Do you already smell and feel Halloween vibes all around? The grocery stores are full of pumpkins, candies, toffee apples, witches brew flavored coffee and ingredients which I want to share with you today to prepare something mysterious, terrible but healthy. In this article you will find Jack O'Lantent Mac & Cheese to serve as a main meal, Blood Red Sangria for a drink and Gluten-free Cookies and Brain Cheescake for a dessert. There are lots of Halloween recipes online, but my list is diet-friendly and healthy. Let's cook something with a little lower in sugar and a little higher in fiber. Have some fun and enjoy your disgusting and terrifying meal with your family or guests.
JACK O'LANTERN MAC & CHEESE
YOU WILL NEED:
1 pound gluten-free macaroni pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the top quarter of the pumpkin off. Scoop out all the flesh and seeds. Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes. We want the pumpkin to be tender, but not falling apart. Reduce the temperature to 350 F.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.
Melt butter in a large, high-sided pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the flour. Cook, whisking constantly for 3 minutes until the butter smells fragrant and nutty and the mixture will turn light brown.
While whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Continue to cook, whisking constantly until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Season the sauce with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mustard. Add the pumpkin puree and three-quarters of the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust with more salt or pepper.
Mix the cooked pasta into the sauce and transfer it to the inside of the roasted pumpkin.
Cover the pumpkin with the foil, return to the oven and continue to bake another 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
GLUTEN-FREE EXTRA-EYES MONSTER COOKIES
YOU WILL NEED:
1 ½ cups quick gluten-free oats
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cups peanut butter
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hard-shelled chocolate chips
1 ½ cups m&m's
small candy eye-balls
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy about 3 minutes on medium speed. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Reduce speed to low and stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s pieces. Chill dough for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop cookie mounds onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cookies are just set.
Immediately, gently press a few additional m&m's on top of each cookie and two candy eyeballs. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on a sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
BLOOD RED SANGRIA
YOU WILL NEED:
½ cup blackberries
½ medium apple cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
½ medium orange rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed
¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ cup blackberry brandy plus more to taste
750 ml bottle dry red wine Spanish or French Red Table Wine
2 cups ice
Stir all ingredients in a large pitcher. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight, and serve.
Prepare graham cracker crust as directed on a box with melted butter and sugar, but set aside in a bowl to be added to the brain later.
Combine milk and cheesecake mix and add in red and black food coloring. Whip as directed on the package.
Give the brain mold a light spray with cooking spray.
Turn the mold upside down (so it’s like a bowl) and place inside a slightly larger bowl. Fill the bowl with dried beans to stabilize it if your mold shifts around.
Spread half the cheesecake mix in an even layer inside the brain mold with a spatula, making sure to fill in the crevices and coat up the sides so the cherry won’t show through.
Pour in half the can of pie filling.
Add the remaining cheesecake carefully over the top to seal in the pie filling.
Carefully press the graham cracker crust in a layer over the top of the cheesecake to form the bottom crust.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
To remove from the mold: Run hot water over the outside of the mold to loosen up the cheesecake and carefully invert on a plate. The brain should pop out cleanly with a few taps. Repeat hot water if it doesn’t loosen immediately.