(Family Features) If spending more time at home than usual has you reaching for snacks more often, keep some quick, flavorful options on-hand to help fuel you and your family throughout the day when hunger pangs strike.
One versatile pantry staple that can fit a variety of snack cravings: popcorn. With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to enjoy one handful at a time or sprinkled with seasonings that satisfy your taste buds. A whole-grain food, popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer. Plus, it’s simple enough to make that kids can help in the kitchen by popping it themselves or adding toppings.
Whether you’re craving something sweet, salty, spicy – or nearly anything else – freshly popped popcorn can serve as the perfect base ingredient to simply mix in your favorite toppings or create more unique tastes by combining a variety of herbs and spices. For example, consider these hacks to add easy flavor:
- Pop it on the stove. Stovetop popping allows you to choose your toppings. Cover the bottom of a pot with a thin layer of oil and popcorn kernels, shake to coat, cover with a lid then turn on the heat. Once popping has slowed to 2-second intervals, remove from heat and add toppings.
- Add some sweetness. When you’re in the mood for something sweet, add a dash of salt and a pinch of sugar (or more to meet your taste) to a bowl of popcorn. Or add sugar to the pan before it’s popped, like this recipe for Sugar Corn.
- Melt some butter. For a classic taste treat, melt a little butter and pour over your bowl of popped corn.
- Satisfy multiple cravings. Pop a large pot of popcorn and divide it in half; top one half with sweeter toppings like honey, which is a key ingredient in Honey Matcha Popcorn, and the other with something savory, like nutritional yeast or dill. When hunger strikes, you’re ready, regardless of the flavor craving.
- Spice it up. Cayenne pepper and a blend of other spices can be sprinkled on popcorn to create a spicier snack like Cajun Corn.
- Add mix-ins. Add dried fruits, nuts or candies to a bowl of popcorn to make your own trail mix.
- Cheese, please. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can make your snack a bit more substantial. Mix in some dried herbs like basil and parsley to create this Popcorn Con Pesto.
For more snack ideas that deliver on both flavor and nutrition, visit popcorn.org.
Yield: 8 cups
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, for popping
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1 pinch white sugar, plus additional, to taste
- In medium pan, heat oil until hot.
- Add popcorn to pan and sprinkle sugar over it. Add more sugar, if desired, to taste.
- Cover and shake pan continuously until popcorn is popped.
Honey Matcha Popcorn
Yield: 12 cups
- 12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place popped popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In small saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter, honey, matcha powder and salt, stirring until dissolved. Pour over popcorn; toss to combine. Spread onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake, stirring occasionally, 25-30 minutes, or until popcorn is dry. Let cool completely before serving.
Tip: Matcha powder can be found in the tea and coffee aisle at supermarkets.
Popcorn Con Pesto
Yield: 5 quarts
- 5 quarts popped popcorn
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
- Place popped popcorn in large bowl and keep warm.
- In small saucepan, melt butter; add basil, parsley, garlic, Parmesan cheese and nuts, if using.
- Stir to blend.
- Pour over popped popcorn, stirring well.
Note: Dried thyme or oregano, or combination of ingredients, may be used in place of basil.
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn, warm
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- Heat oven to 300° F.
- In bowl, pour butter over warm popcorn.
- In separate bowl, combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and lemon pepper; sprinkle over popcorn. Toss to mix.
- Bake 5-10 minutes for crispy popcorn.
Source: Popcorn Board
(Family Features) Creating a nutritious family dinner doesn’t have to mean sacrificing favorite dishes. For a healthier take on a traditional ethnic meal, these Blended Tacos involve blending ground beef with mushrooms before adding your desired toppings. Find more recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Recipe courtesy of the Mushroom Council
Yield: 12 tacos
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 pound 80 percent lean ground beef
- 12 crunchy taco shells, warmed
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1 large tomatoes, diced (optional)
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded (optional)
- In small bowl, mix chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and salt. Stir in water and set aside.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chopped mushrooms and ground beef and cook thoroughly, about 7-10 minutes. Carefully drain excess grease, if necessary.
- Add seasoning mixture to mushroom-meat mixture and stir to combine. Bring to simmer and cook 3-5 minutes.
- To assemble, add about 1/4 cup mushroom-meat mixture to bottom of each taco shell. Layer shells with cheese, tomatoes and lettuce, if desired.
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (regular or 98% fat free)
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 4)
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- MIX soup, water, rice, onion powder and black pepper in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with chicken. Sprinkle chicken with additional pepper. Cover.
- BAKE at 375°F for 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and rice is done.
- UNCOVER. Sprinkle cheese over chicken. Remove chicken and stir rice before serving. Serves 4 to 6
Source: Campbell's Soup
- 4 (10- to 14-ounce) Omaha Steaks rib eye steaks
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 teaspoons Blackening Seasoning (recipe below) or Omaha Steaks Blackened Seasoning
- 1 cup Creamy Horseradish Sauce (recipe below) or Omaha Steaks Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- 3 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon green onions, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- Heat a cast iron skillet until very hot, in a well ventilated area.
- Brush steaks with olive oil.
- Coat each side of the steaks with 1 teaspoon of blackening seasoning.
- Place steaks in the iron skillet, flipping steaks halfway through cooking. To cook a 1-inch-thick steak medium rare, cook about 4 minutes on first side and 3 minutes on other side.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of Creamy Horseradish Sauce on each plate before topping with the cooked steak.
- Blackening Seasoning - Yield 1 cup -Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Creamy Horseradish Sauce - Yield 1 cup -Combine all ingredients and mix well.
SOURCE: Omaha Steaks