Bittman's Seasoned Popcorn

I’m going to admit this right now.

I have a crush on Mark Bittman.

Okay, it’s out there. I fessed up to my Hubby this weekend so he wouldn’t get jealous. This crush has been going on for a while now but I just never admitted publicly.

Too late now, huh?

Why the crush? First of all – I love Mark’s style…

Cooking is easy. Cooking like food matters is really, really easy.

Mark breaks it down but doesn’t complicate. His recipes are flexible, easy and honest.

Secondly, Mark is a newspaper guy with a New York Times column. I have newspaper ink in my blood…even though I’ve retired from the industry…the ink in the blood is still there.

Thirdly, Mark is taking us down a road that we should all consider as we make changes to our diet and lifestyle – it’s not dramatic nor life-changing. Just small baby steps to a better diet with respect to our environment and responsibility to Mother Earth.

I have this fantasy where Mark and I are on the Today Show together working on a recipe…I’m all nervous and chopping the onions…I’m all over the place…He reaches over and touches my hand…and says “this is easy…really, really easy.” I melt.

As I began the New Year, I made a few resolutions:

  • Be a vegetarian one day a week. I considered becoming a vegetarian but decided against it. I still do love a good juicy burger now and then. In fact, when I was on Weightwatchers, I rewarded myself with a big old juicy burger for every five pounds lost. Now I have red meat only once a week and only four ounces at that.
  • Eat more vegetables. I’ve have successfully accomplished this by spinach smoothies, stir frys and making veggies the main course vs. a side dish.
  • Make it easy.  On the weekends, I stock up on veggies and salad fixings but the key is to make it EASY to grab it during the week. I chop the veggies, spin the salad greens and store it in the frig for the week. That way, any one who’s hungry can grab the good stuff first and add the protein to the meal.
  • Eat fish once a week.  This is hard for me for I’m not a fish lover.  If the fish has skin, bones, or smells like fish – I’m done. I’m really done. BUT, I have resolved to be open minded and at least try. I’m trying….so far, halibut, sea bass and flounder are working for me…but one bad experience and I’ll go running.
  • Explore legumes and grains. I’m not afraid of lentils, beans or grains. I just need more recipes to embrace and try. My Smoky Black Bean Soup and Mushroom Barley Risotto was a result of that challenge.

Last week, my daughter was in town and since we were not able to be together at Christmas – we exchanged our belated gifts. Her gift to me was Mark’s “The Food Matters Cookbook” and a Polish cookbook.

I was smitten. Everything that I’ve been trying to do was re-affirmed in this cookbook. You need to read this! AND – he has recipes to support his theory.


Okay, I’m rambling and I know it. That’s what happens when you have a crush on someone.

Focus, Linda!

I did not have a lot of time to cook this past week with my daughter in town, let alone read but I did start reading Mark’s philosophies and tried his first recipe in the book…

Seasoned Popcorn.

How embarrassingly simple.


I contemplated bringing this recipe to you – but I have to tell you after making it, my family went CRAZY asking for more and swearing never to do microwave popcorn again!

I think I could feed them only popcorn for the rest of their lives and they would be happy and think I’m the best cook in the world.

We have become victims of convenience and don’t think about the alternatives or the beginnings.

We love popcorn and it was so easy to pop the pre-made bags in the microwave, pour it out and shove our faces with it.

This weekend I took them to a new level…

I popped organic popcorn in a brown paper bag for about 2 minutes…

I took it out of the bag and drizzled it with olive oil and barbeque rub.

The crowds went WILD.

Crazy, huh?


So simple.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Bittman's Seasoned Popcorn
A Kitchen Muse: 
Recipe type: snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
An easy way to make a wholesome snack and create it to your likings!
  • ¼ cup popping corn
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 brown bag
  1. In a brown paper lunch bag, combine ¼ cup popping corn with ¼ tsp. salt and fold the top of the bag over a few times.
  2. Microwave on high for 2 - 3 minutes (2½ minutes works best for me) or until there are 4 to 5 seconds between pops.
  3. Open the bag carefully and toss with your favorite seasonings and a drizzle of butter or olive oil.
  4. Suggested seasonings:
  5. Chopped fresh herbs
  6. Black Pepper
  7. Chili Powder
  8. Curry Powder
  9. Old Bay Seasoning
  10. Five Spice Powder
  11. Toasted Sesame Seeds
  12. Cayenne or red chile flakes
  13. Parmesan Cheese
  14. Brown Sugar
  15. Finely ground nuts or shredded, unsweetened coconut
  16. Chopped fried fruit
  17. Cocoa powder

I’ll be bringing you more of my journey through Mark’s cookbook – after I return from Key West!

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2 comments on “Bittman’s Seasoned Popcorn

  1. Elizabeth on said:

    I can’t stand microwave popcorn. I’ve been popping it on the stove for years. It really doesn’t take much longer. And, with the oil I use in the pan (1/4 cup oil for 1/3 cup kernels), the seasoning sticks w/o any extra oil or butter (of course added butter is divine!).

    I can’t believe I never thought to add different spices other than salt. My son adores barbecue potato chips, this will be a fantastic alternative.

    Oh! Per Lucinda Scala Quinn and Mad Hungry TV, we did do butter and parmesan cheese last Saturday. It was yummy.

  2. Kiri W. on said:

    Sounds like a great cook book with wonderful advice :)
    I’m not a popcorn fan, but oh how my wife would go through this! It sounds wonderful to have all these spices.

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