Popcorn Party

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Hi everyone! Can you believe it is already October? One of the best things about fall, especially Halloween, is curling up on the sofa with a scary movie and a big bowl of popcorn. Today we’re sharing a few popcorn recipes to make those movie nights a little more fun (hint hint, no microwaves involved!). We’re hosting a popcorn party with almond caramel corn, spicy chili lime and truffle parmesan popcorn. Popcorn is so easy to make and is also relatively low in calories. The best part is, all of these recipes are very simple and there is no baking required. So get the scary movie ready and let’s get this party started!

First, we will share the recipe for homemade popcorn, which will be used for all of our popcorn topping recipes. Then we will share the recipes for our featured flavors. Enjoy!

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First things first, the popcorn. We are absolutely NOT microwaving our popcorn! Come on, you are better than that. Microwaveable popcorn is full of chemicals and hidden calories. Homemade popcorn, made over the stove, is healthier and cheaper than microwave popcorn. It tastes better, too! If you haven’t tried it before, it is easier than you may think.

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I have fond memories of being at my grandmother’s house as a young girl, her house full of kids as Jess and I ran around with our cousins. I admire her for so many reasons, but especially because she was always encouraging her grandchildren to help in the kitchen and share in her love of cooking. Many of the first dishes I ever made were made in her kitchen using recipes passed down over generations. Popping popcorn over the stove with my cousins was a great activity that kept us all entertained and better yet- fed!

Choose a popcorn brand that you like and make sure to buy raw popcorn kernels. I have used many different kinds and find that they are mostly the same. Trader Joe’s sells a huge bag that lasts forever and it is only $2- can’t beat that! For our popcorn party, I used a brand (White Cat Corn) that I found at Sur La Table, because I always need an excuse to go in that store and because I am a sucker for anything in a mason jar. Any regular raw popcorn kernel will work, though.

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HOMEMADE POPCORN

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (can use coconut oil instead)
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 large pot with a lid

This makes about 6-8 cups of popped popcorn, enough for two people.

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium high heat.
  2. Put 2-3 kernels in the oil and cover the pot with the lid.
  3. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover the pot with the lid.
  4. The popcorn will begin popping soon! Once it starts, gently shake the pot back and forth several times over the burner. This will help ensure even popping and no burnt popcorn. Also, crack the lid slightly so steam can escape.
  5. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Remove the lid and dump the popcorn into a large bowl (Tip- the sooner you do this the less soggy your popcorn will be).

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Click the link below for detailed topping recipes and step by step instructions to make

almond caramel corn, spicy chili lime, and truffle parmesan popcorn!

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Best Burgers

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Who doesn’t love a good burger? This all-American meal is one of our favorites, but every once in awhile we like to switch it up. Today we’re sharing two recipes, as usual, a vegan and a pescatarian burger. Jess’s black bean and quinoa veggie burger is both healthy and hearty. Nikki will be sharing a tilapia burger topped with spicy avocado salsa. Both of our burgers are also topped with a spicy and delicious chipotle aioli (two versions), which also serves as the perfect topping for everything from sandwiches to burritos. We hope you enjoy these unique twists on a beloved classic meal!

Click the link below to chow down!
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Meatless Mondays: Hearts of Palm Tacos

Happy New Year! Apologies for us being M.I.A. the past few weeks, the busy holiday season sure got the best of us! We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday full of love and lots of delicious food!

Now, back to business, today we are starting a new weekly feature here on the blog: Meatless Mondays! Every Monday we will feature a vegan or vegetarian dish tasty enough for both our omnivorous and vegan readers. If you’re like us, you probably over-indulged a bit during the holidays (by a bit we mean three-too many Christmas sugar cookies and ten-too-many glasses of champagne, but you know, who’s counting?). It can be difficult to get back into a healthy eating routine and Meatless Mondays are an effortless way to cut calories and add some more plant-based nutrition back into your diet. For us omnivores this might seem scary (my carnivorous boyfriend wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea), but incorporating a meat-free night into your weekly dinner plans is both healthy and good for the environment, and can be delicious, too!

This week, we are sharing a healthy, vegan and gluten-free take on tacos! Instead of meat we are using hearts of palm. If you’re unfamiliar with this fibrous vegetable, it is the edible inner portion of a cabbage Palm tree. You can buy them at most grocery stores and they come in a can. Their taste is very similar to that of an artichoke heart. This simple recipe requires shredding the hearts of palm, which can be a bit tedious. However, the rest of the recipe is a piece of cake (vegan, gluten-free cake, of course)! The shredded hearts are marinated in a mixture of chile in adobo sauce as well as a chipotle cooking sauce that can be found at most grocery stores. Not a lot of work here, which is ideal for a Monday night. Let’s get started.

