Happy Meatless Monday. I have an all natural, inexpensive and incrediblly easy snack to share. My favorite kind. I do food demos at an in-store kitchen where I work. Because I engage in conversations with strangers about food all day…I hear things, lots of things about food that can sound crazy, disgusting, intriguing and delicious.
Last week a customer and I were chatting about popcorn. She told me that she put organic kernels into a paper lunch bag and popped them in the microwave without even a drop of oil. “Put your kernels in the bag, fold the top over twice and pop it,” she said. “Comes out beautifully and then you top the corn with any flavors you like.” I smiled and looked at her the same way I look at our clients that are describing to me in great detail how delicious our uncured bacon is. “Okay, sure it is.” I felt like if it was really that easy than everyone would be doing it. I’ve never heard of it, it is probably a Snopes-like popcorn rumor.
That afternoon when I left work I brought home a bag of organic popcorn kernels. I was curious in a…this will never work type of way. I found brown lunch bags at the dollar store and headed home for a foodie experiment.
I put 1/3 C of kernels into the bag, folded the top down twice and laid it on its side in the microwave. I set the timer for 5 minutes because I had no idea how long it would take. I mentally located the fire extinguisher then stood there in case the entire thing caught on fire. It did not. It did however produce a brown paper bag of bright white, organic popcorn (about 2 1/4 C popped).
I showered the popped corn with the juice of one lime, heavily sprinkled it with black pepper and a dash of salt. It was good, really, really good. I went with that flavor combo to try and replicate my favorite prepackaged microwave popcorn.
In the past I have devoured packaged microwave popcorn that was just dairy free. It was easy to use and delicious. But I have found that I am slowly moving away from pre-packaged foods and am enjoying making more things myself. That way, I know exactly what is in them, like the bag of popped corn I am eating. The term “Natural flavors,” is a bit nebulous for me.
When I first went vegan I had a head full of ill-begotten beliefs about vegans, like they never ate processed foods, despised meat analogs and made all things from scratch. I had no idea how to suddenly incorporate all of those things into my lifestyle and it made me feel like inadequate like a bad vegan even before I began. Although I would quickly realize that those beliefs were far from true, I decided that the only way I could move forward was to allow myself the time I needed to gradually, naturally allow change to occur.
I ate all of the meat substitutes, cheese wannabes and processed vegan foods that I desired. Sometimes I still do. They can all be novel, delicious and helpful. Over time, I have begun to release many of these things to make room for a more whole food approach that just feels good in my body and in many cases is a lot less expensive. So I give you…truly natural Black Pepper Lime popcorn that is oil free and delicious. I am so glad I tried it.
Have a delicious day.