National Popcorn Day 2016

Mint cup full of popcorn -  National Popcorn Day 2016Popcorn is an amazingly versatile grain. With a little imagination and some common household ingredients, you can make tasty and original snacks in no time at all.

Popcorn Nutritional Information Infographic

Infographic Shows Using Canola Oil – Here at Splendid Recipes and More we suggest Coconut oil or Olive oil – Read More: Could Canola Oil Be Effecting Your Health

Here are some great reason’s to enjoy popcorn as a healthy snack.

  • Air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 35 calories per cup
  • When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 80 calories per cup
  • Popcorn is a whole grain, making it a good-for-you food
  • Popcorn provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates
  • Popcorn contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet
  • Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories
  • Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives, and is sugar-free
  • Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil the appetite
  • 3 cups of popcorn equal one serving from the grain group
  • Here are some great recipes to try with popcorn

Celebrate National Popcorn Day

Celebrations are a huge part of Mexico’s vibrant and colorful culture. Do a Google search for – Mexican holidays – and you will find fiestas abound throughout Mexico taking place throughout the year.

Here’s a spicy popcorn snack with peanuts and a kicking smoky adobe coating.

Adobo and Roasted Peanut Popcorn

bowl of fresh made Adobo and Roasted Peanut Popcorn on a table4 quarts popcorn, no butter or salt, air popped or see here the perfect way to make popcorn Organic Coconut Popcorn

1/4 cup peanuts

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from one 7-ounce can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce; reserve chilies for other use) or optional to use 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread popcorn and peanuts onto prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg white, sugar, adobo sauce and salt until foamy.  Pour over popcorn and toss to coat evenly.

Bake 20 minutes, stirring once midway through baking time.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

______________________________________________

Popcorn happens to be one American’s oldest foods whose roots reach back thousands of years. Some of the oldest ears of popcorn were found in 1948 in west central New Mexico. These ears were proven to be about 4,000 years old.

Early American settlers learned from the natives how to make popcorn. They threw the kernels directly into a fire or heated sand. Once the corn was popped it was pounded into a fine, powdery meal and later mixed with water for eating.

a bowl of Tex Mex Mix PopcornTex Mex Mix Popcorn

2 quarts popcorn popped in oil

2 teaspoons ground chili powder

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese (about 1/4 inch cubes)

Keep popped popcorn warm. Mix seasonings together and toss with popcorn.

Add cheese and mix thoroughly.

_______________________________________________

Here’s a great way to have a healthy snack.

Power Packed Popcorn Cookies with a glass of milk in the back ground on a tablePower Packed Popcorn Cookies

1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup toasted wheat germ

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup flaked coconut

3 cups popped popcorn

1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit, chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together and add egg and vanilla, and mix well. Stir in flour mixture and wheat germ and oatmeal until well blended.

Next add coconut, popcorn, raisins and sunflower seeds, if desired, and mix until well blended.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet, allowing 2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading.

Bake 7–8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Allow cookies to cool on pan 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely. Recipe yields 4 dozen cookies.

________________________________________________________________

READ MORE: Smart Snacking For Better Health

________________________________________________________________

Here’s one for the kids to enjoy.

a dinner plate of Popcorn Crusted Macaroni and CheesePopcorn Crusted Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups milk

1-8 oz. (2 cups) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese

5 cups popped popcorn

1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter an 8×8-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.

Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk in flour, mustard, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Whisk in milk and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens; about 10 minutes.

Stir in cheese until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.

Stir macaroni into sauce; pour macaroni mixture into prepared pan.

Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and toss with popcorn and parsley flakes.

Spread popcorn over macaroni and bake 10 minutes.

Images and Recipes Adapted From: Popcorn.org giving all people ways and reasons to enjoy popcorn.

What Others Are Reading:

National Spaghetti Day

National Spaghetti Day - Little Girl Eating her spagheti dinner and making a mess

Today January 4th is National Spaghetti Day (USA). Were you aware that 1.3 million pounds of spaghetti was sold at the turn of the 21st century (USA)? All those packages together would circle the Earth nine times. Now that’s a lot of spaghetti.

Wikipedia writes that there is controversy in respects to the origin of spaghetti.

There are records in the Jerusalem Talmud of itrium, writing about a kind of boiled dough, being common in Palestine from the 3rd to 5th centuries A.D.

A 9th century dictionary written in Arabic describes itriyyaas, string-like shapes made of semolina and dried before cooking.

Record keeping was done for Norman King of Sicily in 1154, and itriyya is mentioned being manufactured and exported from Norman Sicily.

By the 14th century pasta became popular, and was even taken on sea voyages due to its easy storage. A century later, pasta was present around the globe during the voyages of discovery. In Italian spaghetti means “little lines.”

