Weekend Menu Hacks: A Ghoulishly Good Halloween Dinner
All ghouls and goblins, both big and small, need a healthy dinner before heading off for some trick or treating or Halloween parties (and we know you’ll be seeing a whole lot of Donald and Hillary masks). These Roasted Baby Pumpkins serving up roast Lamb Tagine With Dried Apricots, ending with Very Very Chocolatey Brownies are an elegant, nutritious and delicious way of celebrating the holiday.
Pumpkins offer not just a pretty face; they are packed with fiber, beta-carotene and zinc. Easy to scoop and hollow out, they make a great edible serving bowl for any sweet or in this case, savory: Turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika and ginger give grass-fed lamb a flavor and nutritional enhancer. Served with couscous studded with raisins and dried apricots, this tagine can also be served on its own, on top of noodles, brown rice or wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla.
Since it’s Halloween weekend, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in brownies, and indulge you can as these have coconut oil, chia seeds, coffee and walnuts. These treats can get wrapped up and given out Monday night or brought to a Halloween party as a gift. Your friends will haunt you for more…
#ItsWhatsForDinner: A Ghoulishly Delicious Halloween Feast
Step Up to the Plate
Step 1: Preheat the oven 300ºF. Toast and grind the spice mixture for the lamb.
Step 2: Brown the lamb, add the ghee, onion and spices and roast in the oven for 1 hour. Meantime, melt the chocolate, add the coconut oil and combine the chia seeds with the coffee.
Step 3: Remove the lamb tagine and increase the oven temperature to 375ºF. Combine the remaining brownie ingredients and mix well. Pour into the baking pan and bake in the oven.
Step 4: On the top shelf of the oven, bake the pumpkins for 20 minutes, remove the lids, then bake 20 minutes more. Take the brownies out at the same time you take the pumpkin out (f baking brownies alone, the temperature is 350ºF and you bake for 50 minutes total.)
Step 5: Prepare the couscous. Add the apricots to the lamb stew and warm on the stove top.
Step 6: Divide the tagine amongst the pumpkins, top with cilantro, and serve.
Step 7: Plate, serve, eat, love. #IEatClean
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Very Chocolatey Chocolate Brownies
8 ounces (225 g) high-quality semisweet chocolate
½ cup (120 ml) melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons ground chia seeds
¾ cup (180 ml ) espresso or strong black coffee (regular or decaffeinated), at room temperature
1¼ cups (250 g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
¾ cup (105 g) whole-wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅔ cup (75 g) chopped walnuts
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 350° (180°C). Grease an 8-by-8-in (20-by-20-cm) baking pan with coconut oil. Cover the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper, and then grease the top of the parchment paper.
Chop 3 ounces (85 g) of the chocolate into pieces no larger than chocolate chips. Set them aside. Break the remaining 5 ounces (140 g) of the chocolate into pieces about ½ inch (12 mm) wide and put them in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove it from the heat and transfer the chocolate to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut oil, and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put the chia seeds in a small mixing bowl and whisk in the coffee. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes until it thickens (this is our egg substitute). Whisk again to make sure there are no lumps.
Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and the chia mixture and whisk vigorously until blended.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the reserved chopped chocolate and the walnuts. Do not overmix. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the top feels dry and the brownies feel firm when a toothpick is inserted in the center. Watch them closely during the final minutes of baking to make sure the edges don’t burn.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. These brownies are best when they cool overnight or are refrigerated for 2 hours after they come to room temperature. When they are ready to serve, cut into 16 squares. The brownies will stay fresh at room temperature for about 5 days in an airtight container, and they also freeze well.
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