Quick Japanese-ish Bowl

This was supposed to be something complicated involving roasted spaghetti squash and dashi broth with mushrooms, but the day and availability of spaghetti squash at the grocery store conspired against that plan.

So, I went quick and easy – still in the vein of the Japanese I’ve been craving (can you tell I’ve been on an Asian kick lately?) and something I could prepare one-handed while I cradled a pup whose belly wasn’t feeling the best (Princess decided to try mulch while in the park yesterday).

Vegetarian option, paleo option, low carb option

Quick Japanese-ish Bowl

1 Tbsp. neutral oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 packet shimeji or other mushrooms
1 small packet shiritaki (aka kontjac) noodles
2-3 tsp. Kenko triple balance onion dressing (https://goo.gl/images/Q3GwQd)
2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos
Optional: leftover ground chicken
Optional: green cabbage noodles, carrot and/or green onions

In a large skillet over medium – high heat, warm the oil.

If you’re adding carrot, add now.

Add the chopped onion and sautée until beginning to brown.

If you’re adding cabbage, add now.

Add the chicken if using and mushrooms – sautée until the mushrooms are beginning to soften.

Drain noodles and add. Cook, stirring, until water has evaporated and everything else is almost where you want it.

Add the sauces and stir; cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Tip with sliced green onions if using.

Serves 1 with a small pack noodles & mushrooms and no additions; stretches to 2 with additions or larger packets

Japanese CYOA Bowls

This is another in my series of Asian-inspired ‘choose your own adventure’ dinners – these seem to be working best for DH’s and my separate nutrition needs and the type of light summer foods we’ve both been craving.

Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, Keto, vegetarian, vegan

Japanese CYOA Bowls

In the bottom of your bowl, add:

1/2 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1 tsp. coconut aminos
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
Squirt sriracha (optional)

Add your base – like zoodles or rice – and toss.

Top with:

Sliced radish
Sliced nori
Sliced scallions
Shredded rotisserie chicken
Soft boiled egg

Sprinkle on a little furikake or some sesame seeds, serve and enjoy.

Paleo Poke Bowls

Mmmmm… poke. This is a dead simple choose your own adventure kind of dinner – the kind of thing I’m making a lot lately, since I’m back to eating low carb and DH is craving rice to fuel his workouts.

Gluten-free, paleo, Keto if you make it Keto

Paleo Poke Bowls

Fresh salmon or tuna, chopped bite-sized
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
4 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds


Sliced avocado
Shredded purple cabbage
Julienned carrots
Chopped cucumber
Minced ginger
Lime juice
Chopped pineapple
Sliced scallions
Chili garlic paste


Zoodles, rice, lettuce or steamed and chilled broccoli

Marinate the fish in the next 5 ingredients while prepping the toppings.

To serve, top X with X and fish. I laid out a plate of toppings + bowls of zoodles & rice for an interactive choose-your-own bar. Enjoy.

Keto Sushi

Ha! Finally! Keto sushi! I have no idea where exactly I saw a version of this recipe, but I do remember I was deep in a Pinterest recipe hole at 3am while I couldn’t sleep one night. Go, night cravings me. I didn’t think keto sushi was a thing unless it involved cream cheese and cauliflower rice.

You can make these however you want – I’d say the only “must” is avocado, but mostly because I love avocado and without it these would not be filling in the slightest. I made 2 rolls for my dinner, and could have eaten double happily. But then again, much like Homer Simpson, I can lay waste to some seafood.

Gluten-free, paleo, keto

Keto Sushi

Nori sheets (1 per roll)
Avocado, sliced into thin strips
Fresh fish of choice (I had salmon on hand), sliced into thin strips
Julienned kimchi
Julienned bell peppers
Julienned green onions

To assemble

  1. Place the nori shiny side up on a bamboo sushi mat or piece of parchment paper.
  2. Place your fish down about half an inch from the edge facing you.
  3. Add your other ingredients in a strip – I did a double-wide strip – fish in a quarter-inch thick slice topped with avocado then pepper and scallion with kimchi on top.
  4. Wet the edge closest to you with a finger dipped in water.
  5. Roll the damp raw edge over the fillings.
  6. Roll the edge of the mat (or paper) over the roll and push back with your hands to compress into shape.
  7. Slowly roll the mat (or paper) away from you while compressing to form the roll.
  8. Wet the far edge with a finger dipped in water.
  9. Seal by rolling the sushi over the edge and pressing a bit to stick.
  10. To slice, dip your sharpest (non-serrated) blade in water and pull through the roll quickly, taking care not to mash. My first cut was a hot mess – with subsequent cuts, I started on the far side and sliced towards myself. Which I’m sure offends some sort of sushi gods, but so probably does kimchi and zero rice. I have not yet been haunted.

Low Carb Sushi Bowl

Sushi is something I really miss when I’m cracking down on my carbs – a bowl like this helps in times like that. You can dress this up a million different ways: sub cauli rice tossed with a splash rice vinegar for the cucumber noodles, switch out the proteins, add your favorite ingredients … the sky’s the limit, really.

Gluten-free, paleo, keto

Low Carb Sushi Bowl


Shrimp – I had 19kg or 18 medium
1.5 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1 Tbsp. your favorite oil
1/2 avocado
2 sheets nori
1 cucumber


2 Tbsp. mayo
1 tsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp. sriracha or to taste
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. ginger garlic paste


2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. furikake

First, make your base by noodling the cucumber however it is that you prepare zucchini noodles. Cucumber noodles will be a bit wetter, so you will want to put them in a colander to drain. Salt if you want and let sit to drain while you prep everything else.

In a large pan over medium heat, add the neutral oil and large portion of ginger garlic paste. let cook until fragrant. Add the shrimp and sautee until pink and cooked through – about 4 minutes total for both sides. Cut the heat and move the pan aside.

While the shrimp is cooking, make the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stirring.

To assemble, split the cucumber between two bowls. Cut the nori into thin strips and divide between the bowls. Cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces and divide. Divide the shrimp and add.

Top with a drizzle of the sauce and add sprinkle with the toppers.

Serves 2 for a light dinner

Keto Ramen

If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a Japanese kick again lately, and I’m determined to lick this delicate-yet-complex flavor profile and bend it to my low carb ways (muahaha).

Gluten-free, keto

Keto Ramen

2 c. water
1 pkg. shiritaki noodles
2 Tbsp. dashi broth starter
1 tsp. white miso
2 Tbsp. wakame
6 ounces white fish
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 c. bok choy
1 Tbsp. soy sauce, ponzu, tamari or coconut aminos
1 tsp. rice vinegar
Furikake (I love the varieties with bonito)
White pepper

Season the fish with salt & white pepper and sautee in 1 Tbsp. sesame oil until cooked through. Flake into a large bowl. Add 1 Tbsp. sesame oil to the bottom of the bowl, along with a squirt of sriracha.

In a saucepan, stir the dashi stock into the water and being to a boil. Add the miso and stir. Add the wakame and bok choy.

Drain and rinse the shiritaki noodles. Add to the pan.

Boil 3 – 5 minutes to cook the noodles and veggies. Add the soy and vinegar.

Pour the soup into the bowl and top with furikake to serve.

Makes 1 big serving

Keto Eggrolls

Mmmmm….. eggrolls. Sushi. These are two things I kinda miss on Keto. Sure, sashimi is great – buuuuuuut I can eat my bodyweight in fresh fish, and that ish gets expensive.

I’ve got my favorite egg roll in a bowl recipes, but I wanted something a little different.

Gluten-free, paleo, Keto

Keto Eggrolls

About 4 ounces shrimp
1/2 an avocado
1/2 inch ginger
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. soy, tamari, coconut aminos or ponzu
2-3 sheets nori
A few Tablespoons frying oil

Dipping Sauce

2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. soy, tamari, coconut aminos or ponzu
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. Sambal olek

Grate your ginger and garlic. Chop the shrimp. Peel and slice the avocado. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, warm a quarter of the frying oil.

Add the shrimp, garlic & ginger and stir-fry until cooked through. Set aside and wipe the pan.

Assemble the eggrolls by placing about 2 Tablespoons shrimp and a slice or two of avocado in the center of the nori sheet.

Gently roll the nori sheet, taking care to tuck the ends in like a burrito so you have an enclosed packet. If the nori rips a little, that’s ok – the frying will keep your eggroll mostly together.

Add the rest of the frying oil to the pan over medium-high heat.

When the oil comes up to temperature, place the eggrolls seam side down and fry 1-2 minutes or until crisp. Flip and fry. Be careful here not to burn your eggrolls to cinders – it’s easy. A little burned is fine; just no carbon.

To make your dipping sauce, combine all dipping sauce ingredients in a small dish.

Serves 1

Japanese Style Chicken & Cabbage Noodles

This is a simple weeknight meal that can be expanded to feed a crowd easily – or can feed just two.

Gluten-free, paleo, keto

Japanese Style Chicken & Cabbage Noodles

1/2 lb. ground chicken
1/2 inch fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
3 tsp. sesame seeds
4 Tbsp. neutral oil
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 head green cabbage
4 tsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 tsp. rice vinegar
2 stalks celery
2 eggs
White pepper

Heat 2 Tbsp. Neutral oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken.

Press or grate the fresh ginger and garlic and add. Hit with salt and white pepper.

While your chicken is cooking, core and shred the cabbage into long ribbons.

When the chicken is cooked 3/4 of the way through, add 2 tsp. sesame oil & 2 tsp. sesame seeds.

Set aside when cooked through.

In the same pan still over medium-high heat, add 2 more Tbsp. oil. When the oil is up to temperature, add the cabbage noodles.

Stir-fry until soft and beginning to brown.

While the cabbage is working, cut your celery on the bias into 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide pieces. Break your eggs into a small bowl.

When the cabbage is just about done, season with salt & white pepper. Add 2 tsp. soy sauce and 2 tsp. rice vinegar at the end of cooking.

Set aside.

Put the pan back on the heat and add 1 Tbsp. sesame oil. When the oil is up to temperature, add the celery. Stir fry until tender and beginning to brown, adding a couple Tablespoons water if necessary.

When the celery is done, add the eggs. Let sit a few seconds, then gently start to scramble. Season with 2 tsp. soy sauce and 1 tsp. Sesame seeds.

Add the noodles and the chicken back into the pan and give a good toss. Hit with a sprinkle white pepper and some more salt if needed.

Serves 2 for dinner

Low Carb Japanese Peanut Butter Beef

Another gem inspired by my Japanese food YouTube obsession. Delicious, delicious obsession.

I’ve made this version low carb. The original recipe used oyster sauce in place of hoisin (I happened to have hoisin on hand – Chinese, I know) and udon in place of spaghetti squash.

I also turned around and had this for dinner a second night in a row – with added roasted brussels sprouts – and it was magical.

gluten-free, keto, paleo-ish

Low Carb Japanese Peanut Butter Beef

150g ground beef
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 Tbsp. peanut butter (check your label!)
1 tsp. hoisin or oyster sauce (check your label!)
1 Tbsp. sake or rice wine
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos or tamari
1/2 cup cooked spaghetti squash

Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until just browned. Add the liquids, peanut butter and hoisin/oyster sauce and stir quickly to combine completely. Add the spaghetti squash and scallions and stir well to combine.

Serves 1 for dinner

Japanese Sesame Greens

This quick and easy side dish makes a great light dinner with a little protein. Inspired by a recipe made on one of my favorite YouTube channels: Texan In Tokyo (RIP).

gluten-free, paleo, whole30, keto, vegetarian, vegan

Japanese Sesame Greens

1 bunch bok choy (about 1 cup chopped)
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 drops stevia

In a medium pan, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring frequently, until softened.

Meanwhile, bash the sesame all to hell in a mortar & pestle until it resembles sand.

When the sesame is done, add the coconut aminos & stevia and stir to combine. Let cook a minute or so. Add the bashed sesame seeds, stir to combine, and pull off the heat.

Serves 1 as a side dish

Nutritional Breakout: 430 calories, 7 grams net carbs, 8 grams protein, 40 grams fat