Category Archives: Halloween Recipes

Pumpkin Black Bean Quesadilla’s {WIAW}

The last couple of days I’ve been on a pumpkin kick! I guess you can say this week I’ve been on a carb kick too! I’ve been craving major comfort foods big time!  The cooler weather definitely has something to do with it or maybe it was the 20 minute plus interval  jump roping workout I did today, or both.

Since I made some simple pumpkin soup this week, (I’m sticking with my meal plan - click here to print it out), I felt like having quesadilla’s to go along with it.  I took my favorite comfort food (pretty much anything carbs) and bumped up the nutrition by adding pumpkin and black beans. This recipe definitely hit the spot. My husband and two out of three kids liked them too. I’ll be making these again real soon!

Today, I am sharing this recipe over at Peas and Crayons with What I Ate Wednesday. This months theme is “Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats.”

One of my favorite “Healthier Spooky Snacks” that I like to make this time of year for my kids are:

Mummy Hot Dogs:

Mini Halloween Trifle {Chocolate Ginger Cake with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting}


How about you, what is your favorite go to comfort food?

What are your favorite “healthier spooky snacks?”


Pumpkin Black Bean Quesadilla’s
Weight Watcher Points Plus: 10
Servings: 8 /Serving Size:  2 triangles
Calories; 380/ Protein: 17 g/ Fat: 13 g/Carbs: 50 g/ Fiber: 8 g
  • 8 medium Trader Joe’s flour tortillas
  • 2 cups 2% grated cheese – either mild or sharp cheddar, or Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup of chopped white onion
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 cup of cubed pumpkin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2  tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
Optional Ingredients: 
  • Green onions
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Greek plain yogurt or sour cream
  • Salt.
1.  In a frying pan, spray it with vegetable oil to lightly coat. Add pumpkin cubes and onions, saute until lightly brown and when pumpkin is soft to the touch with a fork. Add spice and black beans, cook until beans are warm.
2. Next, heat a large frying pan to medium high heat. Add a small amount of oil, I used my misto bottle and sprayed for 5 seconds. Take one  flour tortilla and place it in the pan. Add about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, top it with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the pumpkin black bean mix, add another 1/4 cup of cheese and top it off with another flour tortilla. Don’t forget to lightly spray the top tortilla with vegetable spray for about 5 second count.
3. When the bottom side of tortilla is lightly brown and crispy carefully flip it over to toast the other side. The cheese should melt and hold everything in place.
4. Serve them warm and add your favorite toppings. Today I used Greek plain yogurt, some chopped tomatoes and avocados. Yum!

Happy Halloween! My past favorite Halloween Recipes

Here are some of my past Halloween recipes from breakfast to dinner to treats! I made these bacon and eggs skull’s for breakfast for my boys this morning, they totally loved it!

I’m keeping this post short today, I’ve got lot’s of fun stuff I want to share with you during the week. Have a fun and safe Halloween for those of you that celebrate it!

Breakfast Halloween Recipes

Bacon and Eggs Halloween Style

Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese on a whole grain bagel

Salsa Greek Yogurt Dip with Ghostly ww toasts

Turkey & Cheese Ghost and Moon sandwich, carrot sticks, orange segments with pomegranates, pumpkin cranberry protein bars (recipe coming soon!)

Halloween Mummy Hot Dogs

Caramel Granola Pears on a Stick

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Halloween Chocolate Ginger Pumpkin Spice Truffle

Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

This time of year is my favorite time of year to spend with my kids. We love to spend famiy together from picking pumpkins to carving them. I’ve been making it a family tradition to bake the leftover seeds from carving our pumpkins, so don’t throw those pumpkin seeds out just yet! Did you know that pumpkin seeds (also knows as pepita’s) are an excellent source of protein, healhty fat, essential vitamins and minerals? One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) provides about 15 grams of fat with most of it coming from heart healthy fats, mostly from monounpolyunsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of manganese, one ounce is about 64 % daily recommended value! Manganese plays a role in bone developement, wound healing and and it also has an important role in carbohydrate and cholesterol metabolism. Pumpkins seeds are also a great source of phosphorus, magnesium, copper and zinc. Just be mindful eating pumpkin seeds because  2 tablepsoons is about 170 calories! I don’t know about you but I could easily eat double or triple the amount, if I wasn’t paying attention while eating them that could easily add up to about 340 calories or more!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:
Servings: varies depending on size of pumpkin/ Serving Size: 1 ounce (2 TBSP)
Weight Watcher Pts Plus: 5/ WW old pts:4
Calories: 170/Protein: 8 g/Fat:15 g/ Carbs: 4 g/ Fiber: 2 g
about 2 cups of Pumpkin seeds – amount varies depending on pumpkin size
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
optional: add your favorite seasonings
Directions for roasting pumpkin seeds as follows:

Step 1: Save the seeds.

