Tag Archives: dinner

3 Ways to Eat Barley

22 May

Barley is an excellent source of fiber and essential amino acids (Google it or read the package it comes in). In addition to loving its taste and texture, I’ve noticed that it really has helped improve my digestive system. This fact is not only good news for my general health, but it also seems to have helped boost my metabolism. I feel like eating more yummy sources of fiber, like barley, is helping me lose weight in a really healthy way. Plus, barley is such a versatile grain. Below are just three ways I have incorporated it into our meals. I look forward to hearing more ideas from you readers! [Note: Barley does contain gluten.]

fried egg on barley

For a breakfast high in protein and fiber, throw a fried egg on some boiled barley and enjoy the yumminess!

Breakfast

By itself, boiled barley has a hearty grain taste. I like to cook it for a long time, stirring frequently (and occasionally adding extra water) so that the barley is soft and tender and the starch water thickens to a yummy consistency. Add a bit of salt while cooking. A bowl of this plain barley as a porridge can be a terrific alternative to oatmeal. Or, for extra protein and variety, throw a fried egg on top. It makes for a great-tasting, super healthy breakfast. By the way, in my experience, barley always takes longer to fully cook than the package indicates, so allow for extra boiling time.

Side Dish

The other day, I mixed boiled pearled barley with choclo cut off the cob. (Peruvian corn; for image and other uses, see this recipe). I boiled both separately first, then mixed them together and boiled them for an additional 30 minutes with some butter and salt (stirring every few minutes). The resulting side dish was one of the yummiest things I’ve made in a while. The texture of the corn perfectly complimented the barley. The taste of the extra soft barley with the potato-like corn and butter blended so well! I took some over to Vita’s apartment and we gobbled it all up. We started calling it kasha, which she taught me is a Russian word for a savory, hearty side dish like this turned out to be.

Main Course

I always cook enough dinner so that there are leftovers for lunch the next day. Sometimes there’s even more than that so I try to get creative and use the leftovers in new ways so that we’re not eating the same thing for three or four days in a row. For example, back in April, I made a giant batch of pea soup. There is still one small container of it in the freezer. Once defrosted, it will be enough for one big lunch or two small sides for dinner. However, I’ve also got some plain boiled barley left in the fridge, which can be an excellent ingredient in soup. So, I’m going to combine the leftover soup and the barley as a base for a stew. I haven’t made a final decision yet, but I plan to add some carrots and maybe also some choclo. It’ll be one of the heartiest vegetable stews I’ve ever made. We also have some leftover pulled pork roast, which could be added since the soup was originally ham stock-based, but I’m not sure about that yet.

pearled barley

Barley is a great source of fiber and amino acids. This tasty grain can be used in many types of hot and cold dishes.

There are so many other ways to cook barley. I even saw some recipes for salads that mix barley with soybeans and other veggies, which sounds really yummy. For a salad, I would stop cooking the barley once it reached a sort of “al dente” texture so that it would blend well with other cold veggies because you wouldn’t want mushy barley in a salad.

I hope you enjoy trying it out in new ways in your life!

–Michelle

Updates On The Skipping Dinner Experiment

7 May

Not a long time ago I decided to make a little experiment and see whether I’d be able to go without dinner for a whole week. You can read all about how it started here. It seemed a relatively easy experiment, to have a full breakfast and late lunch, which theoretically should have lead to the skipped dinner. Well, I have to confess it wasn’t that easy, I broke down after the fourth night. However I have to admit even if I ate after six o’clock, it wasn’t anything heavy, a very light dinner. In fact, one of those nights was a raw vegan experience, which I posted about in this post.

Even though I failed this little experiment, I still have hope that I’ll be able to go though it again.

All the best,

– Vita :)

PS: If you haven’t voted yet on our little poll, we’d highly appreciate just a second of your time to answer one simple question, meat or seafood till the rest of your life? Thank you! :)

Skipping Dinner Experiment

24 Apr

I have been skipping dinner for two nights in a row now. The first was when Michelle and I had very late lunch together–you can read about our adventures in this post. And yesterday, my husband and I were running errands and stopped at our favorite Peruvian restaurant, which in fact Michelle suggested to us a long time ago, and ever since it’s been in our top five places to go! It wasn’t even 6 p.m. yet, therefore it constitutes as a late lunch in my book, rather than an early dinner. :)

Going through the evening without dinner wasn’t hard for me at all. I hadn’t even realized that I hadn’t eaten anything until it was almost time to go to sleep, and it made me feel really good. Kudos to me! It made me think whether I’d be able to go without dinner for a whole week. Perhaps the consistency of this habit will show some results. And since I have already accomplished two days, another five should be like a piece of cake. Or even better, like a piece of skipped cake! The trick is to eat somewhere in between five and six o’clock in the afternoon and keep myself busy in the evenings.

Wish me luck!

— Vita :)

PS: If you haven’t voted on our little poll about meat or seafood yet, go ahead and check it out here. We need your vote in order to create our own analysis of the results and post it later.

Thanks in advance! :)

The Snack Monster

5 Apr

Late at night, when a hush falls over the city and the moon rises high in the sky, a throaty howling screech pierces the calm. Ripping, shredding, gnawing noises cause people to wake from their sleep, cats to arch and hiss, and the sirens of the police start blaring.

I wish I could say it was an attack. A single, isolated event in which I was the victim. But the  dark truth is that last night I was not mauled by a monster, I became the monster…the snack monster. Just past midnight, I felt my hair frizzing, my eyes widening, my stomach grumbling, and my mouth salivating for anything I could find that was salty or sweet.

The Snack Monster

Late last night, Michelle became...The Snack Monster! Illustration by Michelle.

 

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