Pasta has always been associated with the Italians, who have established the dish by inventing a wide variety of pasta shapes. These include farfalle, conchiglie, rotini, penne, tortellini, and, of course, spaghetti.

Spaghetti with anchovies and sundried tomatoes

Spaghetti with Anchovies and Sundried Tomatoes – By Il Cuore in Pentola

Spaghetti dishes are traditionally served topped with grated hard cheeses such as Pecorino Romano, Parmesan and Grana Padano.

March of 2009 The world record for the largest bowl of spaghetti was set in March 2009, and beaten in March of 2010 when the Italian RestaurantBuca di Beppo” in Garden Grove, California  successfully filled a swimming pool with more than 13,780 pounds of pasta.

Just about anyone loves a good plate of spaghetti. Here are some great spaghetti recipes to enjoy this day – National Spaghetti Day.

Spaghetti bundles

Spaghetti Al Pesto Genovese

7 ounce spaghetti

Spaghetti Al Pesto Genovese2 tablespoons pesto alla genovese

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1/3 teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper

Pine nuts (optional)

Have some pesto alla genovese basil paste on hand. If frozen, break off the amount you’ll need and thaw. The basil paste is similar to basil pesto, but prepared without the olive oil, and cheese.

Boil spaghetti in a large pot of salted water. Follow the directions if using packaged spaghetti, making sure to stop when it’s still al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix prepared basil paste with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until smooth. The amount of oil, cheese, and salt can be adjusted to your taste.

Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss with a pair of forks until well coated.

Put on plates and sprinkle with whole pine nuts and more Parmesan cheese, if you like.

Recipe credit: The Delectable Hodgepodge 

Spaghetti bundles

Close-up of spaghetti bolognese in a cast iron frying panSpaghetti Bolognese

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)

1 carrot, finely diced

2 celery stalks, finely diced

4 ounces pancetta, finely diced (optional)

1 pound ground beef, or a combination of beef and pork

Coarse salt

1/2 cup red or white wine

One 28-ounce can best-quality tomatoes, pulsed in a blender

1/2 cup cream or milk

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

1 pound spaghetti or other pasta

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a saucepan over low heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrot, and celery and saute over low heat until lightly caramelized, about 12 minutes. Add the pancetta and beef and cook, separating the meat into small pieces, until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain off most of the fat. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.

Pour the wine into the beef mixture to deglaze the pan; stir to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the wine is almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes and stir in the cream, black pepper, and red-pepper flakes. Gently simmer for about 40 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Start cooking the spaghetti when the sauce is within 10 minutes of being done. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Stir the butter into the bolognese sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart 

What Others Are Reading:

Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas

Orecchiette with Chorizo and ChickpeasThe first time we used pasta Orecchiette was around 2009. We had seen a recipe in a food magazine using the pasta, so to the store we went. We had a hard time finding it, but our local co-op (sell’s all natural – organic foods) had the pasta. When we described the pasta (as we had forgotten the name) the sales lady new right away what we wanted. She referred to the pasta as little pope hats. Ever since Orechiette has become a staple in our pantry.

About.com talks on Italian food and describes Orechiette as a distinctive Puglian type of pasta shaped roughly like small ears, as orecchio in Italian means eat, and Orecchiette means little ears. The pasta is roughly 3/4 of an inch across, slightly domed, and the centers are thinner than the rim of the pasta. The pastas texture is soft in the middle and more chewy along the rim or outside of the pasta.

Barilla (store brand that sells Italian products) says that Orecchiette is the signature pasta of Puglia, describing Puglia as a humble farming land situated along the southeastern coast of Italy.

Here is a video posted to You-Tube of Italian women in Italy making fresh Orechiette pasta.
Now for our featured recipe: Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas, and here is what you will need.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small shallots, chopped

3/4 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

12 ounces Orecchiette

Garnishes:

Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

Finely grated Parmesan and lemon zest

cooking Mexican chorizoHeat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute, stirring often, until beginning to brown and smell fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add chorizo to pan and break up with a spoon, and cook meat until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

adding chickpeas to meat sauceNext add tomato paste and red pepper flakes to meat mixture and mix in. Next add the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened a bit, about 15-20 minutes. Next add the can of chickpeas, and mix in, cooking 2 minutes more to heat the chickpeas through.

adding orechiette to meat sauceMeanwhile, cook pasta according to packaged instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

Next add the pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to meat sauce. Continue to cook until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta liquid as needed. You might use the whole cup, and possibly less.

Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas in the panServe pasta topped with cilantro or parsley (your choice), Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Orecchiette with Chorizo and ChickpeasWe have had this for left overs a few times, and each time we add cilantro, cheese, and lemon zest. The zest adds great flavor to this dish. Be sure to use it.