While you are carving your pumpkin for Halloween,  save the pumpkin seeds in a bowl.

Step 2: Rinse the seeds.

Rinse well under running cold water, removing the stringy parts and all.

Step 3: Place seeds on a lined cookie sheet.

Make sure seeds are not too damp or else it will take longer to roast. If so use a towel to remove the excess moisture from rinsing or let them dry over night (personally I can’t wait that long so I just use a a clean towel to dry them).

Add olive oil and salt and other spices, mix well and spread them out in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet bake. For lightly roasted seeds, bake at 170 F for about 30 minutes or longer depending on how roasted you like them, turning the seeds over half way through baking

If you can’t wait 30 minutes or longer for seeds to roast, bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the seeds so they don’t burn. Turning them over with a spatula halfway through baking.

Step 4: Store in an airtight container, that’s if they can last that long!

1 ounce of pumpkin seeds:Calories: 170/Protein: 8 g/Carbs: 4 g/ Fiber: 2 g/ sugars:0 g/Total Fat:15 g/monounsaturated fat: 5 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 5 g/ saturated fat: 2 g/cholesterol: 0 mg/ sodium: 280mg/ 
%Daily Values based on a 2.000 calorie diet:
manganese: 64%/ magnesium: 39%/ phosphorus: 33%/ copper: 18%/ zinc: 14%/ iron: 13%/ niacin: 6%/ folate: 4%/ selenium: 4%/ vitamin k: 3%/riboflavin: 2%/ thiamin: 1%/B6: 1%/vitaminC: 1%/calcium: 1%

Mini Halloween Trifles

I needed some inspiration to get into the Halloween spirit last weekend so I ventured over to Kitchen PLAY for some ideas. This month Kitchen PLAY has ten Spooktacular Bloggers with “Kid-Friendly Halloween Treats” that will get your little goblins excited in the kitchen. So head on over to Kitchen Play to get some Halloween inspiration, plus if you recreate any one of the Kid-Friendly Halloween Treats you could win $50 (10 prizes total). McCormick is sponsoring a giveaway at Kitchen PLAY, the deadline is October 31, 2011. Click here to view the complete contest rules before entering.

My kids wanted to help out of course with the project and we all decided on recreating Amber’s dessert from Bluebonnets and Brownies, she made a Black Velvet Halloween Trifle. I’ve always wanted to make a trifle but realized that I don’t have a fancy trifle bowl! So I improvised and decided to use 6 ounce mason jars to serve the trifles for dessert. I found this wonderful chocolate gingerbread cake from McCormick’s website and adjusted the recipe a bit to my fanatical clean eating ways.

Not sure if I mentioned to you guys or not but I oven baked a small sugar pie pumpkin and a large pumpkin the other day which literally made like 10 cups of pumpkin puree! So needless to say, I have been adding pumpkin to everything the last few days! Believe me I’ll be sharing pumpkin posts until I’m literally orange in the face! :) Below is a picture of that large pumpkin!

Okay, back to the recipe. My kids and I had so much fun layering the trifle into the small mason jars. Though my second child had the most fun eating the frosting and the whipped cream as he layered his trifle. Basically we took a small piece of cake , crumbled it into bite size pieces added it to the bottom of a 6 ounce mason jar. Then we added two candy corns with the yellow peeking out for the eyes. My oldest decided to add a marshmallow for the mouth.

Next we added some pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting about 4 tablespoons and topped it off with about 4 tablespoons of Kraft Cool Whip Lite (I was lazy and didn’t feel like making fresh whipped cream today!).

Did you notice the color scheme? We tried to have it resemble chocolate candy corn; brown, orange and white!

