What the Heck is Gluten, Anyway?

Be honest: Do you really know what gluten is? It’s ok, we’re not judging. We know there’s a lot of confusion out there about the gluten-free craze, and the truth is there’s a lot of misinformation being spread around about gluten.

Just take a look at this quite hilarious video from Jimmy Kimmel Live where random people on the street are asked if they know what gluten is.

So, as you can see, if you don’t know what gluten is, don’t worry. You aren’t alone.

What is Gluten?

Gluten refers to a combination of proteins (prolamin and glutelin proteins, if you want to get all scientific) that exist in specific grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, and their derivatives. That means you’ll find gluten in so many different foods and drinks, including breads, pastas, pancakes, sauces, beer, cereals, and a whole lot more.

Why are People Going Gluten-Free?

The gluten-free diet has become increasingly popular over the last few years. And while you might think it’s nothing more than another diet fad, you’d be wrong. For many people, eating gluten can lead to bad results. Many have to ditch gluten for medical reasons, because they suffer from Celiac Disease and consuming gluten can cause some serious intestinal problems and a host of other issues.

What exactly happens when someone with Celiac Disease eats gluten? The gluten actually causes an autoimmune response in the person’s body. It causes inflammation throughout the intestinal tract, and it can seriously damage the small intestines. As a result, this blocks the absorption of essential nutrients in the body which can lead to very serious nutrient and vitamin deficiencies in the individual.

But what if you don’t have Celiac Disease…do you really need to go gluten-free or cut back on gluten?

It depends, but consider the following:

 

  • For every 1 person that has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, there are 6.4 people with the disease who are undiagnosed.
  • Millions of people with Celiac Disease haven’t been diagnosed.
  • An estimated 7%-30% of people experience non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, meaning consuming gluten affects them adversely even if they don’t have Celiac Disease.

 

So, what are we supposed to do with all of this information? Does this mean you should immediately stop consuming all gluten right this moment? Probably not.

The truth is we’re still learning a lot about gluten intolerance and its effects on the body. Many people don’t need to go gluten-free. However, if you’re experiencing any symptoms like bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and other digestive issues, it might be worth trying to go without gluten for a few weeks to see how you feel. Or at the very least, cut back on your gluten some to see if you feel any different.

Remember, there are a lot of great gluten-free options out there these days. Many restaurants offer delicious gluten-free dishes for diners, and grocery stores have more gluten-free products by the day. And of course, there’s always Little Soya gluten-free soy sauce – Your Everything Sauce! Everyone loves Little Soya, whether they have gluten intolerance or not, thanks to its amazing umami flavor. Cutting back on gluten is easier than you think!

 

 

 

 

 

4 Quick and Easy Little Soya Snacks

Whether it’s the middle of the afternoon or midnight, when your stomach starts growling, the last thing you want to do is prepare a full-course meal. You want something quick, easy, and delicious to snack on to curb your cravings when hunger strikes.

Today, we’re going to show you some incredibly simple and mind-blowingly satisfying Little Soya snacks that are sure to hit the right spot when you’re in the mood to munch.

1. Avocado drizzled with Little Soya

Photo credit: TheSweetBeet.com

Photo credit: TheSweetBeet.com

Avocados are always good for snacking. They’re tasty and loaded with healthy fats. This simple snack recipe uses lemon and Little Soya soy sauce to highlight the natural avocado flavor.

 

  • 1 avocado cubed
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Little Soya gluten-free soy sauce

 

Just arrange the avocado slices on a plate or in your Tupperware if you’re taking it on the go, and drizzle it with the lemon juice and Little Soya!

 

2. Little Soya popcorn

Photo credit: BrooklynFarmGirl.com

Photo credit: BrooklynFarmGirl.com

Popcorn has been a go-to snack for decades, but you’ve never had popcorn like this! Here’s what you need:

 

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 tbs Little Soya soy sauce
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 ½ tsp wasabi powder
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt

 

Simply pop your popcorn as you normally would. Then, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in a microwave, mixing in the soy sauce and wasabi powder well. Pour the mixture over the hot popcorn. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.

 

3. Edamame with Little Soya

Photo credit: ConfessionsofaPickyEater.com

Photo credit: ConfessionsofaPickyEater.com

Edamame, also known as soybeans, have been a popular snack in China and Japan for thousands of years. Soybeans are low fat, low calorie, and loaded with protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals.