For the side salad using candy cane beets, see our recipe here: Shredded Candy Cane and Green Apple Slaw with Pecans.

What Others Are Reading:

8 More Uses For Your Lemon

 There are many uses for a lemon, with the most common being used in culinary cooking and baking desserts. Oh and not to forget drinking lemon juice with warm water in the morning to get the digestion moving.

There are in fact 8 more uses for that lemon you have in your kitchen. Let’s see what they are.

Your Cutting Board

A combination of Himalayan salt and lemon juice is said to be the top cleaner for your cutting board.

lemon slice on a cutting board After using the board rinse it under running water. Next sprinkle the board with salt, and rub 1/2 a lemon (cut side down) over the surface of the cutting board .

After dubbing the intire surface, let the board sit for about 10-15 minutes, and rinse again with water. The two food items together remove orders, germs, and help prevent stains.

Harden Brown Sugar

What a drag when you go to reach for the brown sugar, and it has harden.

To soften it up, just add the peel of half a lemon to the packaged brown sugar, and allow to sit overnight. The sugar will absorb the moisture of the lemon peel, tuning that harden brown sugar soft and manageable once more.

Wilted Leafy Greens

leafy green lettuceDon’t you just hate it when you want to make a salad, and you find your leafy greens have wilted in you. No worries though.

Just add cold water to a large bowl. Next add the greens and juice from 1/2 a lemon, and place in your refrigerator for about an hour, then dry the greens thoroughly.

Smell Fresh Refrigerator

Who knew a cottonball with a few drops of lemon juice could remove food orders from your refrigerator.

Faucets That Sparkle

Hard water stains on faucets can be removed with a cloth that has been dampened with lemon juice. Just rub the hard water spots until they disappear.

There are still more uses for that lemon, such as for a sore throat. Just add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to 8 ounces of warm water, then gargle and swallow. Lemon juice is so strong that it kills germs and bacteria.

You can even soak your finger nails in lemon juice and warm water for 5 minutes, once a week to remove any stains from your nails.

Lastly, after you have juiced your lemon for the above uses or any way you use your lemon, do not through away the peel. Freeze it.

 Place the peel in a zip-lock baggy and place in the freezer. When making a dish or dessert that calls for lemon zest, and you rich for the lemon, but so sad it’s not there. Don’t fret, the frozen lemon peels to the rescue.

Just grate the frozen peel, and you have fresh lemony zest. You can also do this with lime and orange peels.

What other uses do you have for your lemon, besides cooking and baking?

Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Shrimp and Snap Pea Str-Fry

Prepare a meal in a snap with this super fresh stir-fry. Stir-frying is one of the fastest ways to prepare dinner. Small cuts of food or bite sized foods cook up in no time when tossed into a hot pan.

We even went a step further with this stir-fry, we topped it with lemon zest and shavings of fresh ginger root. Ginger is great for digestion, reduces pain and inflammation, and wards off some cancers.

If you are increasing your omega-3 in your diet, shrimp is a great choice with .29 grams per a 3 ounce serving.

Our featured recipe is – Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry – and here is what you will need.

2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drain

12-16 ounces large shrimp, cooked

1/4 cup garlic and green onion teriyaki sauce (your favorite brand; we use Kikkoman)

2 cups cooked wild rice and red barely

1 cup organic chicken broth

cooking rise

Pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup of organic chicken broth into a medium sauce pan, add rice and bring to a boil on high heat.

Once boiling lower heat to low to simmer for 45 minutes. What we do so the rise will not be soggy after cooking it, is place a dry clean towel over mouth of pot and place the lid over the towel. As the water evaporates and rises to the lid water forms again only to fall back over the cooking rice.

With the towel in place, it will hold the vapor not allowing it to fall back over the rice. The rice is always 100% guaranteed  to be fluffy.

When rice is done remove towel, fluff with a fork and set aside.

washing snap peas

 

Meantime, wash and trim the Snap Peas and set aside. Next, open the can of water chestnuts, drain off  liquid and set aside.

preparing and stir-frying Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Next place a large frying pan or a wok if you have one over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When heated add 1/8 cup of the stir fry sauce. Place peas and chestnuts into pan and stir-fry until snap peas turn a bright green in color. Place into a medium bowel and set aside.

Using the same pan, add the shrimp and remaining 1/8 cup of stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry until shrimp is more oblique in color than orange. Add back the vegetables to shrimp and stir-fry 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

close up of Shrimp and Snap Pea Str-Fry

Spoon some rice on to a dinner plate, spoon some shrimp stir-fry over rice and serve. As we stated before hand, we topped the stir-fry with lemon zest and shavings of fresh ginger root. Enjoy the wonderful flavors of this splendid stir-fry.

