Hallowe’en – love it or hate it there’s no getting away from it! And certainly things are going to get scary over the next week! Personally I have great memories of spooky nights with my children in the past where we traipsed ‘zombie-like’ around our neighbourhood, trailing blood-soaked (ok – kechup/catsup) rags in our wake and muttering the mantra ‘Trick or treat, smell my feet, or give me something good to eat!’ We usually came home with a good teeth-rotting score of sweets/candy and enjoyed them around a table that I had decorated with fake spider’s webs, bats and the rest. Now I await my young ‘visitors’ and they rarely come because we’re down a quiet road but I stash up with treats just the same – only now they tend to be somewhat healthier.
So that we don’t totally miss out we tend to celebrate the event with a bit of a Hallowe’en Bash (UK followers will know what a bash is – others just think party) at home. Fancy dress is optional, but most engage in the spirit of the thing and food is generally inspirational – if somewhat gleaned from the Internet. Everyone brings something along so there’s usually great variety and something for everyone to enjoy. So here are some ideas from last year, that might be repeated this year that you might like to try. And if you’re worried about some trick or treat ideas to give that won’t harm the teeth, waistline or purse-strings then look at this previous post here.
Some quick and easy spooky food ideas:
No recipes given for these – many are self-explanatory and the captions will give you some clues!
From left to right: Stuffed Eggs – with the tomato flavoured filling forked like a pumpkin and a cucumber strip stalk for each; Vegetable Crudites shaped like a skeleton; Dip in a hollowed-out pumpkin to be served with healthy vegetable strips; Spooky Pizza – a pitta or tortilla topped with tomato salsa, ghost-like cheese pieces or slices and spider green olives (use our bariatric pizza recipe here as the basis for making this ghoulish treat); Apple Grins made with sliced apples and flaked almond teeth; Hallowe’en Muffins/Cupcakes – top your favourite bariatric friendly recipe (see ours here) with ready-made or your own grinning pumpkins or spiders; Ghoulish Fruit – banana halves studded with sugar-free chocolate dots and mandarins or tangerines with a celery stalk; Pumpkin Soup (see recipe here) with spider’s web yogurt garnish; and Spidery Eggs – stuffed eggs again but this time decorated with black olives as spiders.
But if you’re thinking of a main dish to serve – something to use up the pumpkin perhaps, a one-pot dish that’s easy to serve, and one that is scarily satisfying, why not consider this one! It’s a pumpkin risotto that is flavoured with sage and Gorgonzola cheese. You don’t need much of this strong-flavoured cheese to get a good flavour (so it keeps the fat score down) and the sage adds a wonderful flavour to the pumpkin. I don’t have problems with eating and digesting rice post-op but I know one or two who do – for those the rice here could be replaced with another grain like barley or quinoa but the cooking times will be different and the amount of liquid will vary too but it’s worth trying. For extra protein and a bit of an indulgence I’ll be topping mine this Hallowe’en with a little Parma ham.
HALLOWE’EN PUMPKIN RISOTTO
low-fat cooking spray or mist
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
20 g/3/4 oz fresh sage leaves
200 g/1 cup risotto rice
225 g/8 oz pumpkin, diced
600 ml/21/2 cups vegetable stock/bouillon
50 g/2 oz Gorgonzola piccante cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices Parma ham
1. Generously spritz a large pan with low-fat spray or mist. Heat, add the onion and garlic and cook over a gentle heat until soft.
2. Chop half of the sage and add to the onions.
3. Stir in the rice, followed by the pumpkin. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Slowly add the vegetable stock/bouillon, a little at a time, stirring continuously until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
5. Add the Gorgonzola and stir until just melted. season to taste if necessary with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Meanwhile, spritz a small non-stick pan with low-fat spray, heat, add the remaining sage leaves and cook until crispy. Drain on kitchen towel.
7. To serve, divide the risotto between plates, top with the crispy sage and Parma ham.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
CALORIES PER PORTION: 280
Image courtesy of Prosciutto di Parma www.prosciuttodiparma.com