small eats http://small-eats.com healthy eats for a small table Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:53:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 92328518 Small Fact Friday: Tomatoes and Vitamin A http://small-eats.com/2017/07/21/small-fact-friday-tomatoes-and-vitamin-a/ http://small-eats.com/2017/07/21/small-fact-friday-tomatoes-and-vitamin-a/#respond Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:53:12 +0000 http://small-eats.com/?p=2526 Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A. #smallfactfriday

Get more small facts on food and nutrition here.

Source: Self Nutrition Data.

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Staying Hydrated with Food http://small-eats.com/2017/07/20/staying-hydrated-with-food/ http://small-eats.com/2017/07/20/staying-hydrated-with-food/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:27:35 +0000 http://small-eats.com/?p=2522 Eat these foods in addition to the water you're drinking to stay hydrated this summer. | Staying Hydrated with Food from small-eats.com
This is part of a series I’ve been creating for Azumio. Azumio is an app company dedicated to improve health and wellness by tracking sleep and steps, monitoring your glucose levels and heart rate, and providing exercise libraries and routines.

Staying hydrated is essential to your health. As we move throughout our day, we’re constantly losing water from breathing, sweating, moving, and the other processes happening in our bodies. The higher intensity our movement or the temperature is, the more water we lose. We can only get water from drinking water and eating foods.

As the weather heats up this time of year, hydration is even more important. You’re losing water faster to keep your core temperature cool and putting yourself at a greater risk to become dehydrated. Dehydration can, in it’s early stages feel like fatigue or headaches, and in it’s more mature stages can look like shock, not urinating, very dry skin, or dizziness.

How Much Water You Should Drink
When it comes down to how much water you should drink, there is an easy calculation to get a good starting point for how much you should drinking. Take your body weight and divide that in half. That number, in ounces, is a starting point for what you should be drinking per day. If you’re more active, you’re under the weather, you regularly drink coffee, tea, or other diuretics, or it’s warmer outside, you should be drinking more.

In addition to what you’re drinking, you can also stay hydrated by eating foods that are high in water content. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are in season in hotter months for you enjoy.

Learn more about the foods you can eat to stay hydrated at Azumio’s blog.

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Small Fact Friday: Cashews and Protein http://small-eats.com/2017/07/14/small-fact-friday-cashews-and-protein/ http://small-eats.com/2017/07/14/small-fact-friday-cashews-and-protein/#respond Fri, 14 Jul 2017 11:33:28 +0000 http://small-eats.com/?p=2514 Cashews are a good source of protein. #smallfactfriday

Get more small facts on food and nutrition here.

Source: Self Nutrition Data.

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Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta http://small-eats.com/2017/07/13/zucchini-lasagna-with-cashew-ricotta/ http://small-eats.com/2017/07/13/zucchini-lasagna-with-cashew-ricotta/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 11:20:11 +0000 http://small-eats.com/?p=2506 A hearty gluten and dairy free lasagna topped with a cheese-free pesto.  | Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta from small-eats.com
Summertime equals zucchini. So much zucchini its almost comical. If you get a CSA box, get ready to love zucchini, because you’re going to get a lot of it, if you haven’t already.

But, don’t fear, there are many ways to enjoy zucchini in different ways that won’t make you sick of zucchini. Zucchini such a versatile ingredient that I didn’t really take full advantage of until I went full gluten-free and saw just how much I can use it as a grain swap.

A hearty gluten and dairy free lasagna topped with a cheese-free pesto.  | Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta from small-eats.com

In addition to the ever popular zucchini noodles or zoodles for pasta, you can also thinly slice zucchini and use that as a flat noodle or a lasagna noodle. I have a soft spot for lasagna. It’s comfort food and you can get lots of milage out of one pan. And, traditional lasagna has gluten (boo) and dairy.

I’m not eliminating dairy, just trying to cut down on it. With my eczema healing up I’m trying to cut down on as many inflammatory foods as possible, and dairy is high on the inflammatory list. Also, grass-fed/organic dairy is expensive! While I totally understand why, I also prefer not to break the bank on lasagna. A grass fed steak sure, but not lasagna. Some of my friends are also cutting out dairy for health reasons, so making things dairy-free has been more on my mind lately.

A hearty gluten and dairy free lasagna topped with a cheese-free pesto.  | Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta from small-eats.com

Living a gluten and dairy free life doesn’t have to be a FOMO struggle, and this Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta proves that. It’s a great marriage of being satisfying, gluten free and dairy free. The layer of cashew ricotta adds a nice richness to the lasagna and you would never miss the regular version. The fact that the ricotta is made from cashews also adds a good dose of healthy fats and proteins. I’ve also added in a basil pesto of sorts to give the top a little extra since there’s no cheese. Basil is also aplenty in the summer and adds a nice depth of flavor to it.

In addition to the cashew ricotta and the basil pesto, this lasagna also has a layer of kale and of mushrooms. As always, I encourage you to swap out with ingredients you like/ have on hand. If you prefer another kind of green, go with that. I will say, if you do spinach, sauté that down first to release the water so you don’t get a soupy lasagna. Soupy lasagna isn’t fun. Heartier greens like Swiss chard and collards you’re fine with adding in raw.

A hearty gluten and dairy free lasagna topped with a cheese-free pesto.  | Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta from small-eats.com

You can choose whatever mushroom you like (I chose cremini) or you can swap it out for another summer vegetable. Eggplant would work great and add more heft to this meal. Broccoli, cauliflower, or another summer squash would also be a great filling.

This lasagna is a great weekend cook or meal prep day addition. Real talk, I made the components for this lasagna in two parts. One day I made the ricotta and prepped the fillings, the next day I made the sauce, the pesto, and assembled the whole thing. Do what works for you!

A hearty gluten and dairy free lasagna topped with a cheese-free pesto.  | Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta from small-eats.com

Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

Yield: Makes one 8x8" lasagna

Ingredients

    Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (coconut oil, olive oil, or animal fat), ghee or butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tsp oregano
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Filling Layers
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (coconut oil, olive oil, or animal fat), ghee or butter
  • 8oz mushrooms (I chose cremini, any work), sliced and halved if larger mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, ribs removed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Cashew Ricotta Cheese with 2 tsp oregano mixed in
  • Lasagna Noodles
  • 2-3 large zucchini (7-8 inches), top and bottom removed
  • salt
  • Basil Pesto
  • 1 bunch of basil, rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400.

In a sauté pan, bring your cooking oil/fat of choice to medium heat. When melted, add garlic, onion and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-20 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl

With a vegetable peeler, mandoline, or knife, thinly slice zucchini into flat strips. Arrange on a paper-towel lined baking sheet (or several if you have them). Lightly salt noodles and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Press out the excess water with a paper towel or tea towel.

In your sauté pan, bring your cooking oil/fat if choice to medium heat and allow melt, if needed. Add in mushrooms and cook for 10-15 minutes, until browned and water has released from them. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a food processor, combine basil, garlic, and seasoning and run the food processor. As it's running, pour in olive oil until pesto begins to form. Add more olive oil, slowly, as needed, until desired consistency is reached.

Spoon a layer of sauce to cover the bottom of the 8x8 baking dish and arrange a layer of zucchini noodles on top of it. Add the kale layer and cover with another layer of zucchini noodles. Spread cashew ricotta in the baking dish and top with a layer of zucchini noodles. Add in mushroom layer and top with a layer of zucchini noodles. Top with remaining sauce and spread the pesto across the top.

Loosely cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 before cutting with a sharp knife.

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Cashew Ricotta Cheese http://small-eats.com/2017/07/13/cashew-ricotta-cheese/ http://small-eats.com/2017/07/13/cashew-ricotta-cheese/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 11:00:38 +0000 http://small-eats.com/?p=2501 A dairy-free ricotta made from cashews that will satisfy any cheese lover. | Cashew Ricotta Cheese from small-eats.com

I love cheese, and sometimes cheese doesn’t love me back. And thankfully, I’m not alone in this. I’ve got several friends that aren’t eating cheese or dairy for a myriad of reasons, all that are health-related.

Even though we’re all taking the healthy high road doesn’t mean that delicious cheese memory goes away, so I’ve started dipping my toe into making plant-based cheeses and creamy sauces.

A dairy-free ricotta made from cashews that will satisfy any cheese lover. | Cashew Ricotta Cheese from small-eats.com

After a few years of resisting because it “seemed too hard,” it’s surprisingly easy, you just need to know you want some cheese by the morning for that afternoon and you’re good. The key is soaking nuts so they get softer and are easier for your food processor/blender to break down and be creamy. Soaking nuts is also a good way to make it easier for your body to digest because it breaks down the phytic acid that “protects” the nut from invaders.

You can enjoy this Cashew Ricotta Cheese as an appetizer, for a snack with raw veggies, or as a dairy ricotta swap in recipes. This recipe has simple seasonings so it’s a little more versatile. If you’ve got a specific flavor profile that you’re adding it to (Italian, Greek, something spicy, something sweet), feel free to add additional seasonings in or omit the garlic powder completely. I would keep the salt in there even with sweet things because salt always brings something a little extra.

Cashew Ricotta Cheese

Yield: Makes about 3-4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, non culinary (any non-dairy milk will work)
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

Put raw cashews in a bowl/large mason jar and fill with enough filtered water to cover the nuts. Soak for at least an hour, overnight is better. Drain and rinse 2-3 times.

In a food processor, add the cashews, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt. Pulse until small chunks remain, then pour in coconut milk while running until a ricotta texture is reached.

Store in the fridge for a week.

Notes

Adapted from Nutritionicity

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Small Fact Friday: Shiitake Mushrooms and Selenium http://small-eats.com/2017/07/07/small-fact-friday-shiitake-mushrooms-and-selenium/ http://small-eats.com/2017/07/07/small-fact-friday-shiitake-mushrooms-and-selenium/#respond Fri, 07 Jul 2017 11:25:58 +0000 http://small-eats.com/?p=2495 Shiitakes are a good source of selenium. #smallfactfriday

Get more small facts on food and nutrition here.

Source: Self Nutrition Data.

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