When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on
Something wonderful happens when I see the colors black and orange together. I get excited because I know Hallowe'en is near. For some, the celebration continues over the course of three days, as Catholics honor the saints on November 1 and all souls on November 2. But the fun really begins on All Hallows Eve, October 31.
This year we only had five little trick or treaters. Several friends of mine reported the same. Kind of sad, since I have such happy memories of my own trick or treating as a child, and then taking my kids around the neighborhood for their trick or treating adventures.
In the spirit of the holiday, however, I made all black and orange dishes. Of course, at least one of those dishes contained pumpkin.
Black and Orange Salad
3 navel oranges, peeled and cut in half
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1/4 c. slivered almonds
One can of small black olives
4 mint leaves, chopped
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1 t. sugar
Mix everything together. Serve.
Black and Orange Stew
One butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
One onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
One orange bell pepper, chopped
One can diced tomatoes
2 T. tomato paste
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
1 c. apple juice
3 T. chili powder
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. sugar
In a Dutch oven in the olive oil, cook the squash, onion, carrots and bell pepper, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and chipotle chile. Stir in the apple juice and seasonings. Stir until well mixed and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 3o minutes, or until squash is tender.
Black and Orange Muffins
1-1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1-1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. plain nondairy milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil (not olive)
One can diced green chiles
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds, chopped
Black sesame seeds
Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in one large bowl. Mix the pumpkin, brown sugar, milk and oil in a separate bowl. Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir in the green chiles and pumpkin seeds. Mix well. Pour this into paper muffin liners in a muffin tin. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top. Bake at 375 for 18 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure they are done. I got about 18 muffins from this.
I really loved the salad and the muffins. The stew was spicy, so be prepared and have tissues nearby!
And because cutting through tough squash can be difficult, I'm including this tip to make your life easier!
After eating this healthy, it's okay now to indulge in a little - just a little! - of the leftover candy! You're welcome!