunch with students on Friday, but there was a bit of a schedule change. Since it's cold and flu season, my school has been on high alert, trying to make sure we don't have students getting sick needlessly. The class I had lunch with on Friday were actually supposed to eat with me on Wednesday, except there were five students absent that day, and as an added measure, they were all eating lunch in silence, with desks all separate from each other. By Friday though, that homeroom was back to 100% attendance and a regular lunch configuration. The kids were pretty happy about that.

It couldn't have landed on a better day, either, as we had chicken curry and rice for lunch, along with a seaweed salad. The curry had quail eggs, potato, carrot, onion, and edamame along with bits of chicken, of course. As for the salad, it was just a couple of different kinds of seaweed, with cabbage, spinach, carrot, and a sweet sort of vegetable dressing.

Curry is always great on a Friday.

Calorie count: 668

Elementary School Lunch: 01/22 - Curry in a Hurry

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

Today's schedule was a little weird, because my students were having a recital. Instead of having lunch at 12:35 as usual, we were eating by 12. Not a huge difference, but it was shifted because the entire afternoon would then be dedicated to the kiddos and their performances. It's pretty cool, the kids sing and play instruments. That ranges from tambourines and recorders and piannicas to full-on brass bands with trumpets and clarinets. Great stuff.

Today's lunch was some pork curry, which is always a popular one. The bowl had bits of pork of course, along with onion, carrot, edamame, and potato. Simple, but filling. It was accompanied by rice and a seafood salad. The salad was cabbage with spinach, crab, and scallops, mixed with some shell pasta and a sweet sort of veggie dressing.

In case anyone has ever been curious about the curry we eat at school, whether it's heavier or anything, I should say it's a bit different from the curry you get at a restaurant. The kind we get at school usually has some apples and skim milk mixed in to make the roux and stew. The apples add great sweetness to the meal and probably helps thicken the sauce.

Calorie count: 676

Elementary School Lunch: 12/17 - Nan-less Keema Curry

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

We usually have Nan on our keema curry days, but for some reason rice was in order today. No complaints here, though - I love it either way. Our curry bowl was accompanied by a simple seaweed salad, since we hardly need much to distract from the awesomeness. The salad was just cabbage, spinach, two or so kinds of seaweed, and carrot with a sweet-tasting vegetable dressing.

As for the curry bowl, it had beans of course, along with sausage, ground pork, onion, carrot, green pepper, as well as garlic and ginger for seasoning. I'm just sad there wasn't enough for seconds today: everyone had a heaping serving like what's in this picture, and there was just enough for that.

Extra shot of the curry bowl from Instagram.

Calorie count: 696

Elementary School Lunch: 11/25 - Tuna and Curry

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

It was cold and rainy all day today... what a bummer! And I heard from a co-worker that tomorrow morning it'll be alright, but then rainy again throughout the afternoon and evening. Double bummer. But at least today was a curry day.

The main dish was pork curry with rice and the usual array of veggies mixed in: carrot, potato, edamame, and onion. I thought the salad was a weird companion to it, since it had tuna mixed in, but it actually went alright with the curry. Spinach, carrot, cucumber, ginger, tuna, and agar.

A solid meal for a gloomy day.

Calorie count: 680

Elementary School Lunch: 10/17 - Intruder Drill

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

Friday, we had an intruder drill at my school, overseen by police officers. One of my co-workers dressed up all sneaky-looking with his face covered and, holding a plastic knife, invaded one of the classrooms. Then we went through the procedure of evacuating students and apprehending the knife-wielder, etc etc. For some reason, the target classroom this year was of first graders instead of older students, and boy... I felt kind of bad - they were so scared. But! The drill was a success, and the police gave our students a lecture on stranger danger and safety while walking to/from school or with friends in the afternoon.

Lunch was pretty awesome - it's always a good day when we get curry. This time, we enjoyed the rare beef curry with rice and some salad with French dressing. The curry had the usual veggies mixed in: potatoes, onion, carrot, and edamame. It also was seasoned with some ginger and garlic. The salad was cabbage, spinach, cucumber, and corn. Solid end to the week.

Bonus shot of the curry on Instagram.

Calorie count: 608

Elementary School Lunch Catchup: Week of July 14th

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

After a week(ish) of silence, I've returned! My adapter broke so I had to hit the pause button on blogging for a bit there. But I'm back, and thankfully my catching-up won't be too bad: last week marked the end of the Spring term, and the students are now out on summer break. Regular lunch posts will resume in September after this one.

