So this past Halloween, I was having people over and one thing I’ve learned about party food is to apply the old KISS rule- keep-it-simple-stupid. Don’t make a fancy pants foie gras, or use this as your chance to experiment with sweetbreads. Make what you know the masses are going to like- and I know the masses like grilled cheese. They like soup. They like booze. They are going to love these healthy Halloween treats.
No Tricks! Just my Favourite Healthy Halloween Treats
Obviously there are a million and one ways to make grilled cheese and tomato soup, but I wanted to stick to the Halloween theme. That meant I made olive-bocconcini “eyeballs” for the soup and I added some hot red pepper jelly & orange tomatoes in the grilled cheese. I also busted out my Halloween cookie cutters that I got on sale at Williams Sonoma for less than $1. Mind blowing, I know, considering every other time I walk out of there I’ve dropped $300 or more. I also whipped up an adult beverage featuring the probiotic benefits of Kombucha! Okay, so those healthy halloween treats are adults only.
Now, you certainly don’t have to save these recipes for Halloween. This would make a fantastic grilled cheese for any day (minus the shapes) and the soup would be fabulous without the “eye balls”- I just thought it would be fun to throw that in. If you’re really in a crazy grilled cheese mood, you should also really check out my recipe for this Sexy Duck grilled cheese– ideal for Valentines Day, of course!
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Halloween Spicy Aged Cheddar Grilled Cheese
- 2 slices Pumpernickle Bread
- 1 oz Aged Orange Cheddar Cheese
- 2 tsp hot pepper jelly
- 2 slices orange tomato
- Melted butter for brushing
- Using Halloween cookie cutters, cut your bread into Pumpkin shapes.
- Brush the melted butter onto the outside sides of the pairs of bread (brushing the melted butter on allows you to use less!) Spread the inside of one slice with the jelly, top with the tomatoes and load it up with cheese. Top with the other piece of bread (butter side up).
- Preheat your pan to medium heat. Add the grilled cheese and cook for about 2-4 minutes until golden brown. Carefully flip and cook on the other side another 2-4 minutes. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Eye Ball Tomato Soup
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 containers of San Marzano tomatoes 28 oz containers
- 1 L reduced sodium chicken stock
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or to taste
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese finely grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 container bocconcini cheese balls
- 32 mini olives stuffed with pimento sliced in half
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 8-10 minutes, or until very tender. Once tender, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the flour and tomato taste and stir until the colour darkens and it coats all of the vegetables.
- Then add in the tomatoes, chicken stock, and sugar and whisk until there are no more lumps and it’s well combined.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until all of the vegetables are very tender.
- Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain back into the pot and stir in the milk and cheese. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, to taste.
- Using a small pairing knife, cut out a little crater of cheese from the cheese ball with a large enough diameter to fit the olive but don’t go down further than 1/2 way down. Stuff the olive half into the cheese ball. Continue with the remaining bocconcini balls. Store in a air tight container until ready to eat.
- To serve, ladle out the serving of soup and drop a few eyeballs into it. Serve with the grilled cheese for dunking.
Creepy Ginger Cocktail
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 cup freeze dried berries pulverized into a powder
- 1 oz vodka
- 6 leaves mint
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 4-6 oz Ginger flavoured Kombucha
- Pour the pomegranate molasses into a bowl or dish and rim your glass with it.
- Then pour the powdered freeze dried berries into another dish or bowl and rim the sticky pomegranate molasses with the powder.
- Give the mint and lemon juice a little bruising in a glass with a muddler and top with an ounce of vodka, Ginger flavoured Kombucha and ice.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.