 

What Others are Saying About Stir-Fry:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

This recipe focuses on the roasted vegetables as a side dish. We did use skinless chicken thighs (bone-in) as this is my families favorite part of the chicken. Though I do prefer, de-boned, skinless chicken breast.

You can roast these vegetables with about any meat you wish, including fish like Salmon or Halibut. The blend of seasonings that we used are common culinary herbs with the zest of citrus fruits, orange and lemon. This seasoning blend is well suited for many uses in the kitchen, like adding spice to a fruit salad, or add it to a grain, such as quinoa. For lean meats, you can use the citrus herb seasoning as a dry rub before grilling.

The seasoning consists of  the following:

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. dried oregano

2 tbsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried sage

1 tsp. fennel seeds

Mix the ingredients together in a spice grinder and store the blend in an airtight container.

The fresh ingredients you add to the seasoning when ready to use are:

1 1/2 tsp. fresh orange zest

1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Here are the vegetables you will need, but keep in mind, you can use just about any vegetable you like:

vegetables neede for Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Here we are using 2 zucchini squash, 2 crookneck squash, 2 carrots, about 15 Brussels sprouts, and 1 small to medium eggplant. Note if you are going to bake some chicken or fish with the vegetables, you may not use the amount that is called for, due to spacing in the baking pan.

pouring season mix into baking pan

In a mixing cup add the zest of both citrus fruits, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the herb seasoning mix. You may want to add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt. To the dry mix add 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil, 2 tablespoons of honey or 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 cup orange juice. We used the juice of a fresh Navel orange. Of course it juiced almost 1 cup. One fourth cup was added to the mix, and the cook got their dose of vitamin-C (he drank the rest). This is optional, add 1 minced fresh clove of garlic.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet till well combined and pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Now if you don’t like meat, than maybe you will want to look away as we show you the next step.

putting chicken thighs over seasoning face down

Next, depending the meat you want to use, place meat into pan. Here we used skinless chicken thighs, placed bone side up. If using fish with skin on, place fish in with meat down.  Bake in a preheated oven on 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Placing chopped vegetables into baking pan to roast

Remove pan from oven and turn thighs over and arrange chopped vegetables over and around meat. If you are going to just use the vegetables only, than pour wet seasoning mix into baking pan, add vegetables and roast for 30 minutes in the 400 degree oven.

Place baking pan back into oven and cook another 30 minutes. This will insure chicken meat is cooked to 165 degrees internal temperature and will roast the vegetables.

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Remove roasted vegetables to a serving dish, then place meat on to a serving platter. Pour or spoon as much of the seasoned liquid as you like over the roasted vegetables.

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables with Baked Chicken Thighs

Plate and serve.

What Others are Saying About Herbs and roasted chicken with Vegetables:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

avocado oil

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

Here’s a great recipe that will prepare in under 30 minutes. Though you will need to marinate your chicken first for 30 minutes to one hour depending on your intensity for citrus flavors. But once the meat is marinated, as I mention the rest takes under 30 minutes to prepare.

I found a great marinade recipe at She Knows Food & Recipes: Baja Citrus Marinade. The recipe calls for a Mexican beer, but I left that out. The following includes the beer if you wish to prepare the marinade with it.

Baja Citrus Marinade

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and process the mixture until combined. Pour the marinade over the meat of your choice, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to cooking ( I marinated the meat  for 1 hour).

You could also opt to replace the orange juice and zest with lime or lemon. I also replaced the canola oil (which is a seed oil and is the cause of inflammation in the body) with avocado oil.
Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

Also this is one of my recipes I call –Salads as a Main Meal– as it contains meat.

The recipe I use is one I have -Smoked Turkey Black Bean Bell Pepper and Corn Salad-. I had some chicken breast I used in place of the turkey and I didn’t use the Mint dressing that goes with the smoked turkey salad, as I thought it would clash with the citrus marinaded flavored meat.

I just mix a little balsamic vinegar and avocado oil, with Himalaya salt (contains all trace minerals found in the salt mines) and black pepper.

The following is what you will need to prepare -Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl-. By the way I say Bowl, because I prepared this recipe for the family dinner, but as I went off  to work, I put mine in a bowl.

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

2 pounds (about 3) chicken breast, chopped 1-inch squares

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels

1 cup cherry orange tomatoes, halved

1 cup diced bell peppers (any colors)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

3 cups arugula greens

 

Marinate chopped chicken for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then cook in heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internal meat temperature.

In the bottom  of a large salad bowl add add desired amounts of olive or avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Next add chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and mix well with wet ingredients.

Place one to two hand fulls of arugula greens on a large salad plate and top with the meat mixture. Sever and enjoy!!

 

What Others are Saying About Marinated Meats and Salads: