Halloween Menu

The Physicians Committee

Food for Life

Halloween Menu

Oct. 31 marks the night for spooky costumes, sweet treats, and horror movie marathons—it’s also a great occasion to throw a get-together with family and friends. PCRM has a lot of healthy, tasty recipes perfect for entertaining, without the scary levels of fat and sugar. Incorporating fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables into your recipes and keeping your recipes simple is key to eating healthfully. Tips like using vegetable broth in place of oil or creamed cashews in place of dairy products in soups make for tasty, yet healthy versions of traditional favorites. For more tips like this, click here.


Cup o’ Blood (Originally titled In-the-Red Smoothie)
Extraterrestrial Salad (originally titled Quinoa Verde)
Brain Sandwiches (Originally titled Missing Egg Sandwich)
Dracula’s Dip (Originally titled White Bean Spread with Sundried Tomatoes)
Graveyard Cakes (Originally titled Brownies)

Cup o’ Blood (Originally titled In-the-Red Smoothie)

Bright red berries are among the richest sources of health-promoting antioxidants. This smoothie gives you another way to drink your grapes and berries, along with other nourishing fruits.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup ice cubes

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1/2 cup red grapes

1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks, or 1 can (4-ounce) pineapple chunks packed in juice, undrained

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1 tablespoon agave nectar, maple syrup, or other sweetener (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a blender. Turn the blender on low speed and gradually increase to high speed, processing until smooth.

Per serving (1/4 of recipe): calories: 52; fat: 0.2 g; saturated fat: 0 g; calories from fat: 2.8%; cholesterol: 0 mg; protein: 0.5 g; carbohydrate: 13.4 g; sugar: 9 g; fiber: 2 g; sodium: 3 mg: calcium: 20 mg; iron: 0.5 mg; vitamin C: 18 mg; beta-carotene: 21 mcg; vitamin E: 0.4 mg

Recipe by Ellen Jaffe Jones from Eat Vegan on $4 a Day

Extraterrestrial Salad (originally titled Quinoa Verde)

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be used as a side, as a main dish, or even as a bed for something like Grilled Portobello Steaks.

2 cups Tomatillo Sauce (see recipe below)

3/4 cup water

1 cup quinoa

Options: 1/4 cup pepitas

Tomatillo Sauce

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 large tomatillos, papery husks removed and cut in half

1/2 cup water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Options: Juice of 2 limes

For the sauce: over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until it is lightly browned. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the tomatillos, water, salt, and cumin. Simmer until the tomatillos have turned into a rough sauce. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro and optional lime juice.

Take two cups of the Tomatillo Sauce and add 3/4 cup water to it. If the sauce turns out particularly thick, add another 1/2 cup water. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the quinoa. Bring the liquid back to a simmer. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook the quinoa for 15 to 17 minutes.

Options: Once the quinoa is done, top each serving with a smattering of pepitas.

Making It Simple: Use 1 15-ounce jar salsa verde instead of making the Tomatillo Sauce from scratch.

The Gourmet Touch: For a fire-roasted version, about 5 minutes before the quinoa is done cooking, add in about 2 tablespoons of crushed, dried ancho peppers.

Per serving (1/2 recipe): calories: 389; fat: 7 g; calories from fat: 16%; cholesterol: 0 mg; protein: 14 g; carbohydrates: 68 g; sugar: 6 g; fiber: 11 g; sodium: 294 mg

Recipe by Jason Wyrick found in 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health by Neal Barnard, M.D.

Halloween Recipe Brain SandwichesBrain Sandwiches (Originally titled Missing Egg Sandwich)

These sandwiches have the flavor and appearance of egg salad without the saturated fat and cholesterol.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

1 cup silken tofu

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

2 tablespoons dairy- and egg-free mayonnaise

2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard

2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon each: ground cumin, tumeric, garlic powder

Mash tofu, leaving some chunks. Add green onion, pickle relish, dairy- and egg-free mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce, cumin, tumeric, and garlic powder. Mix well. Spread on whole-grain bread and garnish with lettuce and tomato slices.

Per serving (4 bite-sized sandwiches: calories: 172; fat: 3g; saturated fat: 0.6g; calories from fat: 15.6%; cholesterol: 0mg; protein: 8.7g; carbohydrates: 30.3g; sugar: 8.7g; fiber: 4.4g; sodium: 486 mg; calcium: 64 mg; iron: 2.5 mg; vitamin C: 3.5 mg; beta-carotene: 150 mcg; vitamin E: 0.4 mg

Recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D., found in Healthy Eating for Life for Children by Amy Lanou, Ph.D.

Halloween Recipe Dracula's DipDracula’s Dip (Originally titled White Bean Spread with Sundried Tomatoes)

This delicious spread uses no added fat and the sun-dried tomatoes give it a wonderful smoky flavor. Spread it on low-fat crusty bread or use it as a dip for pita chips.

Makes 2 cups

6 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups cooked or canned great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon each: salt and dried sage

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, thinly slice, and set aside.

Combine the beans, rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and sage in a food processor and process until smooth. If desired, add some or all of the vegetable stock for a creamier texture. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if needed.

Per serving (1/6 recipe): calories: 74; fat: 0.2 g; saturated fat: 0.1 g; calories from fat: 2.9%; cholesterol: 0 mg; protein: 5 g; carbohydrate: 13.6 g; sugar: 0.9 g; fiber: 3.3 g; sodium: 381 mg; calcium: 49 mg; iron: 2 mg; vitamin C: 1.4 mg; beta-carotene: 11 mcg; vitamin E: 0.5 g; lycopene: 688 mcg

Recipe found in The Cancer Survivor’s Guide

Halloween Recipe Graveyard CakesGraveyard Cakes (Originally titled Brownies)

These brownies are tender and delicious with no added fat and no cholesterol. For a real treat, top them with raspberry jam or preserves.

Makes 28 brownies

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup grain-based coffee substitute granules (optional)

1/2 teaspoon each: baking soda and salt

1/2 12.3-ounce package firm or extra-firm silken tofu

1/4 cup fortified soy or rice milk

1 1/2 teaspoons each: cider vinegar and vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir flour, sugar, cocoa, coffee substitute granules (if using), baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Puree tofu, nondairy milk, vinegar, and vanilla in a food processor. Add tofu mixture to dry ingredients and stir just enough to mix. Spread batter in a parchment paper-lined baking pan or cupcake liners. Bake until the top springs back when pressed lightly in the center, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Per brownie: calories: 50; fat: 0.3 g; saturated fat: 0.1 g; calories from fat: 6.2%; cholesterol: 0 mg; protein: 1.3 g; carbohydrates: 11.2 g; sugar: 7.4 g; fiber: 0.9 g; sodium: 73 mg; calcium: 11 mg; iron: 0.4 mg; vitamin C: 0 mg; beta-carotene: 0 mcg; vitamin E: 0.1 mg

Recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D., found in Healthy Eating for Life for Children by Amy Lanou, Ph.D.


  • To make existing recipes healthier, puree beans or add silken tofu to keep the creamy texture in dishes without added fat. Experiment more with the spices in your cabinet for a boost in flavor rather than rely on salt as your sole means of seasoning.
  • Have a bin on hand of various masks and festive props for party-goers who arrive with no costume so they can also get in on the fun.
  • Purchase small, palm-sized pumpkins to carve and decorate. Hollow them out and place a tea candle light inside. Keep these pumpkins as a centerpiece. Save the pumpkin flesh and seeds for use in recipes.

  • Have dry ice available near the beverages to drizzle hot water on when you’d like to create a spooky, fog effect.

  • If you are throwing a party with young guests, send them home with trick-or-treat bags filled with tasty treats (dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, semi-sweet chocolate chips), toys (Dracula fangs, severed rubber fingers, plastic spiders, etc.), and copies of our Nutrition for Your Kids booklets! Visit www.pcrm.org/lit to place an order.

Note: Particularly sweet items like cookies and brownies should be limited to enjoyment on special occasions and holidays.


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