The cure for impending illness? Japanese food.

My throat is getting scratchy. My head is foggy. Miso soup? Yes, please!

I’ve been craving sushi all day anyway, so a Japanese dinner seemed the only possible solution. I also didn’t want to go grocery shopping again (I went yesterday for the quesadilla accoutrements), so I did something I rarely do: I used ingredients I already had. And after a day of perusing food blogs working really hard, I was ready to get creative.

The end result:

The menu:

Wild Salmon Cakes with Ponzu Sauce (I didn’t have kaffir leaves or wasabi paste; I used Splenda instead of brown sugar for the ponzu sauce, and shoyu for the soy sauce; I used a 14.5-ounce can of wild salmon instead of fresh. It still ended up being nothing short of amazing – good thing I have leftovers!)

Spinach Gomae (again, used shoyu; made half the recipe for the sauce, since I am only one person; used about half a clamshell case of spinach, which was all I had left. Also delicious, and really very easy to make.)

Japanese Sesame Noodles (with shirataki noodles instead of soba – have you tried them? They are little zero-calorie miracles! I get them at Uwajimaya, an Asian supermarket in the International District.)

Miso Soup (also from Uwajimaya)

It was a lovely meal – both pretty and tasty. It helps that all my plates have a Japanese-influenced design. I don’t know why, but I’ve always preferred Asian food. Don’t get me wrong, I will scarf down spaghetti with Italian sausage (on spaghetti squash, of course) and you know how I feel about Russian food, but there’s something about Asian flavors that really appeals to me. Except Indian. For some reason, it’s always been my least favorite.

Then there was dessert, which was not Japanese at all…

That’s a baked apple concoction, with Splenda instead of sugar, gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose and almond milk instead of whole milk. And right next to it is cottage cheese with vanilla extract, cinnamon, and Splenda. Oh, and the cinnamon almonds. Clearly there was a cinnamon theme.

And then I had a piece of 72% Godiva dark chocolate… because dark chocolate is good for you. What? It’s true!


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