The Topic: Snack Attack Savvy
The Dish: For me, three square meals a day do not suffice. I need my snacks, but bags of potato chips and Newman O's aren't the healthiest things in the world, nor are they the cheapest. One of my favorite evening snacks growing up was popcorn, but the prepackaged variety is inexplicably overpriced—not to mention, often laced with animal products and mysterious chemicals (my hypochondriac side will never forget the report of toxic chemicals and microwave popcorn). I've ditched the microwave and made a truly amazing (and penny-pinching) discovery—I can pop that stuff on the stove.
With a little bit of oil—whatever I have handy—a touch of heat, and some vigorous shaking, in no time I have an embarrassingly large serving of this movie-time favorite, ready to be covered in Tapatio. Since I'm the queen of condiments, it's easy to vary up the flavor—sea salt, kelp flakes (don't knock it 'til you try it), cinnamon sugar, and homemade fake parmesan rank high on my list. The only combination I'm not willing to try is something equivalent to "popcorn cereal" I discovered on VegWeb, but hey. Never say never.
If you're concerned about using oil, air poppers are an affordable solution at about $10–20 each, although how often you snack on the stuff might determine if it's a necessary purchase (probably not). You already have all the tools you need, so ditch the microwave, grab a pot, and get popping.
Dirt Cheap Popcorn
Serves 1 Abby
What You Need:
1–2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
What You Do:
- In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Place a few kernels in pot and cover. Once all kernels have popped, dump in remaining kernels, cover, and begin to lightly shake pot over the burner. Once popping has slowed down to around 5 seconds between pops, remove from heat.
- Add a generous sprinkling of hot sauce and nutritional yeast, mix, and serve. Enjoy!
The Final Word: An overwhelming trend in my life has become "DIY over store-bought." Seriously, just put in a tiny bit of effort and you'll get so much more for your money. What's your favorite popcorn topper?