If you're like many people I know, you at least enjoy a good bowl of popcorn every now and again. The biggest down-side standard microwave or stove-top cooked popcorn is that you add a lot of unnecessary calories by cooking it in oil or butter.

I love air-popped pop corn with butter spray, salt and some extra seasoning on top - ranch dressing powder, chili powder, omit the salt and use garlic salt... there is SO much you can do to make a fantastic bit of popcorn without adding a lot of fat and unnecessary calories.

The only thing I don't like about traditional air-poppers is that they can sometimes make quite a mess - particularly if/when a kernel that has already landed in the bowl decides to pop... it is like a volcano of popcorn.

I recently read that you can air-pop popcorn in the microwave by putting 3ish tablespoons of plain popcorn into a brown paper lunch bag. Seal it with tape and throw in the microwave as though it was a store-bought variety.

I opted to try the above microwave-air popped method (and seasoned with butter-spray, salt and ranch powder) this afternoon and was quite pleased with the results. I do have a high-power microwave and bits of the popcorn were a little over-cooked, though not burned. Next time, I'll lower the power setting to 80% or so. Just stand next to the microwave and listen - once there is a 2 second pause after you hear a "pop", you know the popcorn is done.

It is well worth the experiment to enjoy a low-calorie, flavorful, (not to mention) filling afternoon snack. :)


Red and Green Cabbage Slaw

Here is a very easy, inexpensive, filling, not to mention - healthy! - recipe.

All measurements are approximate. Adjust to your personal taste.

2 cups chopped red cabbage
2-3 cups chopped green cabbage
2-3 T sour cream
1-2t apple cider vinegar
garlic salt, to taste
ranch salad dressing mix - to taste

Add chopped cabbages to large bowl or container with lid. You can either add the sauce ingredients to the bowl with the cabbage or mix the sour cream, vinegar, garlic salt and ranch powder together in a small separate bowl and then pour over the shredded cabbage. Toss the ingredients together - or just put the lid on and give it a good shake.

Perks of this recipe include:
cost effective - I paid less than $3 for both cabbages and only used about 1/3 of each. I had sour cream, garlic salt and ranch powder on hand.

low calorie - cabbage is low in calories. Using sour cream rather than mayo reduces calories.

tasty - simply adding garlic salt and ranch powder give this a bold flavor without adding calories

filling - cabbage is dense and relatively high in dietary fiber which makes it a very filling food.