Festive Appetizers for Your Halloween Gathering

Halloween is a holiday that has become just as fun for adults as it is for kids. There never seems to be a lack of opportunities to gather with friends and neighbors before trick-or-treating begins to compare costumes, take pictures and enjoy some good food. As a nutritionist, it’s important to me to bring something to Halloween parties that is nourishing, festive and tasty and can help balance out some of the other typical party fare.

Here are two recipes that do exactly that. Both are packed with protein and healthy fat and can be adjusted to your own particular taste.

Festive Fall Quinoa Salad

Yield: About 6 generous cups

Ingredients

For the Salad:

1 cup raw quinoa

2 cups water or stock

1 cup diced orange bell pepper

1 cup orange or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup black beans

1 cup diced cucumber

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 avocado, diced

1 bunch cilantro, minced (optional)

For the dressing:

2 limes, juiced

1/3 cup avocado or olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Directions

  1. Combine quinoa and water or stock in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. 
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  
  3. Remove from heat and after 5 minutes, remove lid and fluff with a fork.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, whisk the dressing ingredients together.
  5. Once cool, combine quinoa with the rest of the salad ingredients, and toss gently with the dressing. 
  6. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Spider Deviled Eggs

Yield: 24 eggs

Ingredients

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably avocado or olive oil-based)

1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

24 whole, pitted black olives, halved lengthwise

Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

  1. Gently scoop the yolks from eggs and add to a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add yogurt, mayonnaise and mustard, and mash with a fork until well combined with a smooth texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Scoop the filling into each egg half just until it’s level.
  4. Place one-half olive in the center of each egg for the “body” of the spider.
  5. Slice the remaining olive halves in thirds to make the legs and place 3 pieces on either side of the “body.”

Allyson Balzuweit is a registered dietitian/nutritionist with more than 20 years of experience helping others achieve their personal best when it comes to healthy eating, disease management and prevention through good nutrition, meal prep strategies and more. If you or someone you know is interested in a personalized, customized approach to healthy eating and/or meal planning, contact her at allysonbalzuweit@aol.com.