Halloween is finally here! After weeks of preparation, it’s finally time to scare the socks off someone before packing away the decorations and costumes for the year. After a long day of spookiness, your family will undoubtedly be hungry, so why not whip up one of these Halloween recipes for dinner tonight?
1 can (6 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained and halved
1 medium sweet red pepper
1 small green pepper
Place pizza on a 12-in. pizza pan. Arrange olives in a circle around edge of pizza. Cut a nose, eyes and mouth from red pepper. Cut a stem and eyebrows from green pepper. Make a jack-o’-lantern face on pizza. Bake according to package directions. Yield: 6-8 servings.
You can switch up this recipe and make the jack-o’-lantern face out of other toppings, such as pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, chicken, or another one of your favorite pizza toppings.
Mini Stuffed Jack-O-Lanterns or Halloween Peppers (via)
2 gold acorn squashes (see below for other options)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup vegetable broth
For the Squash:
If you’re going to bake them in a conventional oven, preheat it to 375ºF.
Slice off the bottom tip of the squashes to create a flat base. Cut off the tops and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Save the tops for later!
Use a pencil to draw the faces on the squashes, and use a small serrated knife to carve out the faces. Luckily, carving a small acorn squash is easier than carving a big pumpkin!
Brush a little olive oil all over the inside of the squashes and lightly sprinkle them with salt and black pepper.
At this point you can choose to bake them in a conventional oven for an hour or until soft, or you can cook them in the microwave like I did. Place the squashes in a microwave safe bowl, add about 1/2 cup of water and microwave for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft.
For the Stuffing:
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about five minutes or until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté two more minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for just about 30 seconds.
Add the parsley salt, black pepper, quinoa, and vegetable broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy. If the quinoa is still crunchy you can add more broth and simmer it for a few more minutes.
Spoon the quinoa stuffing into the acorn squashes and cover them with the reserved squash tops. Reheat the finished dish, if necessary, and serve.
For Tiny Appetites: You can make those mini pumpkins instead of the bigger acorn squashes. You can stuff 6 to 8 mini pumpkins with this recipe, depending on their size.
Halloween Peppers: You can also stuff a carved orange bell pepper. Carve, stuff, and bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes.
Of course no Halloween meal would be complete without desserts. Instead of opting for trick-or-treat candy, try this yummy cake recipe.
2-3 teaspoons almond extract (Vanilla can be used instead)
Green food coloring
Powdered icing sugar (I never really use any measurements for this. I just add 1 cup or more)
Unsweetened cocoa powder (Use a little less than the amount of powdered icing sugar)
A few Tbsp of boiled lukewarm water
I don’t really use any specific recipe for the icing. I just take 2-3 cups of powdered sugar and about 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and whisk it well together. Then I add 1-2 tablespoons of cooled boiled water and mix it in. Add more water if it’s too thick and more powdered sugar if it’s too thin. It should have a thick pouring consistency that is easy to spread on with a spatula.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a bowl sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
In another bowl cream the unsalted butter and sugar well together.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between. Scrape down the sides when needed.
Next add the flour mix in three parts and the milk in two. Mix well in between.
Stir in the almond flavor. Then add drops of green food coloring. Be careful not to use too much food coloring as the color gets a little more dark while baking.
Pour the green cake batter into a prepared 9×13 cake pan and smooth with a rubber spatula. To avoid the cake from getting too brown, place the cake on the lowest rack in the oven. Bake the cake for about 40-60 minutes and a cake tester comes out clean.
Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool completely before you spread on the cocoa icing. Cut the cake into squares and enjoy.