popcorn with Herbes de Provence and sea salt (+ a book review)

popcorn with herbes de provence and sea salt // 80twentyWho says popcorn can’t be dinner? Well, I do on most days (you know I’m all about the vegetables!!). But there are exceptions to every rule. Rewind to a couple of weeks ago, when I had a late lunch and I just didn’t feel in the mood for a meal. Truth be told, there I was, settled onto the couch with a delicious bowl of popcorn with Herbes de Provence and sea salt, flipping my way through Giada De Laurentiis’s new book Feel Good Food. When I’d first opened the book, I landed on this popcorn recipe and it called out to me instantly. So before even making my way through the rest of the book, I embarked on a popcorn making session (which, to be clear, took a total of about 10 minutes).

popcorn with herbes de provence and sea salt // 80twentyIf you like a salty snack every now and then, this is a fantastic twist on a classic! I made a few modifications to Giada’s original recipe to suit my own preferences, but the essence of the dish—the earthy grassy undertones of the Herbes de Provence—are what really made it shine. For one, I have an air-popper that makes easy work of popcorn prep, so I didn’t opt for the stovetop method. I used olive oil heated over very low heat as my topping both for flavour as well as the amazing health benefits. I used regular sea-salt because I didn’t have smoked sea-salt on hand. And since I’d just run out of the herb blend, I decided to make my own using this recipe. If you opt for the stovetop method, use one of the oils that Giada recommends. Smoke point is important, and heating olive oil too high can change the molecular structure of the oil, leading to carcinogenic free radicals. Olive oil for topping though? That just makes good, healthy sense!

The book itself is Giada’s response to her fans’ question, “how do you stay so trim?” The chapter subjects reflect the typical (breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.) and include a range of recipes with a focus on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein. The recipes were all appealing to me, though none of them were really that different from what you’d find in mainstream healthy-eating magazines or books. This everyday feel, however, doesn’t hamper their flavour. From what I’ve tried so far, the recipes are very satisfying. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve also made the banana, walnut, and date smoothie and a delicious turkey, kale, and brown rice soup that was a perfect meal on a winter night (and made for great leftovers for lunch the next day). In the coming weeks leading up to the indulgence that inevitably accompanies the holidays, I’m looking forward to making the avocado hummus, the spiced cocktail nuts, and the rise and shine juice.

popcorn with herbes de provence and sea salt // 80twentyOne things that is clear, is that this book is set to appeal to a particular audience. For example, intermixed with the recipes are Giada’s personal tips on how to feel and look beautiful, which feature glamour shots of her modelling in a bikini top, splashing water over her face, and hanging out in her pyjamas. There are one-page looks into her lifestyle (e.g., exercise routine, skin, nails, yoga, what she keeps in her bag, and what she has on hand for sweet cravings, to name a few). For me, as someone whose interest is in the recipes, I found these inclusions to be distracting and felt that they didn’t add to my experience.

One thing I really did like about the book was that it provided a month-long meal plan laying out all of the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts. So for someone who is looking for an easy approach to healthy eating (say come January?), this could provide some guidance. Overall, Feel Good Food offers a range of a straightforward healthy recipes. Its challenge, however, is that it may fall short for people who are looking for more creative approaches to cooking and who could do without the glamour. That said, I’ll certainly be making the turkey, brown rice, and kale soup and the smoothie again. And this popcorn!! It’s going to be on rotation for a long time. Truly, this is a good one!

popcorn with herbes de provence and sea salt // 80twenty

5.0 from 1 reviews
popcorn with herbes de provence and smoked sea salt
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
This is a great grab-and-go snack to put in your bag for a hunger attack.
Ingredients
  • My Adaptation
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped into thirds
  • 1½ teaspoons dried herbes de Provence, crumbled (*I made my own from this recipe)
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked sea salt, or regular sea salt
  • Giada's Recipe:
  • ½ cup safflfflower or grapeseed oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1½ teaspoons dried herbes de Provence, crumbled
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked sea salt
Instructions
  1. My Adaptation
  2. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup of the oil, the garlic, and the herbes de Provence. Cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is aromatic, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand while making the popcorn.
  3. Pop your popcorn kernels in an air popper. (If you don't have an air popper you can follow the original recipe and do it on the stovetop. Here are Giada's instructions for stovetop popping: Combine the remaining ¼ cup safflower or grape seed oil and the popcorn kernels in a heavy large pot. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until almost all the kernels pop, 3 to 5 minutes.)
  4. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.
  5. Remove the garlic cloves from the oil mixture and discard. Pour the flavoured oil over the hot popcorn and then sprinkle with the smoked salt. Toss until the popcorn is coated. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  6. Giada's Recipe:
  7. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup of the oil, the garlic, and the herbes de Provence. Cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is aromatic, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand while making the popcorn.
  8. Combine the remaining ¼ cup oil and the popcorn kernels in a heavy large pot. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until almost all the kernels pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.
  9. Remove the garlic cloves from the oil mixture and discard. Pour the flavored oil over the hot popcorn and then sprinkle with the smoked salt. Toss until the popcorn is coated. Serve hot or at room temperature.

 

2 Comments

  • [...] Recipe adapted from 80 Twenty’s Popcorn with Herbes de Provence and Sea Salt [...]

  • Reply February 13, 2014

    Kate

    Wow! Awesome recipe. Btw, I have recently tried making popcorn with parmesan cheese and it was also amazing.

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