Halloween is around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. According to lore, Halloween (or formerly Hallows’ Eve) represented a time when the ghosts of the dead would come back to earth. People feared that if you left your house, you might come across one of these ghosts; so to avoid being recognized, people would wear masks to blend in with the disembodied spirits.
These days, Halloween is a much more family-friendly event, filled with creative and playful costumes, pumpkins on doorsteps, haunted houses, and plenty of festive treats. And I don’t know about you, but I usually associate this holiday with heaps of sugar. Chocolate bars, toffees, candies, you name it. It’s enough sugar to make my teeth hurt just thinking about it — and to get the kids really bouncing off the walls! Thank goodness it only comes around once a year…
What I love about this jack-o’-lantern stuffed peppers recipe is that it’s a festive twist on a savory dish that lets my family enjoy the holiday with a little less sugar. They’re a fun Halloween treat to prepare for your kids and something you can feel great about them digging into! The fun part is in carving the bell peppers, which act as edible jack-o’-lanterns. You’ll want a sharp knife for this, and ideally one that’s small enough to make tiny cuts (a paring knife works well). Then you’ll simply carve out little eyes, a nose, and a smile. And ta-da, the hard part is over!
These cute little jack-o’-lantern “pumpkins” are filled with a fiesta-inspired mix of spices, ground turkey, and black beans. The filling comes together in a pinch, and the flavors are reminiscent of a much more wholesome taco filling. You can keep these vegan by swapping the filling with this Quinoa Stuffing recipe. Once your filling is prepared, simply stuff it inside your carved peppers and pop them in the oven. A sprinkling of cheese brings this dish together. Serve warm and dig in. Happy Halloween!
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Photographs by Anguel Dimov