Whether you’re a naturally crafty person or not, Halloween is the perfect time of year to have a little bit of fun with food. There’s plenty of candy and other treats to be had, but even healthy snacks like classic veggies and dip can be transformed into a spooky creation at Halloween!
Growing up my mom would prepare a pre-trick-or-treat spread of devilled egg “eyeballs”, spaghetti “brains” and bloody fingers (hot dogs dipped in ketchup). Dessert was witches’ fingers (homemade Italian lady finger cookies with almond fingernails). It was enough to tide us over before putting on our costumes–with or without a snowsuit underneath depending on the weather–and heading out for a night of trick-or-treating.
For this year’s Halloween potluck at the office, I wanted to bring something reasonably healthy to balance out the other richer dishes. You can’t go wrong with veggies and dip, so I browsed around online to find something Halloween-themed. That’s when I came across a few different versions of these cute bell pepper jack-o-lanterns and knew I just had to make them!
Carving the jack-o-lantern face was easy enough even for me (that is, someone who is NOT very crafty!). For the dip, I made a double batch of my Greek yogurt ranch dip and poured it into the bell peppers. As for the vegetable dippers, I went with celery sticks, red pepper strips, cauliflower florets and baby carrots. Crackers or pita triangles would also be great for serving.
- 2 large orange bell peppers, ideally with the stems still attached
- 4 cups fresh vegetables such as celery sticks, cauliflower florets, baby carrots and red bell pepper strips
- 2 cups Greek yogurt ranch dip (double this recipe to make enough to fill two peppers: http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/vegetarian/greek-yogurt-ranch-dip/)
- Cut the tops off the bell peppers and set aside. Remove the ribs and seeds and use a thin-bladed knife to cut out eyes and a mouth. If the peppers don't stand up on their own, slice a thin layer off the bottom of each to create a flat base. Arrange the peppers in the middle of a large platter and surround with the vegetables. Lean the jack-o-lantern "lids" against each pepper. Fill each pepper with the dip (you may have extra dip depending on the size of the peppers). Serve immediately or refrigerated until ready to serve.