FROM THE KITCHEN: CHILI CHEESE POPCORN

My list of favourite foods is a long one, but popcorn is definitely at the top. Buttered, coated in caramel, or seasoned with my favourite chip flavour, I don’t discriminate against these tasty kernels. So, imagine my delight when I discovered that today was National Popcorn Day!

In my journey to live a healthier life, I have learned to make my own fancy flavours at home instead of reaching for the processed stuff. One of my go-to recipes comes from a fabulous site called kitchn, and is super easy to make. I will definitely be making a bowl when I get home tonight, and join in on the nation wide celebration. Here’s how you can enjoy my favourite flavour, too:

Chili Cheese Popcorn
Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter in a sauce pan. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup nutritional yeast*, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt (I love my pink Himalayan salt). Pour mixture over popcorn and enjoy.

*If you are thinking “What the hell is nutritional yeast?” you’re not alone. When I first started trying out vegan recipes, it was in EVERYTHING. I was weary to try it out, but now I love it. It’s a great dairy-free alternative to cheese powder. And if you want this recipe to be completely vegan friendly, sub the butter for margarine or your choice of dairy-free butter product.

What’s your favourite flavour? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

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Recipe and image credit: kitchn

FROM THE KITCHEN: WHAT I ATE IN A WEEK, THE VEGAN EDITION

It’s been a while since I shared a new recipe or cooking related post, but it’s because I’ve been a busy bee in the kitchen, trying new and delicious things. One big change in my life has been my recent shift into a vegetarian diet, which was prefaced by tons of research and food testing. But wait! Before you close this post thinking I’m about to preach to you about why you should eat vegetarian, you can relax. This is simply a fun little entry to let you know what’s been going on in my life, and if you read until the very end, there’s even a yummy cookie recipe waiting for you!

I haven’t eaten red meat in over a year now, and I decided it was time to make the jump and cut out chicken and fish, too. My love of animals, plus my long-time dislike of most meat products (my mom’s meatloaf never stood a chance) made this an easy choice. So to jumpstart this change, I challenged myself and my fella to go vegan for a week. It was a great way to prep my pantry for this healthy change, and get me to think outside of the box when it came to meal prep. I even ventured into the city to check out a local vegan food festival and tried THE most delicious vegan Big Mac – don’t ask me how they make it, but it was amazing! It has been a great change thus far, and I thought I’d share a glimpse into what I ate for my vegan challenge. Hopefully this video whets your appetite and inspires you to try something new!

As promised, click here for my favourite recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies from Oh She Glows. I’ve made them a handful of times now and they are delicious! Let me know in the comments if you end up making them, and if you love them, too!

FROM THE KITCHEN: NUTS & BOLTS

A few weeks ago, I was approached by the lovely Victoria of Floral + Teacups to work on a holiday collaboration. We connected via the interweb after the Spark Sessions conference last month, and have been busy tweeting and cooking up a storm ever since.

With Christmas just a few weeks away, we thought it would be fun to do a holiday recipe swap with a twist. We traded family recipes that were special to us during the Christmas season; recipes that our mom’s have been making for years. Victoria shared her family’s Nuts & Bolts – a homemade take on Bits & Bites, which I used to love eating as a child. It was a cinch to make, and the batch that I cooked up has already been consumed by anybody who could get their hands on it (it was that good). Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Crispex (I used Life cereal)
  • 8 cups plain Cheerios
  • 16oz pretzels
  • 3oz Bugles
  • 1/2 lb peanuts
  • 1/2 lb sunflower seeds
  • 1-1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1/4 cup worcestshire sauce
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder

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Step 1: Combine dry ingredients.

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Step 2: Melt butter. Add to the dry ingredients, along with the spices and worcestshire sauce.

Step 3: Bake at 275° covered for 1 hour and then uncovered for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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If you head over to Victoria’s blog, you’ll see the recipe I shared with her: Christmas Snowballs. These tasty treats have been my mom’s cookie exchange go-to for 20+ years, and it doesn’t feel like Christmas until we’ve eaten a few (handfuls) of them.

A big thanks to Victoria for collaborating with me on this project. It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! If you’re interested in collaborating with me, feel free to get in touch via social media or via email.