Better Nutrition

HEALTHY DISH Spooktacul­ar Halloween Dinner

A healthy dose of festive fun to delight your little ghouls and goblins

- By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, and Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC

Festive Cheeseburg­er Jack- O’- Lanterns to delight young ghouls and goblins.

here’s an old saying that in real estate, the three most important things are location, location, and location. In food, presentati­on may not be quite as important as location in real estate, but it’s defi nitely up there. ( Just try getting a kid to eat something “healthy” that looks “icky.”) So when Chef Jeannette fi rst sent me the recipe for this delightful and unusual Halloween dish, my fi rst thought was, “Wow, this looks great!”

But presentati­on means nothing if the nutrition isn’t there. And the nutrition is here in spades with bell peppers— one of the best- kept secrets in the vegetable world. They’re an excellent source of vitamins C and A ( beta- carotene) as well as potassium and vitamin K. You can use orange or red peppers for this dish. Reds are the sweetest of the bells, and they’re actually just fully ripened green peppers with a milder fl avor.

This really is a super- cool meal on so many levels. It’s like a “cheeseburg­er light” ( meaning light on the starch and sugar, not on the lean, healthy meat.) Chef Jeannette used whole- grain brown rice instead of a bun, but kids will love the familiar fl avors. Plus, as Jeannette pointed out to me, kids might be a lot more likely to actually eat a sweet raw pepper because it’s both the “bowl” for the cheeseburg­er and also looks like a jack- o’- lantern!

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