Sunday, March 22, 2015

Real Fast (non-toxic) Popcorn

It's movie night!  There's only a few minutes of previews and you don't want to miss a thing, so you grab a bag of microwave popcorn.  WAIT!  Did you know that chemicals used to make microwave popcorn cause cancer and also affect human fertility and development?  Researchers have linked the PFCs used to make the oils not leak through the bag to infertility, cancer, thyroid disease, immunosuppression and increased bad cholesterol.  A Google search lists dozens of reputable sources siting microwave popcorn is a food to avoid, including Dr. Mercola,, Food Babe and even Fox News. 

What if I told you that you could make delicious, buttery homemade popcorn in the same amount of time?  Seriously, it takes less than 5 minutes to make a kettle of popcorn at home, and contrary to what you might think, it's not difficult or messy!  Once you taste this popcorn, you will never eat the fake bag again. 

Real Fast (non-toxic) Popcorn
serves 4-6

1/2 cup popping corn
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp butter, melted (actually, I use up to 4 Tbsp butter, for extra satisfaction and healthy fat)
Sea salt to taste

In a large heavy bottomed pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat.  You can test the heat of the oil by adding a couple of kernels and then add the rest once those pop, but that isn't totally necessary.  Add corn kernels and stir or shake to evenly coat and distribute the kernels in the oil.  Once popping has started, shake the pan every 10 seconds or so to avoid burning any popped kernels.  When popping slows to a few seconds between pops, remove from heat and continue shaking to get any last kernels to pop.   Transfer popcorn to a large bowl, and drizzle with melted butter (to taste) while stirring gently.  I usually melt the butter in the same pan I cooked the popcorn in, just because I hate washing dishes, but you could make this faster by melting the butter in a small saucepan over low heat while cooking the popcorn.  Sprinkle the buttery popcorn with salt and enjoy!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Salty Greens

When I was a kid, my parents used to talk about Popeye to get me to eat my spinach.  I tried that with my son, and he looked at me like I was crazy.  He doesn't know Popeye, just like he can't believe that phones used to have a cord or that cameras once required film.  So... (after feeling like an old lady) I started calling this dish Salty Greens and Ta Da!  He started gobbling it up!  Salty greens are a staple at our house because they are so fast and easy and it's one of the few vegetable dishes that I know he will eat every time.

Salty Greens
makes 2-4 servings

One large bunch Spinach leaves (or one bag, depending on how you buy it)
2 or 3 Tbsp Butter
1 clove Garlic, minced (recommended)
Sea salt to taste

In a large skillet melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir 1 min until fragrant.  Add spinach and slowly turn to coat spinach in butter and evenly cook the greens.  Continue turning until all leaves are dark green and limp, which only takes another couple of minutes.  If you love butter like I do, you can add another tbsp while cooking.  Toss with salt to taste and serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hot Rice Cereal

My son loves this hot cereal more than any other! It is nutritious, simple and satisfying no matter what your age, and as fast as a bowl of "instant" oatmeal.  Perfect for the morning after you make a meal with leftover rice, or make up a big batch of rice for a whole week full of warm, delicious breakfasts!  Whole grains like rice keep well in the fridge for up to one week.

Hot Rice Cereal
1 serving (multiply as needed for larger families)

1 cup of cooked rice
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup whole milk
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
dash salt

In a small saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted.  Stir in the rice, then add the milk and heat 3-4 minutes until hot but not bubbling or scorching.  Stir in maple syrup, raisins, cinnamon and salt and serve immediately.

Vegan:  Substitute coconut oil for the butter and almond or coconut milk for the whole milk.