Freaky {Healthy} Halloween Salad

Freaky Healthy Halloween Salad -

Whether hosting a Halloween party or just setting up a nosh-and-go set of food options for my Trick-or-Treaters, I always try to have some healthy options.  As compelling as it is to eat treats like Red Devil Cupcakes, Great Pumpkin Piñata Cake or Cinnamon Witch Bits, we all know the downfall of the sugar cycle.  Anticipation and excitement seem to only amplify the sugar consumption with adrenaline, guaranteed to plummet sooner versus later.

The key I’ve found is to make the dishes fun and just as alluring as the sweet treats.  I’ve had great success with recipes such as Diablo Eyeballs (taco meatballs) in Black Bean Pasta, ‘Candy Corn’ Chicken Quesadillas, Pumpkin Chipotle Cream Sauce on gluten-free pasta and Black Quinoa with Brown-Butter Sage Butternut Squash and Pepitas.  They get equal play time to ‘Off with Your Hand’ Halloween Punch and Graveyard Cupcakes!  The reality is a blend of healthy, savory dishes and sweets make for everyone to feel their best.

Freaky Healthy Salad with Buttermilk-Green Goddess Dressing in syringe -

This time of year is so fun to create some freaky dishes merely with produce in season.  I really wanted a salad to add to my Halloween menu this year and knew tossed greens, even if we grew them in our own garden, just would not cut it.  I began to have visions of nests, and brains (too much binging on past seasons of The Walking Dead), aliens and eggs.  I did not have to look farther than my local neighborhood market!

Dragon Carrots on vintage painted wood |

Thanks to my Spiralizer and the variety of available carrots (traditional orange, light yellow, purple Dragon Carrots which have a bright yellow center) I was able to create a ‘nest’ of carrot noodles.  Should you not have a Sprializer, using a julienne peeler or even a regular vegetable peeler will produce long, thin shavings of carrots.

Orange and Purple Cauliflower |

Romanesco broccoli cauliflower-

Don’t you think cauliflower florets look like little brains?  To me they do so that seemed a perfect pairing.  White, orange and purple are usually available which makes for a fun visual.  One of my favorite vegetables is Romensco.  It’s in the cauliflower/broccoli family and instead of rounded florets it has prismatic shapes that are outer worldly.  Both these vegetables have always been a favorite of mine to eat raw, which is the same for my children.  Lastly to pick up the protein, bright green edamame (soy beans) out of the shell are sprinkled on the salad.  They are available in the frozen section of most grocery stores already shelled.

The salad is served with a ‘if-Ranch-Dressing-and-Green-Goddess-dressing-had-a-baby-what-would-it-taste-like’ dressing.  The best of both worlds offers a ghoulishly green dressing with tangy flavors sans the anchovies thinking of little Halloween munchers.  I could not resist serving the dressing plate-side in cocktail shot syringes found in Halloween stores and online.

Freaky Healthy Halloween Salad  -

All in all it’s a Freaky {Healthy} Halloween Salad that will stand up to the luscious, sinful treats you serve and at the same time, cleans up well for a fun non-Halloween option too:

Spiralized Carrot Salad with Romanesco, Cauliflower, Edamame and Buttermilk-Green Goddess Dressing -

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Orange-flavored Kettle Corn and Halloween Orange Kettle Corn Treat Mix

Orange-flavored Kettle Corn Halloween Treat Mix -

It’s funny how there seems to be so much time before a holiday to prepare.  Inevitably in my world we plod along and then the week leading up to the actual day feels to take on the quality of cartoon speed; actions in overdrive, voices playing out to sound like they are on helium in my head from the rush of it all. The same with holiday food.  I begin thinking of fun, new ideas well before the holiday but my muse seems to deliver the mother lode with little time to spare!    Case in point I have two more Halloween recipes to share this week!  They are both quick to make and will add a bit of surprise to your festivities. Today I have one last sweet treat:  Orange-flavored Kettle Corn and a Halloween Orange Kettle Corn Treat Mix.  I’ve shared a few Kettle Corn recipes and still … {continue reading}

Tropical ‘Candy Corn’ Smoothie

Tropical 'Candy Corn' Smoothie -

Love them or hate them, Candy Corn are the mascot of this time of year.  They hide away like a vampire waiting for the sun to set, only to reveal themselves and dominate the candy consciousness for the month of October.  They are inescapable to some, irresistible to others. On Boulder Locavore we love the whimsy of the candy corn visual.  Like putting a dime next to an object in a photo for scale, any glimpse of candy corn lets us know what time of year it is.  Personally I love a few candy corn, appreciating their buttery overtones however finding myself quickly queasy from the sucrose overdose. All candy corn creations need not be sweet ones.  I’m at the point of October where I’m a bit sugar-saturated and craving healthier options.  I liked the idea of creating a candy corn … {continue reading}

Red Devil Cupakes

Gluten-Free Red Devil Cupcakes {Devil's Food cupcakes with Red Hots Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting} -

With Halloween being a week away I wanted to create a few more fun ways to celebrate!  I will admit I’m feeling the need for some healthier food after having a Whimsical Fall M&M Cake and Trick-or-Treat Ice Cream at the ready for noshing.  Very hard to resist! I really had my heart set on cupcakes, devilishly delicious cupcakes!  After making Graveyard Cupcakes for a prior Halloween celebration I felt we needed to add some new fun cupcakes to our party arsenal.  ‘Devil’s Food’ seemed completely spot on! For those who don’t know, Devil’s Food is a moist, light, rich chocolate cake.  I did a bit of research, always interested in the history of cakes with iconic names.  Devil’s Food began to appear in the late 1800’s but truly became ‘the rage’ in the early 1900’s.  At the time … {continue reading}

Slow Cooker Fragrant Beef Stew with Yams and Chickpeas

Slow Cooker Fragrant Beef Stew with Yams and Chickpeas -

We are enjoying the most beautiful fall weather.  The mornings are beginning to be dark enough to double check the alarm clock before bounding out of bed into the chill of the house.  Fleece, flannel and warm slippers are a must and the smell of coffee a most welcome companion in the quiet early morning kitchen. The days slowly surrender to a lazy sun, skimming the sky like a low hanging fruit, doing its job with idle effort to end the day earlier than the day before.  Unlike its bold and brazen summer-self, which shows up way earlier than most are awake and with an intensity reminding us of our human frailty, the fall sun treats us like cats wishing to bask for hours in its radiance.  There is a thick quiet in the out of doors.  Vivid leaves swirl and shuttle down streets in striking … {continue reading}

21 Autumn Cocktails and Infusions

21 Autumn Cocktails and Infusions |

The heat of summer seems obvious for refreshing cocktails.  Ripe fruits naturally lend themselves to creative sipping; throw in a pool and mini cocktail umbrella and the day is made perfect. Fall however is a time to get serious.  As the temperatures cool, the flavors deepen offering a more noteworthy cocktail compared to the flirtatious libations of summer.  It’s a time to slow down and enjoy some sips, truly appreciating a complex beverage and interesting flavor combinations.  Some of my personal favorites include apple, pear, pomegranate and ginger.  They stand out on their own but definitely combine well together for some delicious options. Fall is a time perfect to whip up some simple infusions.  It’s never too early to plan for holiday entertaining or for special gifts.  … {continue reading}