So I got around to trying the microwave paper bag popcorn method I mentioned in my original post. Well you might as well call me the paper bag popcorn princess...it works, it really works! For nights when the thought of washing a pot after making stove top popcorn is too unbearable this is the way to go (I detest washing dishes by hand).
It is so simple I was sure it wouldn't work. Microwave popcorn bags are filled with food-like substances that ensure the popcorn pops and there is some sort of lining in the bag that super heats or something. Maybe there is, but not needed my friends.
I took a plain, brown, paper lunch bag, filled it with 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels, folded the top of the bag down twice and put in the microwave for 4 minutes. I stood and listened for when the popping slowed down and stopped it then (it was around 3:30). It took a little longer than conventional microwave popcorn to start popping, but don't panic. How did it taste? Heavenly. I was sure the folded top would not hold causing kernels to pinging all over the microwave or there would just be a black, smoking mass of kernels in the bag...no to both presumptions.
So as stated above the recipe is pretty plain, I wanted to try bare bones to see if it worked. You can coat the seeds in olive oil prior to popping and add a pinch of salt after or dress as you like. Keep in mind the popcorn itself is low in calories, it is the additions after than can add up. Three cups of plain popcorn has 3.5 g of fiber (insoluble fiber which keeps you pooping) and only 93 calories. A great choice for an after dinner snack.
So get out your dental floss and become your own paper bag popcorn prince or princess!
Lets talk salad dressing: sure it is available at any grocery store, but it is so easy to make….it is. If you have a Magic Bullet or some sort of blender or even a whisk or fork, you are in business.
Dinner tonight in our house was in need of a salad and therefore dressing, so into my Magic Bullet went:
½ cup olive oil
½ cup strawberries
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)
1 garlic clove, chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
Tonight I served it over romaine lettuce, with cucumber, snap peas, mango and goat cheese. Yum. Because it has fresh strawberries in it I would keep it in the fridge for no longer than 4-5 days.
Why do I love this? I control the salt and fat content. Trying to cut back on calories? Use less oil or skip the cheese in the salad. I also like anything that makes a salad more interesting. Plus we are squeezing in some extra fruit…yes!
There are endless recipes on the web for vinaigrettes and most are pretty easy and don’t always need a blender. I hope this encourages you to try your hand at it. Love a recipe? Feel free to share.
Tiffany McFadden, RD