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HEARTS OF PALM TACOS

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 oz.) hearts of palm
  • 1/4 cup chipotle pepper in adobo sauce with chipotle chopped
  • 1/2 cup Herdez cooking sauce available at most grocery stores
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • tortillas
  • avocado and pico de gallo for topping (optional)

The prep for this recipe requires chopping the onions and garlic as well as shredding the hearts of palm.

Here is the star of the show: the hearts of palm!

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Typically, about four hearts come in a can which is enough to fill about 6 tacos. Here is where the tedious shredding comes into play. If possible, I recommend doing this the night before to save yourself some time after a tiring workday. To shred the hearts of palm, pull back the layers of the hearts and shred like you would a cheese stick. It takes some practice but you’ll get the hang of it after the first one, and of course it doesn’t have to be perfect. It should look something like this when you’re done shredding:

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After shredding, sautée the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes or so.

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Next add the shredded hearts of palm to the onion and garlic mixture and cook for a few minutes so the onion flavor can be absorbed.

Now add the adobo sauce and Herdez cooking sauce and stir. Also add the salt and cumin here.

Let the hearts of palm and onion and garlic mixture cook for about 5-7 minutes, just until everything is nice and hot.Spoon the mixture into your favorite taco shells (these are my favorites right now, I also like to fry them in a pan with a bit of oil for some extra crispiness) and top with fresh pico de gallo and avocado! Time for a Monday night fiesta, enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti and meatballs is one of our favorite comfort foods. But with all the heavy eating and drinking that goes on during the holidays (not complaining!), a high-calorie bowl of spaghetti isn’t exactly helping us fit into our Christmas dresses! Have no fear, spaghetti squash is here! Spaghetti squash is a low calorie, nutrient rich vegetable that tastes a lot like spaghetti with the same texture as pasta (more of an Angel Hair texture, if you ask us).  Spaghetti squash is the star of this post and we’ll show you everything you need to know to make this guilt-free comfort food. Today we share two recipes, as usual, a vegan and  non vegan take on spaghetti squash with meatballs and homemade marinara.

Let’s eat!

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First we must complete a proper introduction. Meet spaghetti squash! Located in the produce department of most grocery stores, near other squash like butternut, delicata, and more.

There are many ways to cook spaghetti squash, but the most frequently used approaches are roasted in the oven, and for those of us who are more pressed for time, the microwave!

To prepare in the oven place the squash in a shallow pan and poke with a fork a few times. Bake at 350 for one hour.

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Let the squash cool enough to handle, and slice in half.

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Scoop out the seedy middle and use a fork to scoop the spaghetti like strands out.

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Click the link below to find our recipes for marinara sauce and meatballs!

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Pumpkin Pick-Me-Up

Pumpkin season is slowly coming to an end, to be replaced with peppermint, gingerbread and other equally delicious ingredients. If you’re like us, however, you still have a ton of pumpkin puree in your pantry, just begging to be used before autumn is officially over. We created this pumpkin smoothie the morning after Thanksgiving, trying to free us of our food coma. The smoothie is just a touch sweet from natural sweeteners, packed with Vitamin A from the pumpkin, and is very refreshing. You probably already have all the ingredients you need and it makes for a super fast breakfast. The pumpkin pie smoothie is also suitable for both vegan and nonvegan diets, and you can add protein powder to really make this a pumpkin powerhouse!

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Click the Continue Reading button to get the recipe for this delectable drink!

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Bacon and Brussels

Given our namesake, it is only appropriate that we share our favorite brussels recipes with you. Brussels sprouts are a staple in our house and offer rich nutritional value as well as delicious nutty flavor that both vegans and omnivores are sure to love. Jess prefers her brussels sprouts with a hint of lemon and a spicy kick, while Nikki prepares hers with every carnivore’s favorite: bacon. But even if we’re pressed for time during a busy work week, brussels sprouts can still be a quick and healthy side dish. Just drizzle the brussels with a little olive oil and salt and pop them in the oven (at 400 degrees) for 35-40 minutes. If you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous, click the Read More link below to check out our favorite preparations of this hearty vegetable.

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Click the link below to read about our favorite ways to prepare Brussels!

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