Hosting a Not-Too-Sweet Halloween Party

by Brandae Scherr

Halloween is a time when children know they will get their hands on sweets – and lots of them! From candy to cakes, punch to pies, sweets are readily accessible to children during this time of year. For a change, host a Halloween party that incorporates fun and healthy foods! Chef Cynthia, a local chef, encourages you to get creative in the kitchen. Rather than serving sugary treats, trick your children and their friends into treating themselves to healthy bites. Chef Cynthia brewed up these simple and healthy recipes that are wickedly delicious. Gather your children, head to the kitchen, scare up these spooky healthy dishes and share with your family and friends! Fungus Among Us SaladServes 6 1 bag pre-washed lettuce1 can creamed or cut spinach2 stalks celery washed, cut in ¼” thick slices12 baby carrots cut in half lengthwiseFrench dressing 

  1. Place lettuce in serving bowl.
  2. Pour creamed or cut spinach into the center. Sprinkle celery pieces in a circle around the edge of the spinach. Arrange carrots in a circle around edge of celery.
  3. Drizzle French dressing over entire surface of salad.
  4. Serve on plates.

  Witch’s FingersServes 4 8 chicken tendersSalt and pepper4 large green olives with pimentosBarbecue sauce for dipping 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil to make clean-up easy. If using foil, oil is slightly so chicken does not stick.
  3. Place chicken tenders on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake tenders until golden brown and springy to the touch, about 15 minutes.
  5. While tenders are baking, cut 4 olives and pimentos in half vertically.
  6. Place a small bowl of barbecue sauce in the center of a serving plate. When tenders are done, arrange them in a circle around the sauce. Place an olive and pimento at the tip of each one.

 Bleeding GumboServes 4 1 can chicken gumbo soup1 can tomato soup2 cans water1 cup or 8 oz frozen or canned corn 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan
  2. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Taste to be sure corn is heated through.
  3. Serve in hollowed-out miniature pumpkins, one large pumpkin, or in a pumpkin-shaped tureen.

 Vampire SandwichesMakes 6 open-faced sandwiches 3 English muffins6 slices fresh tomato12 slices cheddar cheese6 pieces of onion (to look like vampire teeth)Ketchup for dipping 

  1. Preheat oven broiler
  2. Peel onion and cut in half the long way (from stem end to root end). Carefully stand one half on its end and cut a slice ¼” thick. Separate layers into individual pieces that will be the vampire’s “teeth”.
  3. Place English muffins on a baking sheet. Top each with a slice of tomato and 2 slices of cheddar cheese.
  4. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute.
  5. Serve on plates. Dip the ends of the “teeth” in the ketchup, then place two on each sandwich to hang over the edge.

 Velveeta Pumpkin DecorationsMakes 4 pumpkins 1 32 ounce package of Velveeta cheese1 zucchini squash or 4 small pickles 

  1. Unwrap Velveeta and cut it into four equal parts: first cut in it half, then cut the halves in half. Wash hands.
  2. Give each child a section.  A kitchen counter is the perfect surface for this project.  Let the children pound the block flat as a pancake, then gather it up again and shape it into a ball.  The Velveeta really will not stick to the counter!
  3. Tell the children to lightly pinch the top of the ball, creating an oval.
  4. An adult will use the back side (the dull side) of a knife to press into the sides of the pumpkins, creating their ridges.
  5. If using a zucchini squash for the stems, cut a 1" slice from the zucchini.  Cut the slice in quarters through the center then trim out the seed portion in the center.  Let the children press the "stems" into the pumpkins. 
  6. If using small pickles, let the children simply press them into the tops of the pumpkins.

  You may contact Chef Cynthia with any questions at: boulangere@earthlink.net. Brandae Scherr is a freelance writer, works for the Copper Colander and enjoys cooking in the kitchen with her husband and three daughters.