With all the excitement of trick-or-treating, do you and family just call for pizza or grab a fast sandwich on your way out the door? Does fueling for the grueling (or should we say “ghouling”) neighborhood candy crawl take the form of take-out burgers or greasy fried chicken?
An easy, hearty, healthier Halloween family supper is a great alternative to lots of fat and empty calorie-ridden fast food, and giving supper a Halloween twist will entice little ones in green make-up, super hero capes, princess glitter or witch’s garb to eat up before they fly up–or out, as it is. In fact, hauntingly delicious food can start the holiday off early, and what child wouldn’t appreciate that!
For All Hallows’ Eve creativity rules, so why not feature a meal in a pumpkin you can pop into the oven and forget about for a couple of hours while you help little boys and girls morph into the zombies and fairies we love?! Or maybe a bubbly “cauldron” of chicken and potatoes is just what the witch doctor ordered to heat their hearts and insulate their inners against the cold October chill. If you’re really short on time, why not make a Halloween picnic supper with a platter of fiendishly deviled eggs, “candy corn” cornbread (use diced carrots and jicama for the vegetable version of candy corn), a vat of “blood and guts” soup (just add crushed tomatoes, chopped spinach, and pasta pieces to tomato soup to achieve), and an eyeball salad: peel a large apple and use a melon baller to carve out the white flesh, topping each “eyeball” with a raisin. Serve on a bed of chopped red cabbage.
Try these robust recipes to get them warmly out the door and into the night!
Meal in a Pumpkin
2 onions, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. turkey sausage
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms
1 10.5-ounce can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 tablespoons pimentos, drained and chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons creole seasoning
10 to 12-lb. pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brown and drain turkey along with sausage and onions. Cook until no longer pink and drain well. Cut off top of pumpkin and reserve. Clean out seeds and strings. Clean well. Coat pumpkin skin with shortening. Mix ingredients together in large bowl and spoon into pumpkin. Replace top; wrap foil over stem. Bake on cookie sheet for 2 to 3 hours depending on size of pumpkin. Do not over bake: pumpkin should not begin to brown. Serve with a green salad.
Bubbly Chicken Potato Cauldron Bake
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 (24-30 ounce) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
10 ounce can cream of chicken soup (low sodium is fine)
1/2 cup milk (use skim if desired)
1 cup sour cream or mayonnaise (low-fat is fine)
1 cup grated Havarti cheese
1 additional teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste on plate. Place egg in small shallow bowl; beat well.
In 13×9 glass baking dish, combine potatoes, soup, milk, sour cream, Havarti cheese, 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red bell pepper; mix well. One at a time, dip the smooth side of a chicken breast in egg, then in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place, coated side up, on the potato mixture. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and potato mixture is bubbling and brown around the edges. Serve with a green salad.
Fiendishly Deviled Eggs
12 large hard boiled eggs
1/3 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallion greens
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons yellow of Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Hot sauce to taste (use less for kids)
Halve eggs lengthwise and remove yokes. Place 16 yokes in food processor (discard or save the rest for other dishes). Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chives, relish, mustard, hot sauce, and salt. Process until smooth. Spoon about two teaspoons yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika.