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Easy and healthy Halloween meal ideas for the family

If you are looking for some fun food ideas with Halloween in mind, registered dietitian Grace Derocha with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan stopped by to share some easy recipes:

Antipasto “Brains” Spaghetti Jack O’Lantern

Ingredients

* Orange peppers

* Thin whole wheat spaghetti noodles - 1 box

* About 6 cups total of vegetables of your choice, cleaned and chopped into bite size pieces

o Tomatoes

o Cucumber

o Bell peppers

o Olives of your choice, pitted

o Banana peppers

o Artichokes

o Sun-dried tomatoes

* 1-2 pounds total of your favorite lunch meats, cubed into bite sized pieces

o Salami

o Ham

o Turkey

o Pepperoni

* About 1 pound (3-4 cups) total of your favorite cheeses cubed into bite sized pieces

o Cheddar

o Provolone

o Feta

o Colby-Jack

Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing

* 2 cups olive oil

* 1 cup red wine vinegar

* ¾ cup lemon juice, about 2 -3 lemons if using fresh squeezed

* 1/3 cup of honey

* 4 cloves garlic, minced

* 4 teaspoons dried oregano

* 4 teaspoons kosher salt

* Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Make red wine vinaigrette first. Just whisk together all ingredients and place in an air-tight sealed container in the refrigerator.

2. Cook spaghetti noodles in water seasoned with some salt and a splash of oil. Cook until al dente, then drain and rinse with cold water.

3. Place noodles in a bowl and dress with vinaigrette right away.

4. While the noodles are cooking, clean orange bell peppers. Cut off the top and keep as top of “jack o’lantern.” Clean out all the seeds and membranes of orange bell pepper carefully.

5. Next carefully, cut out a jack o’lantern face from each orange bell pepper. Set aside.

6. Chop all vegetables, meat and cheese, then add to noodles. Toss thoroughly so all the salad items are covered in dressing.

7. Place pasta salad and peppers in the refrigerator. I recommend making the pasta salad the day before serving.

8. When serving, place antipasto spaghetti salad in each of the jack o’lantern orange bell peppers for a fun, healthy and spooky Halloween meal. Enjoy!

Make Your Own “Candy Corn” Fruit Parfaits

Ingredients

* Pineapple tidbits canned, drained or fresh chopped pineapples

* Fresh chopped jackfruit or jarred or canned jackfruit, drained and chopped

* Starfruit, de-seeded and chopped

* Mandarin oranges, drained or orange segments chopped

* Mangoes, diced

* Cantaloupe, diced

* Low-fat cottage cheese

* Vanilla or honey Greek yogurt

* Low-fat whipped cream or low-fat whipped topping

* Candy corn for garnish

Instructions

1. Use a clear cup and layer with fruit. Recommend using one fruit of each color and one white topper for most effective display that mimics the colors of a candy corn.

2. Start with one of the yellow fruits to layer on the bottom.

3. On top of that choose an orange fruit to make the second layer.

4. Now choose cottage cheese, yogurt or whipped cream or topping as the top layer.

5. Garnish with a couple of candy corns and enjoy!

Note: This can be set up as a parfait bar for kids to make themselves.

Brew Ha-Ha Punch

Ingredients

* 2 cups of cranberry juice

* 1.5 cups of apple cider

* 1 cups of grape juice

* 3 cups of ginger ale

* Lychees

* Blueberries

Instructions

1. Mix all 4 liquids together in a punch bowl.

2. The night before make the lychee blueberry eyeballs. Place blueberry inside of lychee and freeze overnight.

3. The night before, also place some water in a non-latex glove and seal it. Lay flat in freezer to harden overnight.

4. Before serving punch, put lychee blueberry eyeballs into punch.

5. Enjoy!

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