Beef & Black Bean Chili.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Pears & Apples.
Ghosts in the Graveyard Pudding Dessert.
No tricks – only treats with this fun, tasty and nutrient-rich Halloween menu. I’m reposting these recipes, because I realize many of you have waited until the very last minute to decide what to serve for your Halloween party. Plus, this also works for a quick dinner before the kids head out for Trick or Treating. Or for busy weeknights.
Get the kids involved with the shopping, prep and cooking. They can help by opening cans of chili ingredients, draining and rinsing those beans, stirring the ground beef in the pan, working the food processor for the pumpkin dip or beating the instant pudding with a whisk. Let the kids help pick out which apple and pear varieties you’ll buy and cut up. Steer them to the Asian pears – sometimes called Apple Pears – and encourage them to try this crunchy sweet-tart fruit which is somewhat like a cross between an apple and a pear.
And please. Don’t fret about the calories or sugar in this menu. This Halloween, be a good role model for your kids, and talk positively about all the foods and ingredients – even the candy. Help your kids learn that no one food or ingredient is bad or off-limits, but instead, can be enjoyed, savored and balanced with all the right amounts of nutrient-rich foods and plenty of physical activity. Just FYI: this menu is packed with nutrient-rich foods: pumpkin, beans, onion, garlic, tomatoes, very lean ground beef, milk in the pudding and even spices like red pepper and cinnamon. (Did you know 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as ½ cup blueberries?!)
Happiest Halloween and Safe Trick or Treating!
Bloody Beef & Black Bean Chili
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 ½ cups chopped onions
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound ground beef round, ground beef sirloin, ground pork or ground turkey
1 can (15 oz.) Kroger light kidney beans
2 cans (15 oz.) Kroger black beans
2 cans (14.5 to 15 oz.) Kroger diced petite tomatoes
3 cans (15 oz.) Kroger tomato sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 to 12 drops hot red pepper sauce
Whole grain crackers and/or whole-wheat spaghetti or macaroni (optional for serving)
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and ground meat. Cook until beef or turkey is crumbled and cooked thoroughly. Carefully drain grease. Drain all canned beans and rinse to remove sodium. Add beans to onion-meat mixture along with all other ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with whole-grain crackers and/or whole-wheat spaghetti or macaroni if desired. Makes about 16 cups (8 servings of 2-cups each)
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Apples & Pears
1 package (8 oz.) Kroger Neufchatel 1/3-less fat cream cheese
1 can (15 oz.) Kroger pumpkin
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Asian pears, pears and apples, cut into thick slices
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Chill one hour before serving. Serve with apple, Asian pear and pear slices. Makes about 2 ¾ cups (11 servings of ¼-cup each)
Ghosts in the Graveyard Pudding
6 boxes (small 4-serving size) instant Kroger sugar-free chocolate pudding mix
12 cups 1% or fat free milk
24 Oreos®, coarsely crushed
6 to 9 Halloween ghosts (peeps)
Make pudding according to package directions. Spread in 9×13-inch pan. Refrigerate 2 hours. Right before serving, top with crushed cookies (dirt!) and place ghosts on top. Secure with a pretzel stick or toothpick if necessary to make ghosts stand up. Makes about 20 to 24 servings.