 

  • 10 oz. bag frozen edamame in pods, thawed
  • 3 tbs Little Soya soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp sugar

Boil the edamame for 5 minutes, and then drain. Mix together Little Soya, sugar, and sesame seeds. Pour mixture over edamame, ensuring all pods get evenly coated. Serve immediately.

 

4. Little Soya trail mix

LS snack mix

Photo credit Chow.com

 

Who doesn’t love trail mix? It’s the perfect road trip snack, and with this Little Soya twist, you’ll never go back to the pre-packaged stuff again!

 

  • 5 cups rice cereal squares (e.g. plain Chex)
  • 2 cups nuts of choice
  • 3 cups sesame sticks
  • 1/3 cup Little Soya soy sauce
  • ½ cup melted butter

 

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix melted butter and Little Soya together thoroughly. Pour mixture over snack mix, tossing to ensure even coating. Bake at 250°F for 30 minutes on cookie sheets. Allow to cool.

 

Enjoya!

H-E-B’s Newest Concept Table 57 Restaurant Cooking With Little Soya

Table 57Little Soya is proud to announce it is now the primary gluten free soy sauce used for cooking in many of the signature dishes at H-E-B’s newest concept, Table 57 Dining & Drinks restaurant in Houston. With a menu developed by renowned Executive Consulting Chef Randy Evans (formerly of Haven), Table 57 features Little Soya as an ingredient in several of its dishes, including their Korean Fried Chicken, Tare Glazed Salmon, Tare Glazed Chicken, Tare Grilled Okra, and Crispy Brussels Sprouts.

Table 57 Dining & Drinks represents a new venture for the H-E-B brand in Houston. Named for the zip code of the address of their brand new store at San Felipe and Fountain View, near the Houston Galleria, the restaurant is housed at the grocery store’s enormous 91,000 square foot location. It’s the store’s first sit-down restaurant in the city. Undoubtedly, this is HEB’s most remarkable location and, arguably, the finest grocery store in Houston, thanks in large part to the acclaimed Table 57 restaurant.

In its recent review of the restaurant, the Houston Press called Table 57’s menu “impressive in both quality and price” noting that “there’s almost no excuse to not grab a meal there when you can” thanks to the “ridiculously cheap” prices for the caliber of food you get.

Just how awesome of a value is the food at Table 57? Here are a few highlights:

  • A large side of Tare Grilled Okra is just $3
  • Korean Fried Chicken & Waffle appetizer is only $3
  • Tare Grilled Salmon served w/ sautéed soba noodles & sesame grilled okra for $15

Click here to check out the full menu. It’s absolutely amazing.

Table 57 is open seven days a week for food and drinks from 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday; 11 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday; and 9 am to 10 pm on Sunday, with brunch until 2 pm.

Check out the new HEB store and Table 57 restaurant at 5895 San Felipe at Fountain View in Houston!

 

Spring into the Season with Little Soya!

Spring is here, and in grocery stores and farmers markets all across the country, fresh fruits and veggies are lining the shelves. We want to help you make use of all the vibrant, fresh spring foods, so we’ve come up with a few simple, light, and delicious spring recipes with a Little Soya twist!

 

Little Soya Beef and Snow Peas Stir Fry

Photo courtesy Food Network

Photo courtesy Food Network

This stir fry features a delicious, light sauce with a gingery flavor. It’s one of those meals that’s easy to prepare on a busy weeknight and is sure to please everyone.

Ingredients

(makes 2 servings)

2 tsp Little Soya soy sauce

1 tbs rice wine

1 tsp vegetable oil

¼ tsp cornstarch

1 ½ tsp brown sugar

2 tsp minced garlic

1 ½ tsp minced ginger root

¼ lb snow peas

½ lb round steak, sliced into thin strips

Directions

–Mix Little Soya, rice wine, cornstarch, and brown sugar in a bowl. Leave aside.

–Heat vegetable oil in skillet or wok on medium-high heat.

–Add ginger and garlic. Stir fry for about 30 seconds.

–Add steak. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until evenly browned.

–Add snow peas. Stir fry for 3 minutes.

–Add sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly.

–Reduce heat to simmer. When sauce thickens and smooths, serve immediately.

 

Little Soya Sesame Grilled Asparagus

Photo courtesy KillerBunniesInc.com

Photo courtesy KillerBunniesInc.com

Asparagus is loaded with health benefits, giving you a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, and folate with ever serving. It’s also packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals and even thwart the aging process.

