I remember getting absolutely frantic the day of Halloween. Scratch that… I was frantic the days leading up to EVERY holiday.
Besides making my costumes, I would consistently devise a Halloween treat plan that would help our crew (usually my best friend, my sister and her best friend) tackle each street with precision. No house was left unvisited. I knew which homes were lucrative and which were better left alone. Which ones most consistently tried to scare children, and the tame ones that wouldn’t jolt us too much.
Regardless of weather, timing, or how old we got, Mom would always make sure that my sister and I left for trick-or-treating on a full stomach of something healthy. I guess her thought was that if she filled us up with a nice warm stew, we’d be less likely to gorge ourselves as we went from house to house.
Moms, they’re always thinking!
We’d enjoy a hot bowl of soup (it’s usually really cold in Alberta on Halloween), sloppy joes, shepherds pie, that sort of thing.
I was always resistant to eat, a bit to excited about the evening ahead I’m sure. But had I been presented with an opportunity to carve a bell pepper and stuff it full of spaghetti, I think I would have been a bit more thrilled about the whole Halloween dinner experience.
Heck, even as a 26 year old I enjoyed carving these faces and stuffing them with pasta.
Who doesn’t like carving jack-o’-lanterns, common now.
You can fill these peppers with just about anything. Pasta and red sauce, add some meat in there if you like, maybe some cheese… heck you could stuff them with meat and bake them like Jenna did here. I liked the whole spaghetti idea because it looks like guts. Kinda goes with the whole Halloween thing.
Whatever you decide, eating a jack-o-lantern face is so ridiculous awesome regardless your age.
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- 4 medium zucchinis, cut into noodle shape
- or 8 oz. gluten-free brown rice spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
- 4 bell peppers
- pumpkin carver
- 1 large hot house tomato
- ½ cup (85 grams) sun dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- ½ red pepper
- ¼ red onion
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, soaked for a couple of hours
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce – I used Braggs All Purpose Seasoning
- 1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 pitted medjool date
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Begin preparing pasta. Once cooked, set aside.
- Meanwhile, carve faces in your peppers. To do this, cut a round section on the top of the pepper. Discard the seeds and scrape away the insides. Being very careful, begin to carve the jack-o’-lantern face. When complete, set aside.
- To prepare pasta sauce – add all ingredients to the bowl of your food processor. Process for 1 minute, or until smooth.
- Transfer to a large bowl, add pasta and stir to coat.
- Divide pasta amongst prepared peppers and pull strands of pasta through the mouths or eyes of the jack-o-lanterns.
Round up all of your ingredients. The sauce will take just seconds to prepare, so get your noodles ready while you carve the bell peppers.
I highly advise getting a pumpkin carver for the job. I’m pretty sure using a knife could lead to a catastrophe. Bell peppers are very fragile. They’re soft so they carve much easier than a pumpkin. Either way, this would be a fun activity for the kids!
Once the jack-o-lanterns are complete, get to preparing your sauce. Place everything in the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
You can choose to use a couple of different noodles. I made my jack-o-lantern with zucchini noddles for a grain-free alternative and Kevin chose brown rice pasta. Kelp noodles would have been really good, too.
To make the zucchini noodles, I used the spiralizer that I purchased from Amazon over 4 years ago. It does the trick!
Once the noodles are done, mix with the sauce, and stuff in the peppers.
Pull a couple of strands of pasta through to make it look cool and you’re done!
Simple, healthy and spooky!