Hello and welcome

Be yourself everyone else is already taken!

Hello! I am Kristina. I created this blog, because even though our life seems simple and plain sometimes, we need to give ourselves some credit for what we do every single day. I imagine this blog will be like “Dear diary” moments, but I guess I will find it along the way. Thank you for being here!

Easy chickpea salad- Recipe- Vegan

Happy Monday people! Today is the start of another wonderful and busy week, so I am going to share with you a recipe, that can last in your fridge for 3 days. For you busy bees, who have no time to cook within the week sometimes, it’s a perfect lunch (or dinner for me at least)! Chickpeas are one of my favorite ingredient to work with, since in has endless possibilities and it’s packed with protein. I made this salad yesterday and it’s get better every day, since the ingredients mix together better, when the “sit”.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 gr chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)
  • parsley (the amount depends on you)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2-3 fresh onions
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/2 chilly pepper (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • lemon juice of half a lemon (or one if you like the extra sourness)
  • 1 tsp agave syrup (or honey for vegetarians)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard

DO IT!!!

  • Wash the soaked chickpeas with plenty of water.
  • boil the chickpeas until soft (the time depends on your oven, but it takes me about 20-30 mins)
  • chop the ingredients finely (peppers, onion, garlic & parsley)
  • prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • drain and wash again with fresh cold water the chickpeas, when ready.
  • drain the chickpeas well once more
  • mix chickpeas, dressing and veggies very well together.

To my experience, the salad gets better if you let it “sit”, so prepare and eat the next day or a couple of hours once you make it. You can also use this salad as a side dish and or why not make a wrap with it! Enjoy!

Latin parties-review

It’s Friyay, yeahy! Happy day everyone! Isn’t it insane how Friday boosts your mood? (Considering of course that you are not working at weekends). Yesterday was a really looonggg day for me. Work, trampoline practice and dancing, lot’s of dancing.

Go to Latin parties people! I started Latin and salsa lesson this October and I must confess, I am very excited about it already. My dance school started organizing parties every Thursday in a bar, not so far in driving distance from my house. So yesterday after my reggaeton and contemporary dance lessons, which ended around 23:30, I picked up my pieces and went there. It was really a challenge and since it was a costume party, I am pretty proud of myself, that I was able to draw little ladybugs on my face (I went as a ladybug). I LOVED IT! Honestly, knowing or not knowing how to dance, it’s still a magical place to be. I find it extremely interesting being able to dance to great music, watching other people dancing, while drinking your beer and work out at the same time! How amazing is that? Not to mention that I loved the fact, that it’s close to home and that it was like a private dance school party. I knew most of the people there, since we take classes together. The opportunity that you get to dance with your instructors is very important, since it makes you love the dance even more! And if you are shy, there are a lots of easy “group” choreos between songs, which are always the same, so you can only participate to that, if you want to. Plus I didn’t want to believe it, but it’s so true, what everybody says, “You will not be able to learn how to dance, if you don’t attend parties”. Believe me I try my best to practice the moves at home and be prepared for every lesson, but this alone can’t make you perfect. Even watching your teacher on the dancefloor can make you understand, how to place your body properly or learn new moves.

I also feel obligated to mention the “awkwardness”, that might come up, while dancing with different partners. I didn’t feel that at all, since I knew everybody, but I get, how it can be. It’s partially true that people usually go to these parties to meet other people, socialize and get better at dancing obviously. I think for salsa and latin dances, it’s ok with no matter who you dance with. Regarding bachata and kizzomba, I think it’s very important to feel comfortable with the person, you are dancing. If not you can always use the excuse of some sort of injury and abstain a bit. For instance, my boyfriend, I think, he’s terrified of these parties. He thinks that men have the opportunity to make a move on women and that’s why they attend. I strongly believe that, that depends on the person. For instance me, I don’t get uncomfortable too easily, because I know, it’s just a dance. I am practically married, so even if and when someone tried to make a move on me, it really wouldn’t matter. Try to figure out your limits and everything will be ok. It saddens me deeply, that he doesn’t come with me to these things. I genuinely believe that he would have been great at dancing and that he would have so much fun. Because in the end, that’s what is all about it, having fun!

Barbaric traditions

Happy Wednesday people! I want to talk you to you about a subject that makes me extremely angry. Generally this period until the 2nd of March, the Greek “Halloween/carnival”, let’s say. Even though it’s one of my favorite times of the year, since I love dressing up in costumes, and there are many events and carnival parades in all regions of Greece, tomorrow it’s know as “Tsiknopempti”.

On this day, you are supposed to barbecue every kind of meat, you can find and eat, like there’s no tomorrow. Obviously I hate this day, I think it’s the most disgusting “holiday” ever! I believe it’s time to let go of this barbaric traditions. In my opinion these traditions were made, when people in Greece were so poor, that they ate meat few times per year. This definitely doesn’t apply now, where meat consumption is so given and accessible, and let’s face it, you meat lovers, eat it every day. I don’t know, why we have to celebrate the slaughtering of animals yet one more day. I find it preposterous that the average Greek eats meat every day and yet he is so excited about this day and will eat double the portion size of what he might have had yesterday. It’s really insane. I feel so sad and sorry, that the streets tomorrow smell like grilled corpses of innocent animals everywhere. I feel extremely angry that this is tradition, while there is no need at all! Even angrier, that every fast food shop it’s packed and makes triple profit that day!

Shouldn’t we all be more considered and break this traditions for something more peaceful, that doesn’t require death? I just don’t get people… In my family we never ate meat everyday, because it was an easy choice. My parents are both amazing cooks and we tried to eat, based on the Mediterranean model, like all Greeks (supposedly). We all hear about climate change, that we can actually DO something, sacrifice nothing, with so many option available, and here we are celebrating yet another day that we get to eat meat! Yeahhyy, very civilized, thank you very much!

If you are reading this please do me a favor and don’t eat meat tomorrow, at least give me some peace of mind that this post was not a total waste and that for one day someone didn’t die, just so your pallet could enjoy something for 10 minutes. I feel very proud of my origin, I wouldn’t change it for the world. But on days like these, the misconception of the majority of people makes me really sad, angry and keeps me believing, that we are incapable of progress. Sad but true…

Regarding Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s day everybody! I want to dedicate this post to one of the most controversial festive days. I believe that there are many people, who get crazy over Valentine’s feeling obligated and want to show their love, through all these cliches and some who absolutely hate this day or don’t even care about it.

To tell you the truth, I hate the fact that this day may remind to everyone, who is single, that they are, that’s nasty really. But if you consider the pressure couples go through this “holiday”, you might start considering yourself lucky, if you are single. Flowers, teddy bears, chocolates, rose petals, fancy dinners and or ever marriage proposals. The pressure of “getting something” for your other half, is really over the top. I used to be extremely negative, regarding this day. It’s true that it’s an ode to consumption once more, but this isn’t necessarily true, is it? I mean it wouldn’t kill you to cook something for your other half, light up some candles or just get his/her favorite candy bar, while you do groceries. I think this day becomes so materialist, only if you allow it to be.

I used to hate Valentine’s day, but now I really applaud the people, who are forgetful in their nature or extremely shy and use this day as leverage to express their feelings. Let’s face it, women usually wait to get gifts from boyfriends, husbands etc. You may think this is wrong, but if you are not very expressive or appreciative towards your wife/girlfriend, you may want to use this day to show her that you are. It’s a cliche but you know what? Everyone feels happier, when someone offers them a rose, a dessert, a night out. It’s fact so why not do it? It’s a cliche, sure, but who cares, if you can make someone feel good?

I am going to tell you the real reason why I love Valentine’s day so much! Fresh desserts everywhere! Due to the heart shaped desserts on every bakery this day, you know it’s gonna be fresh and smooth. So single or not, and especially if you are a sweet tooth, this is your day, embrace it, eat make your self and others happy. All I am trying to say is think the thought behind each present or action on Valentine’s day, it doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant but even the meanest bitch or a hardcore macho man will feel good and appreciated, with whatever you choose to offer them (even if the won’t show). Have a great day everyone and a happy weekend!

Just to be liked…

Happy Wednesday fellas! Yesterday I watched the documentary Miss Americana on Netflix, which is a documentary based on Taylor Swift’s life and the struggles with public exposure. Personally I like some of the songs of Taylor Swift, but I really didn’t follow the whole story. I am not going to write a review for the movie, but this documentary caused me to think about the exposure of every day life people and the tendecity of the need of being liked and perfect.

It’s a lie to assume that people don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I mean let’s be realistic, all that scientific facts about the attraction based on smell, or genes or bone structure, of course it’s real, but we forget something extremely important, the society role models. All the exposure that an average person gets from magazines, social media or the behavior of other people, towards someone, who looks like the “acceptable” social model of the season, is huge, and as a result it has an important impact in each and every one of us. There are people, who care less about that, and people who obsess about it, but we all do care. The fact is that as innocent as it seems, checking constantly the pics of your favorite artist, model or even yourself, can lead to depression and to the feeling that you are never good enough.

The majority of people struggle to be perfect. What is perfect really? Who defines perfect? Perfect in the 50’s meant a successful man, who cares for his family and a “perfect” house wife, who raised good children. Society defines perfect, with trends that change. How can people are supposed to keep up with that, and most importantly, why should they keep up? How sad can it be for a person, when he/she gets millions of followers or likes, which mean nothing more that a double tap or a click on screen, and gets all their social joy from that? Social media are supposed to be fun and a way to communicate, not define your image, behavior and turn down any physical form of communication.

“I was starving myself, to be liked”. This was one of the most powerful lines that touched me in the whole documentary. A billion dollar singer couldn’t “invest ” her money in a burrito. The fact that, when you stomach is growling and you feel like you are going to pass out, makes you feel like you are doing something right, is completely wrong. And I want to take a moment here and say that women are more impacted from all these social models. Women are the most profitable part of the population, when it comes to consumption, it that a coincidence? And since when a women doesn’t try to be perfect? Perfect mother, perfect girlfriend, perfect body, why? With all that education we get, we need to learn to filter better the information that we get from exposure. Life is not all about being liked by everyone, but by yourself. I t takes a lot to realize that, it’s ok not to like yourself every day, all day. It’s ok to try to improve things for the better. But it’s definitely not ok to put yourself in danger physical or psychological, just to be liked.

Spaghetti with minced mushroom "meat"- recipe- vegan

Hello everyone! I come today with a new recipe, I tried this weekend and I am already obsessed with how many things I can combine it with. With no further delay, I present you the spaghetti with minced mushroom “meat”!!! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack of spaghetti (I prefer whole grain, but every shape, brand and ingredient is ok, it’ s pasta for God’s shake!)
  • 4-5 big portobello mushrooms
  • 250 ml / carton tomato sauce
  • 1 big red onion
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves (whole)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • olive oil (for the pan & the pasta after drained)
  • (1/2 hot green pepper, raw to serve as topping, I love spicy things)
  • (grated soy cheese for the topping)

DO IT!!!

  • You can either multitask and boil the spaghetti, while you do the minced mushrooms, or you can first finish the minced mushrooms and then so the pasta.
  • Through the onion and garlic clove into the food processor and blend in tiny pieces (not mush).
  • Take the onion and garlic out of the processor and put in the portobello mushrooms, blend until they look like minced meat.
  • Put a tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, and wait until hot.
  • Put the onion and garlic, in the hot pan and cook until golden (stir all the time).
  • Put in now also the minced mushrooms, and keep stirring the mixture for 3-5 mins.
  • Through in the cinnamon stick, the tomato sauce, the cloves, salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce thickens. That will take about 10-15 mins top.
  • Take out the cinnamon stick and cloves.
  • Prepare the spaghetti like you always do and serve with the sauce (and grated soy cheese and hot pepper). Enjoy yourself!

NOTES

  • If you don’t want to use extra olive oil in the pasta, try to have the spaghetti and sauce ready at the same time and just mix them.
  • If you are the kind of person, who combines each meal with a slice of bread (or two), don’t let the sauce thicken much. That way you will have the extra joy of dipping your bread. (I totally don’t get these people though!).

That’s it fellas! When I try minced mushroom “meat” on tacos, I will let you know, but you can use this recipe to also make cannelloni or lasagna. I was pretty psyched about the recipe and please don’t judge the fact, that I ate almost half a pack of spaghetti. I was starving from all these dance rehearsals!

Randomize

Hello people!!! Sorry for my weekly absence, but I really didn’t have time for anything this week. We had an event with the dance on Saturday and our teachers knocked our socks off with extra lessons and practice. I could literally fall asleep on every chair, I sat, in 5 mins, the past week. It was very fun though.

The best part of this week is that my supervisor at work, is going on a business trip for the week and I, as the tradition commands everywhere in the world, I will take the chance to leave an hour earlier every day. Extra naps for me, and I am happy!

Has nothing to do with this blog (or does it?), let’s take a minute and congratulate Joaquin Phoenix for his best male actor oscar award. I don’t know about you, but seeing the work this actor does (among others of course) and the awareness, he provides about animal rights, makes me so touched. His speech was amazing and not to mention that, I would have lost my faith in the Oscars for good, if he didn’t win.

I have to say this movie caused a lot of conflict. I only saw the amazing and talented Phoenix, who anyone can tell his is working very hard, in each movie he chooses to act in. I have honestly no idea, why was put in the black list. For all I know, if a movie can motivate you, go on a theater with a gun and kill people, you really need to think about digging deeper and admit you need professional help. You certainly don’t blame it on a movie. The one thing that I may agree, is that children are exposed too soon to violence and no certified by professionals, which may cause a hidden trauma. But you can’t blame a movie for every behavior. Sadists and killers existed long before TV. I am just very sorry that this particular movie was well known for the violence and the outrage, it caused. It saddens me because, hello???!! the guy clearly worked his ass off for this performance, to make you feel something powerful afterwards.

Anyways, I am not going to comment on the Oscar awards, I don’t want to make a review. Regarding my previous post about relationships, just to inform you, that everything worked out well. You know I yelled at him, he yelled at me, he admitted he was wrong, and now I hope that he will continue not to take me for granted, for more than a month. Seriously if you want a girlfriend, please keep the “terms” of each of our fights, that way we don;t have to repeat them, it’s exhausting.

To all my vegan friends, tomorrow hopefully I will share with you an amazing recipe of spaghetti with mushroom mince, which is super easy and super tasty. I discovered it over the weekend, because I really needed energy. I would like to apologize for the non thematic and mixed up post, but I had a lot of thought to share. Happy Monday everyone!