Food & Drink
9:08 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Are Healthy & Halloween Mutually Exclusive?

On Halloween it's not just ghosts and goblins you need to fear.  There's enough candy out there to fuel a perpetual sugar high.

Today Central Standard brings some reason to the feeding frenzy.  Jabulani Leffall consults with Dr. Paul Thompson and healthy recipe maven Beth Bader for an approach to Halloween that keeps the fun but cuts the health risks.  Learn about which chocolate is best, fun foods you and your kids can prepare and enjoy, and how to approach Halloween as the gateway to a smarter and healthier holiday season.

Dr. Paul Thompson is a nationally renowned Age Management practitioner and urologist. He has helped patients around the country reverse diabetes, combat obesity, fight off genetic health risks, and has guided them to living longer and healthier lives. Dr. Thompson is a co-founder and board member of USMD a Medical Development Company. He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Chief of Surgery, Chief of Staff, and head of the Credential Committee at Southeast Missouri Hospital. He is currently the CMO and CEO of Cenegenics Texas Medical Institute.

Beth Bader is co-author of "The Cleaner Plate Club: More Than 100 Recipes for Real Food Your Kids Will Love." She was raised on a farm in northern Missouri long before raising your own chickens and the u-pick local strawberry patch were “cool.” Beth helps parents understand picky eating behaviors; where they originate, and how to deal with them creatively to get kids to eat better — without any sneaking, lying or fights.  In addition to her book, Beth writes for EatLocalChallenge.com, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, and Dr. Greene.
Beth has been a photojournalist, writer, and shark wrangler. If you ask her whether it's harder to wrangle a shark or dress a toddler, the answer is the shark — but only because they bite harder. Raising a child is way harder than sharks otherwise.


Recipe by Beth Bader, co-author of The Cleaner Plate Club
Pumpkin–White Cheddar Soup

Pumpkin works well in this soup, but you can substitute mashed sweet potatoes, or even use canned pumpkin if desired. If you like, serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche, or even a bit more of the shredded white cheddar instead of the “ghost croutons.”

1 10 lb. pumpkin (to make 5 cups of puree, or 2 {1/2} cans pumpkin)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing pumpkin skin
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup carrot diced small (in {1/4}-inch cubes)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, or 1 tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or {1/2} teaspoon dried
{1/4} cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup apple cider
3{1/2} cups milk
12 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Skip to step 4 if using canned pumpkin.
2. To prepare the pumpkin, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds and pulp. Lightly oil the skin and place on a baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for about 1 hour, until the sides of the pumpkin give easily when pressed.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. Scrape the flesh from the skin into measuring cup, (you need 5 cups). Purée in a food processor until smooth. (Any extra pumpkin purée can be frozen for future use. Store in 1-cup amounts or in 15-ounce portions to be equal to a can of pumpkin purée.)
4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, sage, and thyme. Sweat the vegetables for about 10 minutes.
5. Add the flour and stir to coat the veggies and cook the flour for a couple minutes. Add the stock and the cider and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally to let the soup thicken a bit, for 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin and stir, bringing back to a simmer. Add the milk, carefully bringing the soup back to a simmer.
Last, add the cheese in small handfuls, stirring as you go to melt it in completely. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.
Serves 8.

Recipe courtesy of The Cleaner Plate Club, By Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin, Storey Publishing
For the Croutons:
4 slices of sourdough bread
1 tsp. olive oil for drizzling
2 oz. goat cheese, softened, or extra white cheddar shredded

Using a small ghost cookie cutter, cut ghost shapes out from the bread. Save the crusts and extra, diced, in a plastic bag in the freezer for your Thanksgiving stuffing. Or, you can drizzle the crusts with extra olive oil and bake for salad croutons.
Place the bread ghosts on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for five minutes in the 350-degree oven until crisp. Remove from oven and carefully spread each ghost with softened goat cheese, or sprinkle with extra white cheddar.
Bake for five more minutes until the cheese melts and you get bits of golden brown showing. Remove from oven. “Float” one ghost on each serving of soup.

Pumpkin Bruschetta

For the Bruschetta:
12 slices of sourdough bread
2 Tbs. olive oil for drizzling


Using a small pumpkin cookie cutter, cut pumpkin shapes out from the bread. Save the crusts and extra, diced, in a plastic bag in the freezer for your Thanksgiving stuffing. Or, you can drizzle the crusts with extra olive oil and bake for salad croutons.
Place the pumpkin ghosts on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for five minutes in the 350-degree oven until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Spread each pumpkin with the hummus below, adding a parsley leaf on each “stem” for garnish.


Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Hummus

1 lb. sweet potato, diced, peeled and steamed for 30 minutes, or poke holes in skin and microwave on high for 5 minutes, then scoop out flesh when cooled
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. mace

Pulse in food processor until smooth, adding a bit more olive oil if needed. Serve on the pumpkin bruschetta, or with pita, pita chips or vegetables.

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