The dessert ended up being my two year old’s birthday cake! It was perfect since it was perfectly portioned for a child or for an adult watching their caloric intake… me!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake without icing~Inspired by McCormick
Servings: 12/ Serving size: 1 square
Weight Watcher points plus: 6/old WW pts:4
Calories: 207/ protein: 5 g/carbs: 32 g/ fiber: 3.3 g/sugars: 10 g/ total fat: 8 g/ saturated fat: 2.5 g/ monounsaturated fat: 3.5 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 2 g/ cholesterol: 8 mg/ sodium: 181 mg
Chocolate Gingerbread Cake Ingredients:
 1.5 cup white wheat flour
1 cup oat flour (or you can use all purpose flour or white wheat flour)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1  tsp McCormick® Ginger, Ground
1 tsp McCormick ®Pumpkin Pie spice
1 tsp McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
 3 Tbsp butter, softened
3 Tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed or you can use honey or agave nectar…the sugar content will increase, therefore calories will increase
 1 large egg or 2 egg whites  – I used whites
2 cup homemade pumpkin puree or one 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
3/4 c. unsweetened almond or soy milk
Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting
 pumpkin cream cheese frosting for the recipe, click here 
*note: I doubled the cream cheese frosting recipe, which is perfect for this cake recipe; it averages about 2 tablespoons per serving. When I made my trifle I added more frosting about 4 tablespoons which only was enough for 6 mini trifles, so you can make the adjustments and do the math on the recipe. I ended up with 6 pieces of cake without frosting and stored in an air tight container for later.
Optional:  add McCormick red and yellow food coloring to the cream cheese frosting to make it really orange
Ingredients for the Whipped Topping
1 tub of Cool Whip Lite topping or you can make it fresh, click here for the recipe
optional: 1 handful of  Brachs candy corn for decorations
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking  powder, baking soda and cinnamon in medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well  blended, beat in egg or egg whites. Add pumpkin puree, mix well.
3. Next add  flour mixture in thirds and almond milk in thirds. Alternate 1/3 flour ingredients, mix and add 1/3 almond milk, mix well; repeat until both flour and almond milk are gone. Be sure to use your muscles, the batter will be some what  thick. Pour into greased 13x9x 2-inch baking dish.
4. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (depends on your oven too and altitude). Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, let it cool completely before icing or assemble to make your mini individual trifels. Makes 12 pieces or 12 mini trifles.
5. While cake is baking, prepare the pumpkin spice cream cheese recipe.
6. Assemble the trifle as mentioned in above post.
1 square or 1/12 piece Chocolate Gingerbread spice cake with 4 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting and 4 Tbsp of Lite Cool Whip:
Servings: 1 trifle/ Serving Size: 1
Weight Watcher points plus: 10/old WW points: 7
calories: 350/ protein: 7 g/ carbs: 45 g/ fiber: 4.5 g/ sugars: 19 g/ total fat: 17 g/ saturated fat: 8.5 g/ monounsaturated fat: 5 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 2 g/cholesterol: 33 mg/ sodium: 290 mg


Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread



If you crave pumpkin cheese cake, then this recipe is for you.  Did you know that one slice of a 5.5 oz of pumpkin cheese cake from Atlanta Bread Company has 510 calories, 31 grams of fat, with 15 grams of saturated fat, 51 grams of carbs  and 37 grams of sugars!  Yikes! According to it will take a 150 pound person about 1750 minutes of jogging to burn those calories off!  Instead, try this recipe I adapted from the  Better Homes and Garden site, you’ll save a lot of calories especially during the holidays.

This spread is so versatile, you spread on just about anything. Spread one to two tablespoons on your favorite toast or bagel. You can use it as a dip for sliced fruit, such as sliced apples. It also makes a great tasting toping on desserts such as cup cakes, ice cream or cake!

Pumpkin Spice cream cheese spread –  Lisa’s SMART Recipe
Servings: 5 / Serving size: 2 tbsp
Weight watcher points plus: 3
Calories:85 / Protein:2 g / Fat:5 g /Carbs: 10 g / Fiber: 1 g
4 oz low-fat cream cheese  or you can use fat-free c.c.
2 Tbsp  brown sugar (or you can use honey/agave/maple syrup/ stevia) – add more if you like it sweet
1/4 cup pumpkin purée from can (not canned  pumpkin pie)
1 tsp cinnamon ~ optional, I  love to add cinnamon in everything!
1/2  tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a mixing bowl add cream cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin, spices, and vanilla. Mix well with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
2. Transfer in a small bowl, let sit in refrigerator for a few hours to firm up.  Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Nutritional Analysis:
calories: 85 / protein: 2 g/ carbs: 10 g/ fiber: 1 g/ sugars: 7.5 g/ total fat: 5 g/ saturated fat: 3 g/ monounsaturated fatty acids: 1.5 g/ polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.3 g/cholesterol: 18 mg/ sodium: 75 mg
% Daily Values:
vitamin A: 44%/ vitamin K: 3%/ calcium: 3%/ iron: 2%/ phosphorus: 1%/ B6: 1%/ pantothenic acid: 1%/ copper: 1%/ magnesium: 1%