A flash back to Halloween, and the healthy dinner party treats I rustled up for Hip & Healthy. I use these recipes (minus the themed elements) all year round! Easy and super tasty.
GUTS AND BRAINS DIP
This is my tried and tested take on a salsa dip. It’s easy, healthy and the perfect appetiser for your Halloween dinner party. I am yet to meet a person who doesn’t adore this dip, even if it does look a little gory. The sour cream mixture will come out a light pink colour and will ooze over the avocado, so make sure you have either a big flat plate, or a smaller one with a lip. Topped with the tomatoes and in the right setting (i.e. Halloween!) it will look a bit like flesh and blood. But don’t be fooled, one bite of this creamy palate pleaser and you’ll be hooked, I promise.
1 large avocado or 2 small avocados
2 medium sized tomatoes or one punnet of small tomatoes
1 packet taco seasoning
1 carton sour cream/coconut yoghurt
Carrot and celery fingers, to dip
Smash the avocado and line the bottom of your dip bowl with it. Mix together the taco seasoning and sour cream/coconut yoghurt, pour over. Chop tomatoes into small cubes and place on top. Use carrot and celery to dip, or if you’d prefer, natural corn chips also work a treat. Devour…
PUMPKIN SPICE NUTS
Can I just say, once you’ve taken a whiff of this amazing spice combination, there will be no going back – you’ll be having pumpkin spiced everything. This recipe will make nibbles worthy of about four people, but that can be doubled, tripled and quadrupled until your heart’s content. These nuts come out golden looking with an almost caramelised element to them thanks to the melted maple syrup. They work perfectly as a before or after dinner snack, or even wrapped up in cellophane as a party favour to see your guests off at the end of the night. The beauty of this recipe and spice mixture is it can be added to pretty much anything; granola, muffins, even proteins like chicken! Versatile and so simple, what more could you want.
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 ½ cups mixed nuts – pecans, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts. Take your pick!
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
On a low to medium heat melt coconut oil in a pan, add spice mix and maple syrup and stir. Pop in your nuts and keep mixing until the nuts have browned off or the aromas become too incredible to handle. I like mine to be quite toasty and brown almost burnt, but cook to your taste. Let the nuts cool, and try not to eat yourself silly.
Even for the un-artistic, this recipe is simple but looks very fancy. Of course you can use the traditional beef mince, but turkey is a great healthier and light alternative. Once baked these tasty treats will not only smell and taste amazing, they’ll look nice and creepy. Complete with a jagged mouth, a dark brown mince mixture visible behind the eyes and a droopy face from time being cooked, these scary red peppers pretty much make themselves!
500 grams Lean ground organic turkey mince
1 ½ cups brown rice
1/2 brown onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 cup fat free chicken broth
½ cup tomato sauce
4 red bell peppers (or as many as the mix will fill)
Cut a little hat off your pepper, and scoop him clean leaving the base in-tact. Using a small but very sharp knife, carve two little triangles for eyes and a moon shaped mouth on one side of your pepper. Set aside. Add finely chopped onion and garlic to a saucepan and sauté. Add ground turkey and a touch of salt. When cooked through add tomato sauce and broth and simmer. Combine cooked rice and meat together. Spoon finished mixture into your pepper, and pop on his hat. Cover tight with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes.
This is a super cute crowd pleaser, not to mention a delicious dessert. It’s amazing how easy it is to create a ghost like image, simply by half dipping fruit in white chocolate. It almost creates the illusion of a person in a sheet once you add the ghostly facial features to your chocolate base. To serve you can place your ghostly faces on a nice big platter, or to bring your ghosts to life, pop them on skewers so they look like they’re levitating. Stick them into a pumpkin or into some orange Styrofoam to put the finishing touches on your Halloween dessert display.
Strawberries, bananas – whatever fruit you like really!
85 grams cocoa butter
3 tbsp. honey
1 tsp powdered milk
Seeds from one vanilla bean
70% dark chocolate
Over a medium heat in a small saucepan, melt the cocoa butter and add the rest of the ingredients (except dark chocolate) mixing until smooth. Now if you want to get super fancy (and make it taste EVEN better) Get your MasterChef on and temper the chocolate. So bring it up to 49C and whisk frequently. Now let it cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally and then put in the fridge for 5 minutes. Repeat the process for 10-15 minutes. Dip your fruit in the mixture about halfway, and let set. For the ghostly element, melt your dark chocolate and put it into a piping bag. Pipe on two dots for eyes and a big ‘o’ for a mouth, and there you have it – ghostly fruit.