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“Eat like a king with this traditional recipe”…

That is what it said on the website where I found this, link can be found here. Here’s a tiny bit of information about  pearl barley, if you’re not familiar with it:

Pearl barley, or perlovka, is considered a pearl among the cereals because of its exceptional nutritional properties. This typical Russian recipe is an easy way to sample this healthy grain.

As it mentions, pearl barley is healthy! It contains a lot of vitamin c, it is great for people who have diabetes because it has beta-glucan solluble fiber, and it is good for your digestion overall. The best part of this recipe as a whole too, is that it is completely vegan, only consisting of pearl barley, mushrooms and onion. It is traditionally made with oil, but I used vegan margarine (because I was all out of cooking oil and I didn’t want to drive to the store just to get that). Also, sorry for only using metric measurements, I have no idea how the imperial system works, we don’t use that here in Norway. When I see instructions to add one cup of something, I literally believe that you need to just grab a coffee mug and use it for measuring.. Oh well!

Here’s what you need:

This recipe should feed four people.

  • 400 ml of water or vegetable broth. ( I used a broth and it gave the final product a grey-ish look, it’s supposed to be lighter. If color matters to you then make sure to choose a clear broth or go with water).
  • 1 large onion. (I used two smaller because that’s what I had at hand).
  • 30 g oil, or just a chunk of margarine/butter (depending on if you want to keep it vegan or not).
  • 350 grams of mushrooms. (Preferrably champignons but you can use any kind of mushrooms). 
  • 200 grams of pearl barley
  • Black pepper, salt to taste, greens (Russians use dill for everything).

 

Here’s how to do it: 

First you have to find and gather all of your needed items and ingredients, preferably set it up super nice and neatly on your counter, mine was a total mess so I didn’t take a picture of that..

Start off by placing a large pot on the stove, letting it heat up and add either oil and butter to it. You could use a deep frying pan but I don’t have any that would work for adding so much liquid and stuff to it. You should also make sure to make the vegetable broth in a smaller pot while you do this so it is ready to go when you need it. Then you should be chopping up your onions into smaller pieces so that you can saute them for a while in the pan. By doing this, I discovered that smaller onions will make your eyes sting more than normal.

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Once your onions are in the pot, you should slice your mushrooms. I had 50 grams too much but I decided to add them in anyways as I didn’t want any of them going to waste. By adding in more, remember to add a tiny bit more water after pouring in the broth/water later on. You can choose to slice the mushrooms thinly, but I honestly prefer a bit thicker slices, I also just cut a few of the smaller mushrooms in half to add more variety to it.

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Once your onions are done, add the mushrooms to it and let it all reduce. It’s gonna go from a massive pile to a seemingly disappointing amount, but it’s definitely enough still.

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Meanwhile that will basically be cooking itself (remember to stir it now and then to expose more of the mushrooms to the moisture), you should measure and rinse the pearl barley. I purchased mine from a Danish online store, it’s really expensive in stores here.

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I have a smaller pasta strainer that I love using for rinsing grains, berries, fruits and whatnot, the holes are just small enough to not let anything fall through them and it makes the whole process so much easier. Make sure to rinse them well!

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Once your mushrooms look fairly done and the onion has become mostly clear, it’s time to add the pearl barley and the broth to the pot. Stir it all together to see if it is enough liquid, add more if needed then bring it to a boil. Put a lid on and let it simmer for quite some time. The recipe said about 20 minutes, but I found that the barley needed around 40 for it to triple in size and feel like it was ready to be eaten.

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After the grains and the mushroom has finished soaking up the liquids and it has the right consistency (a bit soft but still a tiny bit chewy), it’s time to plate it! The recipe said to add greens, but I prefer to have raw carrots with any rice or grains, it keeps me from thinking that it is too mushy. I did add some spinach too later on. I didn’t add any salt or pepper though, the onion added enough flavor to it for my taste.

