How are you dressing your table for Halloween? Since childhood I’ve loved Halloween. From the outlandish costume parties to the scary house décor to the festive food, Halloween brings the kid out in all of us. Creativity is at an all time high now, too. In my house, we paint silly faces on pumpkins, bob for apples and bake everything from acorn squash to pumpkin breads and muffins (see my previous post).
As we head into the holiday season, indulging in savory appetizers, sweets and alcoholic libations can derail our healthful eating efforts. While you may only gain a pound or two over the holidays - that’s what a recent study notes, being mindful over the holidays can do wonders with keeping that extra weight off and skating into the new year ahead of the game. This holiday season, EVOLVE your eating to make small, mindful changes that can make you happier and more joyful throughout the season. Feel free to download my EVOLVE mantra and post somewhere special as a reminder.
Most of us don’t think of veggie kabobs for fall parties, but in the Halloween spirit — we are whipping up some orange and black (well, aubergine) kabobs to delight your family, neighbors and friends for your ‘All Hallows Eve’ festivities. I enjoy kabobs as they offer portion control, as well as a way to slow down your eating.
For ease, you can buy pre-cut butternut squash (I like the organic butternut squash at Trader Joe’s). It’s all ready to go. I get baby eggplant (aka petites aubergines) from my local Cosctco in the refrigerated produce area. These little eggplants are easy to work with as you can wash, trim and dice them in no time. Putting these two veggies together on skewers makes for a fun Halloween presentation on any table. I like to mix and match them on the skewers, but you can make them each one type of veggie and lay the skewers side by side; it would be just as lovely!
Butternut Squash & Baby Eggplant Kabobs
Serves 7 (2 kabobs each)
14 wooden skewers, soaked
1.5 pounds baby eggplant, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1.5 pounds butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 generous pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Immerse skewers into lukewarm water and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, in a microwave safe bowl, combine the squash, eggplant, 1/8 cup of olive oil (reserve the other 1/8 cup for later), smoked paprika, pepper and salt. Mix together until well-coated. Since the squash can be hard to skewer when it’s raw, soften it up by placing the bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes. Skewer the veggies (alternating squash and eggplant) one after the other on each skewer - use about 10 pieces per skewer.
Place the veggie skewers on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the skewers with tongs and set back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until golden brown and squash is softened. Remove from the oven and drizzle with remaining oil. Serve immediately or wrap in foil while still hot to bring to a party. Remove veggies from skewers and dip into plain yogurt, if desired.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 138, Total Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 339 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 2 g
Enjoy eating simply,