Since I'm posting five lunches today, I've put them under a page break so it doesn't take up so much space for those just browsing. <3


Wonton soup, brown sugar age-pan, green salad, and frozen yogurt. And they weren't kidding about the frozen part - I had to wait ages before I was able to have it. Anyway, it pretty much goes without saying at this point that lunch was awesome. The salad had asparagus, lettuce, and cucumber with some Italian basil dressing. The soup had wonton, spinach, carrot, bits of pork, tofu, onion, and bamboo. Oh yeah.

Calorie count: 635


Sanma, or Pacific saury smothered in miso, green bean salad, soup, and rice. The salad plate had konjac, mushrooms, and sesame seeds apart from the green beans, while the soup had naruto, mushrooms, carrot, onion, bits of pork, and spinach in it. Very satisfying.

Calorie count: 646


Pork and kimchi rice bowl! I loooove kimchi, so I was ecstatic on this day. We had that with some seaweed soup and a slice of watermelon. The kimchi plate with pork was mixed with other veggies too, like spinach, onion, and carrot. The soup had loads and loads of sesame seeds, plus seaweed of course, carrot, onion, spinach, and garlic chives. A+++++++.

Calorie count: 673


The main item this day was chili beans, which we enjoyed along with bread, salad, and corn. The salad was nice and colorful, with bean sprouts, spinach, and carrot, and and we put some Italian dressing on it. The soup had potato, bits of chicken, sausage, mixed beans, celery, and parsley. Plain, but effective. I always love our bean soups.

Calorie count: 642


This meal was a little different than originally planned, so I actually don't have a calorie count for it. We had summer veggie curry, which had been planned for the previous week on a day we all had off because of the typhoon. The curry had eggplant, pumpkin, onion, carrot, bits of pork, and even peppers. It's one of my favorite summertime meals. Besides the curry and rice, we enjoyed some salad and a frozen quarter of an apple as dessert. As with the frozen yogurt earlier in the week, I had to wait a while to enjoy the fruit since it was way too cold. I think it was about half an hour before I was able to bite into it. Yeesh.

But... worth it!

See you back in September! In the meanwhile, book reviews, link dumps, and all the other usual stuff will continue as usual.

Elementary School Lunch: 06/27 and 06/30 - end of June

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

Man, this year is going by quickly.

Once again, I forgot to post a Friday lunch. Sorry! Here it is, a hamburg steak with some soup, salad, and rice. The burger had some radish sauce on top, and the salad contained bean sprouts, carrots, and spinach with Japanese-style veggie dressing. The sweet taste of that sort of dressing goes rather well together with the burger, I think. On the side, we had a "potato and seaweed miso soup," which also had mushrooms, radish, bamboo, and onion. Overall a great meal, as usual.

Calorie count: 687

Today's lunch, the last of the month, was keema curry with naan, salad, and some pineapple yogurt for dessert. It was perfect: I usually try and go for seconds on a curry day, but I was just full after eating my basic portion. The naan was just 100g, a great size, and the yogurt was a great ending. The bowl of curry had, besides the ground pork and chickpeas, some onion, carrot, and green peppers. Our delightfully colorful salad of corn, cabbage, cucumber, and carrot had some sweet veggie dressing on it - nice contrast with the curry. I wish there'd been leftovers for me to bring home, haha.

Just look at that beautiful tray.

Calorie count: 638

Elementary Scool Lunch: 06/03 - a curry day in June

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

It's only our second lunch in June and bam. Curry.

Besides the curry and rice, we enjoyed a seaweed salad, which wasn't bad: cabbage, spinach, carrot, and seaweed with dressing. The curry, of course, was the big event. It had bits of pork, chunks of potato, edamame, onion, carrot, and even some apple mixed in. Too bad it's difficult to get seconds on curry day, because I basically have an extra stomach for the stuff.

Calorie count: 679

Elementary School Lunch: 05/07 - like anyone noticed the asparagus

Japan, FoodKristina PinoComment

If the tray looks rather plain, it's because today was curry day, and the kitchen staff know what's up. We had pork curry with the usual veggie fixings (onion, potato, carrot, edamame, bits of meat), rice, and some salad on the side. The salad was pretty plain: just cabbage, spinach, asparagus (not too common in our lunches), and corn in French dressing.

Of course, everything was delicious and I wish I had like two extra stomachs to just eat more curry. Actually, today it had a bit more of a kick than usual. Even the kids noticed it. No complaints, just an observation. Yummy.

Calorie count: 690