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Umami Dusted Popcorn

Serves 4


    Umami Dusted Popcorn

    Dried shiitake mushrooms are loaded with guanylate, which teams up with the glutamate in nutritional yeast and nori to produce an over-the-top umami seasoning that is ready to elevate popcorn for movie night at home, which we’re doing a lot more of these days. Once you taste it, you’re going to want to sprinkle (or perhaps pour) this magic mushroom powder on everything, including roasted or steamed vegetables, baked potato, grilled fish, soups, pasta, and avocado toast. Luckily, it keeps well. You can also make it with dried porcini mushrooms.


    Nutrition bonus

    Shiitake mushrooms deliver polysaccharide compounds that may have anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting powers. Nutritional yeast offers up a huge dose of essential B vitamins including thiamine and vitamin B12.

    To deepen the umami flavour of nori, you can toast the sheets first. To do so, heat heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium and dry toast nori sheets one at a time until darkened, about 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, place nori sheets on baking sheet in one layer. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 5 to 7 minutes, flipping halfway during baking time, until roasted and crispy. Let sheets cool down to room temperature before pulsing them into seasoning.


    Umami Dusted Popcorn


    • 3 nori sheets
    • 1 oz (30 mL) dried shiitake mushrooms, caps snapped off
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) nutritional yeast
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) toasted sesame seeds
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil, divided
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) popcorn kernels


    Per serving:

    • calories147
    • protein4g
    • fat9g
      • saturated fat1g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates15g
      • sugars0g
      • fibre3g
    • sodium147mg



    Crumble nori sheets into spice grinder, food processor, or blender and then add mushrooms, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, thyme, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Process until mixture has turned into a powder. Transfer to bowl and stir in sesame seeds.


    In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Put 4 popcorn kernels in pan and cover pan. When kernels pop, pour in remaining kernels in an even layer. Cover pan, lift it off the heat, and count 30 seconds. Return pan to heat, with lid slightly ajar to release some steam, and once popping is rapid, gently shake pan back and forth on the burner. Once popping slows to a crawl, remove pan from heat and pour popcorn into large bowl. Immediately toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and then season with 1/4 cup (60 mL) mushroom powder mix.



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    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.