Popcorn for Dinner?

I have a pretty bad memory so I’m often amused by the things that I actually remember. For example, I can tell you my 14 digit library card number. How many of you can do that? Here’s something else I remember.

bowl of popcorn

Back when I was single, I baby sat for a family with four kids. One evening I arrived in time to feed them dinner. Dinner was prepared; I just had to oversee mealtime. Well, I was shocked, not in a disapproving way just in a surprised way, to find that they were having popcorn with their dinner! Popcorn, I thought, was a great snack food, but definitely not a dinner food. The kids didn’t have any problems eating their popcorn, though!

When I had my own kids, that memory came to mind, and I have occasionally served popcorn for dinner myself. In fact, I did it just the other night. I was very tired, I had meat thawed that I could easily cook, I had broccoli already washed, cut, and ready to steam, but I didn’t feel like preparing potatoes or even rice. Popcorn to the rescue!

Microwave or Stove Top?

Personally, I will eat microwave popcorn, but it’s not my favorite. I like the taste of it prepared the old fashioned way. That does take a bit more effort and time than popping it in the microwave, but even that didn’t seem too overwhelming. I do have an electric corn popper (not an air popper) that we received for Christmas a couple of year ago. If you microwave yours, then popcorn is an even quicker, easier side dish for dinner.

Vegetable or Grain?

Many people think of corn as a vegetable. Technically it’s not. It’s a grain like rice or wheat. Did you know that you can pop any grain? I’ve tried popped rice and popped sorghum. The sorghum looks like miniature popcorn and tastes almost exactly like it. What grains have you popped?

Corn is starchy like potatoes, rice or noodles. So why not use it in place of one of those once in a while? Your kids will love it!

For some great corn recipes check out this week’s Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

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  1. Krista says

    I love this post! (saw you at shannon's blog by the way) We eat popcorn for dinner usually every Sunday night. It's something I "borrowed" from a family we are friends with called "PCA" –popcorn, cheese, & apples. You get your grains, dairy, protein, and fruit all in one and no one has to cook. I have to say it's my favorite meal of the week! :)

  2. Dana Wax says

    I had popcorn with my lunch today! popcorn with apples and peanut butter, it was really good…and how funny read your post about it now!

    But thank you, thank you for your info on the corn (and potatoes). My BF considers those foods “vegetables”, and no matter how many times I tell him rice with a side of potatoes does not a complete meal make, he doesn’t listen. It’s good to have back up to know I’m not the nutrionally crazy one :)

  3. P.S. He loves you.. says

    yes this is ok for dinner and evern more so when your not using oils, we air pop here.

    I found one at the thrift store for like $3..and the only thing wrong with it was the missing butter lid..so I cover with a bowl/plate..works like a charm!

    Popped rice..that’s a new one on me!

  4. Audra Krell says

    I just realized I want to put some kind of popper on my Christmas list. All we eat is microwave and I miss the taste of popcorn from “back in the day!” This is a really fun post.

  5. Frugal Finds says

    Great post!!! My DS would love it if I served popcorn at dinner!!
    Now my code word to verify this post is “beers”. Do you think they are suggesting I have a beer and popcorn for dinner tonight?

  6. Anonymous says

    I’m happy to read this post. I serve popcorn in place of potato chips on picnics and camping trips. It’s so much better for you! I have various powders that I use to flavor it… cheese powder, sour cream and chive powder, and sometimes even just cinnimon and sugar.

  7. Kay Guest says

    "I was shocked, not in a disapproving way just in a surprised way…" I just love that line! That is the way I felt when I read your post about eating peanut butter with sliced cucumbers on a sandwich. I tried it and it was wonderful! In our family, we eat popcorn as if it is another food group. We have an air popper and then we melt butter in a small cup and carefully spoon it over the popcorn. Ever since our son was very little (he's nineteen now!) he has always been able to pick out the most butter saturated pieces of popcorn! Really great late in the evening with cheese, especially if my husband (who is the Celiac) hasn't had enough food.

  8. Heather @CeliacFamily says

    Love it! After a week of cooking for family houseguests, I'm ready for a break. Popcorn sounds perfect. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Ali says

    This is great! I have a whole container of sorghum grain – I will try popping it now….never thought of that! :)

    We make popcorn on the stove this way….I heat a large stock pot (8 quart) over high heat, then add a few tablespoons (4 to 5) of virgin coconut oil and about 1/2 tsp sea salt. Then add a layer of popcorn kernals, cover, and shake the pot a bit over the burner. Remove from heat when the popcorn is pushing the lid off and you don't hear much popping anymore. This way it is already seasoned from the oil and salt!

    I make this so my daughter can pack it in her lunch occasinally; also good for outings in the park when everyone else is eating potato chips! Great post! :)

  10. thewholegang says

    What a fun idea! I like the way you think. Thanks for sharing this on Friday Foodie Fix.

  11. Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) says

    This is one of my mom's standby dinners. She loves it. I had no idea that you could pop any grain. I've toasted pumpkin seeds until they pop but they don't puff like corn does. :)

    Love this post!

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