Since the recipe is for four people, I had to take whatever was left and freeze it, I refuse to throw food out if I don’t have to, and I wouldn’t be able to finish all of that in a short amount of time, it was honestly way too much just for one person. If you’re making this just for yourself, or for two, just halving it all would definitely be the easiest solution.

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It’s quite easy to see that my mushroom to grains ratio is a bit off, it would look more like a porridge if I actually followed the measurement and didn’t add in the extra 50 grams of mushrooms. Oh well! If you do try out this recipe, please let me know how it went! You can easily modify it to however you want it to be by changing the veggies.

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So lately there has been an influx of vegetarian and vegan products in the grocery stores here, something I’m happy about! There is a lot of vegan products that I can’t use because I’m allergic to Soy products, but recently there has been a lot of new products based on pea protein and other things that are completely soy free. A store chain here in Norway called Coop has released a whole lot of different things like beet burgers, mushroom burgers, corn sliders and what I had for dinner the other day, seasoned taco stuffing made from pea protein. They also have campaigns for meat free Mondays where they share recipes you could try and I really love this change. I’m not fully vegan but I go meat free as often as I can, gradually cutting down on my consumption when I find replacements that are soy free.

Here’s what I had, it totally looks meat, doesn’t it? My dad thought it was, stole a few pieces from the leftovers I brought them and was weirded out by the texture. It does taste great though and it worked well with tortillas, vegan cheese and iceberg lettuce. I usually have a lot more mixed in with my tacos but I couldn’t be bothered to go to the store to buy even more. Sometimes simple meals are the best meals. Do you ever choose vegan options over regular options? If you don’t then you should try it! You’ll feel better about choosing a more healthy lifestyle, just make sure to do it right.

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“Soy free” “0% meat or fish” “A source of protein, gluten free, sustainable”

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All you gotta do is fry it in some oil or butter for a few minutes.

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I received this lipstick in my Glossybox subscription for August, and I immediately fell in love. Black and gold is my favorite color combination, and both the packaging, and the lipstick container itself have those two colors. On the lipstick container it is slightly holographic and it changes colors at certain angles.

The lipstick itself is basically a nude color, a hint of brown and a hint of peach. It matched my lips pretty well so i’m very surprised  by it. All of the nude colored lipsticks i have tried in my life just ended up looking extremely weird so I’m really happy that this one worked out.

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As you can see, the shade is called Sugar Daddy, which i find to be absolutely hilarious. I would never have one in real life though, totally not my thing, but each to their own! Below, you can also see the comparison between my normal lip color (on the top) and the lipstick (on the bottom). It is semi matte and beautiful, and the best thing about it is that it is completely vegan, and the brand is cruelty-free.

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If you’re able to look past the slightly crayon scent it has, it might just become your new favorite lipstick! It lasts on your lips for a little while, but the application is so easy so i never minded having to reapply.

Pros:

  • Easy to apply, doesn’t bleed out
  • It gives a nice, subtle color
  • It’s not too expensive ($12)

Cons:

  • Smells like a crayola crayon
  • Doesn’t last for as long as i would like

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What is your favorite lipstick? 

Disclaimer; Norway’s Glossybox might differ a bit from, for example, the american ones. We are very particular about products and everything apparently needs to be made for Nordic hair and skin and whatnot. Luckily we get products to try that we don’t necessarily see in stores here all the time. I’ve heard about a couple of the brands, mainly from watching other Glossybox unboxing videos. I also pay for the boxes out of my own pocket, so this post is not sponsored in any way.

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As per usual, the box this month is a pale pink with a black ribbon, and even if i have many already, i always keep the ribbons tied up to re-purpose them.

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There’s five items in my box and they all seem to have survived the shipping, which is always a plus! The box felt really heavy, and i quickly understood why when i saw the full sized body lotion. This month’s theme is “Beauty Kick”.

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The first thing i received was a really nice shade of eyeshadow from Nabla. It is a refill for a palette, so the pan is full size, and it is in the shade “Ground state”. It looks very brown in the picture but it is more purple in real life, on the website it is described as a “Hazelnut duo chrome with a lavender-mauve glare”. This product is vegan.

This is a full sized pan, and the value is 65 NOK / ~$8

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The next product i would describe as a deluxe size sample. It is a sample of a mask/primer/moisturizer from Thisworks. The full size is 40 ml while this sample is 20 so it’s half of the size. It is supposed to be an all round kind of primer and i’m looking forward to trying it.

This is a sample size worth around 180 NOK / ~21.50. The full size is  360 NOK / ~$43

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This is an eyebrow pencil from Model Launcher Cosmetics. It says in the info card in the box that i was supposed to receive the shade light brown, which would have been too light anyways, but it says Taupe on the pencil. I checked their website and Taupe was not an option so maybe it is a new shade? I’m pleased either way.

This is a full sized product and it is worth 120 NOK / ~$14.50

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Then there’s this product! I have already tried all of the other lotions in the Garnier respons line and this is a new product that is not out in stores yet. It smells kind of strange since it contains oat cream and almond milk, but it felt very moisturizing on my hands, at least.

This is a full sized product and it is worth 40 NOK / ~$5

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And last, but not least, i received a beautiful vegan lipstick from Medusa’s Make-up. It is in the shade “Sugar Daddy”, and to be honest, it is the perfect shade for my lips. It looks almost like a nude for me and i love it! The only downside is that it kind of smells like Crayola crayons, but I’m willing to look past that since the shade is so nice.

This is a full sized product and it is worth 110 NOK / ~$13 (it costs $12 on their website).

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After the success with last months box i didn’t expect this one to exceed my expectations even further, but it did! I’m  blown away by the quality of the products, and how well they matched the colors i usually go for. Especially with the taupe eye brow pencil instead of light brown, which wouldn’t have worked for me at all.

The subscription costs 179 NOK / ~$21 per month and it includes shipping and handling. The total value for the box was 515 NOK / ~$62 so i am extremely pleased!

Do you subscribe to any boxes? Which and why? 

I found a recipe for a vegan sandwich online quite some time ago, i cannot quite remember where but it has been a part of my life since. I have omitted it a slight bit but it is still true to its origins.

Here is what you will need to recreate my version of it:

  • Bread of your choice, anything goes. I use white bread because my digestive system cannot handle ‘heavy’ food.
  • Some tomato sauce or other condiment to ‘glue’ the spinach onto the bread.
  • Fresh and newly washed spinach.
  • Some paprika, or bell peppers as its called.
  • Squash, preferably slightly thick slices.
  • Half of an avocado
  • Some spices and vegan butter to cook the veggies in. You can use oil too if you prefer that.

Since squash pretty much adapts to whatever flavor you add to it, the sandwich can end up tasting totally different every time you use it. You can also choose different kind of sauces to use between the bread and the spinach, i tend to use a slightly spicy tomato sauce.

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All you need to do is put some spinach onto the bread, toss the squash and the bell pepper into the frying pan along with some salt and pepper and any other spice you would wish to add.

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Once they are done cooking you arrange them on top of the spinach, i like to put down the squash first, then the bell pepper and then i scoop some avocado on top of it. If you want it to look fancy you can slice up the avocado instead. I’m really just too lazy to make it look pretty.

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You can choose to eat it with just the bottom slices of bread or add a second to the top. Usually i let the bread fry a bit in the leftover juices from the veggies but i forgot this time. And since i only use half of the avocado, i like to sprinkle the other half with some salt and eat it with the sandwiches.

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So there you go! This doesn’t take long to make, it really just depends on how well cooked you want your veggies to be!

Do you have any sandwich recipes that you love? Feel free to share them with me. They don’t have to be vegan, i just try to eat vegan often to keep my body in balance.

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