The great thing about asparagus is how easy it is to prepare. Just grill it up with some Little Soya and a few other ingredients and you’re all set!

 

Ingredients

1 lb. asparagus

2 tbs Little Soya soy sauce

3 tbs dark sesame oil

1 clove minced garlic

2-3 tbs sesame seeds

Pepper to taste

 

Directions

–Soak asparagus in cold water for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

–Preheat grill to high.

–Combine Little Soya, sesame oil, and minced garlic. Lightly coat asparagus with mixture. Season.

–Place asparagus on hot grill until it browns on both sides (about 3 min).

–Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

 

Fresh Mango w/ Little Soya Soy Sauce

Photo courtesy iskcon.net.au

Photo courtesy iskcon.net.au

Fruit and soy sauce is the perfect marriage of sweet and salty, and there’s no better example of this than mango with Little Soya soy sauce. The two are absolutely delicious together, and the possibilities are endless. Eat the mango raw with soy sauce, make a salad, or add some garlic. No matter how you choose to eat it, you’re sure to enjoya mango with Little Soya!

 

Do you have any favorite spring foods or recipes? We’d love to see them!

Recipe: Little Soya’s Scrumptious Scrambled Eggs

Photo courtesy of Food Network

Photo courtesy of Food Network

Sometimes, simple is best when cooking. So today, we’re going to share a simple recipe for Little Soya’s Scrumptious Scrambled Eggs. I know what you’re thinking: Soy sauce with breakfast? That’s right – when we say Little Soya is “Your Everything Sauce” we mean it!

Why would you add soy sauce to scrambled eggs? Whipping a few drops of Little Soya into your eggs is an excellent substitute for adding salt on top of your eggs. Our less-sodium, gluten-free soy sauce will season the eggs evenly so you don’t get overly-salty bites and add an extra layer of flavor to this simple dish

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Little Soya gluten-free soy sauce
  • Sriracha sauce (optional)

 

Directions

  • Preheat nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat.
  • Crack your desired amount of eggs in a bowl. Whisk until blended.
  • Add a teaspoon of Little Soya per egg. Whisk a little more until blended evenly.
  • Spray heated pan or skillet with cooking spray.
  • Pour in egg mixture. As eggs start to set, gently lift up the cooked eggs to expose the uncooked, still-wet parts of the egg to the pan or skillet.
  • Cook until no visible liquid egg remains.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  • Optional: Add sriracha sauce to taste for spicy version of Little Soya’s Scrumptious Scrambled Eggs.

Enjoya!

Why You Should Steer Clear of Instant Soy Sauce

chemical soy sauceInstant soy sauce. Yup, that’s a thing now, and it’s every bit as horrendous as it sounds.

Many manufacturers are jumping on the instant bandwagon, using it as a faster, easier, and cheaper means to produce soy sauce. Instead of following the time-honored tradition of fermenting the soya bean for anywhere between 3 and 6 months, some soy sauce companies are creating a chemically-produced soy sauce that can be whipped together in mere minutes.

Before we talk about the taste – which, as you can imagine, is nowhere near as good as a carefully crafted, properly fermented soy sauce – you need to know the more serious problem with instant soy sauce. It can be hazardous to your health.

Instant soy sauce is produced by adding different chemicals to a mix with seasoning, sugar, and water. These soy sauces contain a chemical compound 3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol or 3-chloropropane-1,2-diol). This chemical is known to be a carcinogen, and it has been shown that it can increase the risk of testicular cancer.

In addition to increasing the risk of testicular cancer, instant, chemically-made soy sauce can damage the kidneys, liver, and vascular system. Simply put, this type of soy sauce is toxic and has far too many health risks.

And if that’s not enough to scare you off of chemically-produced soy sauce, consider the taste. This soy sauce is mixed together in just minutes using carcinogenic chemicals and some seasoning, sugar, and water. It tastes every bit as bad as you’d expect it to. There’s no depth of flavor, no smooth, rich, umami taste.

At Little Soya, all of our soy sauce is made responsibly, using time-honored methods. Little Soya is a gluten-free soy sauce, and it’s low sodium for added health benefits. And of course, Little Soya is the best tasting soy sauce on the planet, used by some of the world’s top chefs for its rich, savory flavor that’s truly out of this world.

Remember, just say no to instant soy sauce!

5 Unexpected Things You Didn’t Know About Valentine’s Day

Soya Valentine Pic

Right now, lovebirds everywhere are scrambling to make dinner reservations (you could also make your Valentine a Little Soya inspired dish), buy flowers, find the perfect Hallmark card, and top it all off with a box of delicious chocolates. The day of love is almost here, and while you could argue Valentine’s Day has become just another consumer holiday designed to make poor saps spend their hard-earned money, the truth is there’s a lot of interesting (and hotly debated) history behind it that often gets overshadowed by the commercialism.

Let’s take a look at 5 surprising facts you probably didn’t know about Valentine’s Day.

 

 

  1. A day of sex and excess—While many believe Valentine’s Day was inspired by a religious figure (more on that below), others argue that the real origin of the holiday extends further back to an ancient pastoral festival known as Lupercalia. Observed from February 13 through 15 each year, the purification and fertility festival was basically a 3-day feast where men would run through the streets drunk and naked in search of a female partner. Some might argue that indulging on delicious foods (with Little Soya, of course), drinks, and erotic conquests is more fun that chocolates and flowers, but to each their own!
  2. Born in blood—When we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love and happiness. However, according to the Catholic church, the true inspiration for the holiday was the murder of St. Valentine. One account from the 1400s tells the story of Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded by emperor Claudius II for helping wed Christian couples. So, if you subscribe to this origin of the holiday, Valentine’s Day was truly born in blood.
  3. “Wear your heart on your sleeve” is more than just a saying—We’re all familiar with the saying, “to wear your heart on your sleeve.” But how many of us actually know where it comes from? As it turns out, during the Middle Ages, men and women would draw names to determine who their Valentine would be. They would then pin this name onto their sleeve for one week so that everyone could see it. And thus, the saying was born.
  4. A foodie’s dream—In medieval times, women who were trying to lure a Valentine’s Day suitor had a truly unique (and tasty!) way to go about it. In an attempt to dream their future spouses into being, women would spend the holiday evening eating a variety of bizarre foods with the hope that they would see their soul mate in their dreams.
  5. A commercial bonanza—Despite its questionable beginnings, Valentine’s Day has become one of the most popular holidays over the last century. It wasn’t until 1913 that Hallmark even began producing cards for Valentine’s Day, but over the years, the holiday has gone mainstream. In the United States, it’s estimated that we spend about $448 million on candy while sending our 150 million cards and gifts the week before February 14. The average male shells out around $150 for the holiday, while females spend close to $75 celebrating the day of love.

 

No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday, we wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day this year!

Little Soya’s Quirky, Convenient Fish Packets Featured in The Atlantic!

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Today, The Atlantic ran a story titled “The Mysterious, Murky Story Behind Soy Sauce Packets.” As the headline implies, the story provides an in-depth look at the popularity of soy sauce as a condiment and analyzes exactly how the popular to-go packets have evolved over the years. Anyone that has seen Little Soya’s single-serve, NASA-approved, fish-shaped packets knows you can’t tell the story of soy sauce packets without talking about us.

We are incredibly honored that Tanya Basu, editorial fellow with The Atlantic, reached out to us and learned all about the unique Little Soya packaging and our out-of-this-world flavor.

“But has the American public gotten sick of soy sauce packets? Sometimes they squirt their contents in unintended directions, and they’re fairly wasteful, often dispensing too much sauce, or not enough. But in the more than 50 years that they’ve been around, little has been done to change their design,” Basu writes.

“Can soy-sauce packets be made better too? Gary Murphy thinks so. Murphy, the founder and CEO of Little Soya, is an unlikely soy-sauce pioneer with a loud laugh,” she continues.

Basu goes on to tell the story of how Little Soya came to be and discusses with Gary how Little Soya’s rich, savory flavor and gluten-free formula has made it a popular premium soy sauce in a time when more Americans are seeking out high-end condiments to “replicate the experience of eating at a restaurant.” However, the primary focus is Little Soya’s quirky, cute, convenient packaging that Basu deems “the first meaningful improvement on the classic disposable soy-sauce packet.”

“The fish is not just a cute brand differentiator but also a means of avoiding waste. Its top screws back on to save soy sauce for later,” she notes.

We encourage you to check out the full story for a whole lot more information about soy sauce packets and Little Soya. Much thanks to Tanya and The Atlantic for the excellent coverage!

Little Soya Chicken Adobo Recipe

"Chicken adobo" by dbgg1979 on flickr

“Chicken adobo” by dbgg1979 on flickr

When your humble blogger married into a Filipino family, his eyes were opened to a world of culinary delights that would change his life forever. From pancit to lechon to sinigang, Filipino food perfectly captures the colorful history and dynamic culture of the more than 7,000 islands that make up the nation. But if you had to choose one dish that highlights what Filipino food is all about, it has to be adobo.

Adobo is a ubiquitous dish in the Philippines. While it takes its name from the Spanish, the cooking style is uniquely Filipino. Locals found that cooking meat (typically chicken or pork) in soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and other spaces was not only tasty, but also a good way to preserve meat without refrigeration.

While exact chicken adobo recipes can vary by region in the Philippines, I’m going to share my favorite version with you here today, and it includes Little Soya. Remember, soy sauce is one of the key ingredients in adobo, so it really influences the overall taste of the dish. I’ve found that because Little Soya is lower sodium and has richer flavor than its counterparts, it really keeps the adobo from being overly salty and enhances the overall flavor profile to take this dish up a notch.

This recipe is simple, requires only a handful of ingredients, and doesn’t take long to prepare at all. And don’t forget to serve it over a nice bed of steamed white rice!

 

Little Soya Chicken Adobo

 

Ingredients

6 chicken drumsticks

Marinade:

½ cup Little Soya gluten-free soy sauce

¾ cup vinegar

¼ cup water

½ tsp sugar

3 bay leaves

4 cloves chopped garlic

2 tsp whole black peppercorns

 

Directions

Combine all marinade ingredients. Whisk until sugar has dissolved.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Pour marinade over chicken. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Place chicken and marinade into a large pot. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce to simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.

Ensure thickest part of the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Discard bay leaves.

Serve immediately over steamed white rice.

 

 

 

 

5 Ways You Can Make Healthier Eating Decisions In 2015

Photo credit: @Cynthia_Ho on Instagram

Photo credit: @Cynthia_Ho on Instagram

 

It’s no surprise that the #1 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. After all, more than 1 out of every 3 Americans is considered to be obese, and almost 75% of all men are at least considered to be overweight. So, in the season for goal setting, most people decide they want to lose weight and get healthier.

We’re here to cheer you on and give you some helpful tips for achieving healthier eating habits so you can improve your health and shed those unwanted pounds. Of course, you’ve probably heard it said that about 90% of all diets fail. That’s because most diets set a laundry list of oppressive rules that are practically impossible to stick with for an extended period of time. The real secret to losing weight and getting healthier is to make small, practical changes in your diet over time that you can stick with for a lifetime.

With that in mind, here are 5 simple ways you can start making healthier eating decisions in 2015 and beyond!

 

  1. Eat less sodium—The average American eats way too much salt. It’s hidden in just about everything we eat. The risks of consuming too much sodium are endless, including hypertension, osteoporosis, dehydration, kidney problems, hormone imbalances, and so much more. Try to cut back on salt whenever possible. One good way to do that is to use low-sodium cooking products when possible, like Little Soya low-sodium soy sauce which has a fraction of the sodium levels of standard soy sauce.
  2. Cut back on gluten—While not everyone needs to go on a gluten-free diet, the truth is there are a lot of benefits that can come with at least cutting back on how much gluten you consume. Many people report simply feeling better and having improved digestion after limiting their gluten intake. Try to become more mindful of your gluten intake, and when possible, consider using gluten-free substitutes, like Little Soya gluten-free soy sauce.
  3. Add fruits or vegetables to every meal—By adding a little produce to each meal, you can get more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to boost your overall health. Eating at least 5 servings of produce can help reduce your risk for stroke, heart disease, and some cancers. An easy way to do this is to add a serving of fruit to breakfast every morning and a couple of servings of greens to lunch and dinner. Check out our simple recipe for winter greens sautéed with Little Soya and garlic…it’s delicious!
  4. Make water your go-to drink—Its recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day so that you don’t become chronically dehydrated. Simply put, water is essential to health and should be a staple in our diets. Instead of always reaching for a calorie-loaded drink like a coke, try to make water your go-to beverage of choice. Don’t like the taste of plain water? That’s okay. Add some flavor with a wedge of lemon or lime, or infuse it with some fruits of your choice.
  5. Be more aware—Simply put, one of the best things you can do to reach your health goals for 2015 is to be more aware of what you’re consuming. Pay attention to everything you eat and drink. Write it down if you can. And try to slow down when you eat so you can naturally eat less while feeling fuller.

 

We’re here to support you in achieving a healthier, happier lifestyle in 2015! Let’s do this!