Here are a couple of quick-and-easy Halloween snacks that are easy to make. They’re great for Halloween night, when mealtime gets lost in the rush and excitement of trick or treating. It’s good to have something non-sweet and somewhat nutritious, since kids will be filling up on candy the rest of the night. Kids can have fun assembling them too.
The Pasta Pirates use tortellini, cherry tomatoes or olives, a chunk of string cheese and a pepperoni slice for a pirate hat. These little snacketizers offer up some veggie, protein, dairy and carbs all on one skewer. I like dunking them in marinara sauce, which is usually low in fat with the nutrition of tomatoes and herbs. But you could also try other sauces — Alfredo, ranch cheddar, or pesto.
Kids can choose whether they would rather have olives or tomato pirates, or both. You can add whatever veggies your kids like (or that you’d like them to at least try), such as green or pepper chunks, mushrooms, or thin zucchini or carrot slices.
1 9-ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
About 25cherry or grape tomatoes
About 25 pitted whole olives
5 sticks of string cheese
About 50 slices pepperoni
1-2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2-3 cups marinara sauce
Fill a 3-quart pot halfway with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook for 5-7 minutes. The pasta should be tender, but firm enough to stay on a toothpick.
Drain the pasta, and rinse with cold water.
To assemble the pirates, cut the string cheese into half-inch slices. Thread a slice of the string cheese onto the toothpick. Fold a slice of pepperoni in half and thread it on the toothpick to make the hat. Next add either a cherry tomato or an olive for the face. Finish with a piece of the tortellini for the pirate’s body. Dip the tip of a toothpick in the mayonnaise to paint.
Place the pirates on a serving platter, or on individual plates. Pour the marinara sauce into bowls for dipping. Makes about 50 Pasta Pirates, enough for 6 people to have 8 pirates each.
Yummy Mummy Pizzas are easy enough that kids can assemble their own pizza and customize it with their favorite toppings. Just use frozen dough (I used Rhodes rolls.) Then cover it with strips of string cheese for a wrapped-mummy effect. You’ll can use olive slices, mini pepperoni slices, or other small round topping for eyes peering out from the bandages.
The mini-pizzas are pretty small, so plan on at least two for older children or adults.
YUMMY MUMMY PIZZAS
For each mummy, you need:
1 frozen dough roll, thawed to room temperature
1 tablespoon pizza sauce (from recipe below, or commercially prepared)
Pepperoni, or other toppings as desired
1 piece of string cheese
2 sliced olives or other small round ingredient such as pepperoni
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a cookie sheet with nonstick spray, olive oil or a silicone baking mat.
Flatten each roll into a 3-4-inch circle on the cookie sheet.
Spread dough with about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce.
Add any desired toppings such as pepperoni, chopped green peppers, etc.
Tear string cheese into thin strips. Place the strips of cheese in random directions on the pizza, to resemble mummy bandages. Trim off any strips that are too long. Place olives or pepperoni on the pizza to resemble eyes. Poke each pizza several times with a fork to prevent bubbles from forming.
Place the baking sheet on one of the lower oven racks so the cheese won’t cook too fast. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.
Serve while still warm.
— Adapted from Rhodes Bake-n-Serv
HOMEMADE PASTA/PIZZA SAUCE
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Mix all ingredients together. Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired.
Makes about 3 cups sauce. Use for Yummy Mummies, and store any left over sauce in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
Note: for a chunky sauce, substitute 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes for the 2 cans of tomato sauce.
— Valerie Phillips