Super duper diet food: You can eat three cups of it and still not hit 100 calories and it is healthy and perfect for the almost vegetarian!

So we just got a Netflix account and I'm catching up on all the movies I ever wanted to see, but didn't.

Three weeks ago, we finally saw Monsoon Wedding. It was a delight. Two weeks ago we saw One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. My husband, who had never seen it, was quite moved. And last week, we saw The Kid. I wept.

And through it all, I missed a glorious opportunity to enjoy one of the dieter's best friends.

Pop me some popcorn
Who knew popcorn was so low in calories? In fact, 3 cups of air popped popcorn (as in no oil) totally plain (no butter, but you can add salt if your diet can take it) isn't even 100 calories. In fact, it is only a mere 93 calories. If you add a tablespoon of butter, you're still looking at only about 150 calories.

And it a great source of fiber.

As well as a good source of manganese which is a trace element that does all sorts of good things, such as help keep your bones strong and healthy and protect your cells from free-radical damage.

Making air-popped popcorn
Assuming you don't have a popcorn maker (and if you do, just skip this section), take an old, inexpensive pot (I always get some burned bits at the bottom which are ridiculously difficult to clean, hence the avoidance of my good pots). Sprinkle a single layer of popcorn kernels on the bottom (you can get bags of plain popcorn kernels at your supermarket and in the bulk food section of your health food store). Put on a loose (to allow steam to escape) lid.

Turn your burner to medium, place your pot on top, and shake. Eventually, you will hear popping. Very soon, you will hear a lot of popping. Then, when the popping has all but died down, take the pot of the burner.

Pour your popcorn into a large bowl and either eat as is or top with ...

Popcorn toppings
Sea salt, grated Parmesan, garam masala, fresh black pepper, brewers yeast ... these are limited only by your imagination. Need a jump start? Then visit the Popcorn Board (and who knew there was such a thing) for all sorts of ideas (most loaded with fats, but some are tempting), just like this:
Food recipe: Tex Mex popcorn topping
2 quarts popped popcorn (air-popped)
2 teaspoons ground chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Butter-flavored cooking spray

In a small bowl, combine all seasonings together. Put popped popcorn in a large bowl and spray lightly with butter-flavored cooking spray. Add spices to popcorn and mix thoroughly until all kernels are coated.

And the future is popped
The next movie on the list is Diabolique. We'll have Simone Signoret on the screen and popcorn sprinkled lighly with brewers yeast in our tummies. Perfection!