As the mom of 4, I would much rather mealtime be a time for sharing about our days, rather than have it turn into a constant battle trying to get my picky children to eat. However, I don’t want to resort to unhealthy processed foods just to get my kids to happily consume their food. So I am always on a quest to make healthy foods fun whether that is through presentation or by having the kids help me prepare the meal. This quick and easy Halloween recipe for kids was a hit in our house. It’s amazing sometimes how a fun presentation can make all the difference in how much they eat!
I shared a vegetarian version of this recipe last year over at Miss Organic’s Kitchen. However, my kids prefer them with ground beef and a pizza flavor, so I am sharing that simple recipe here.
Although this would be a fun meal for anytime during the month of October, I think this would be great to serve before the kids go out trick-or-treating. It is fairly healthy and contains plenty of fiber and nutrients to keep them full as they are roaming the neighborhood. Hopefully that way they won’t want to eat all that Halloween candy at one sitting when they get home!
Stuffed Bell Pepper Jack-o-lanterns
- 4-6 orange bell peppers
- 1 tbs butter, coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup brown rice, soaked overnight and cooked
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp each basil and oregano
- 1 lb ground beef
- 8 oz block of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Cut off about 1/2 to 1 inch of the tops of the bell peppers and remove all the seeds. Wash well and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, carve a jack-o-lantern face in the side of each of the peppers. Set aside. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the beef with the onions and garlic. After it is fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Fill each bell pepper and replace the top. Put in a steamer basket and steam for 20-30 minutes or until peppers are tender.
Notes about the Stuffed Bell Pepper Jack-o-lanterns Halloween Recipe for Kids:
- You can leave the cheese out and sprinkle it on top after the peppers have cooked, but my kids prefer it cheesy throughout.
- Try to use grass fed, pastured beef if you can afford it. Cows on factory farms are fed a diet that is meant to fatten them up as fast as possible.
- Bell peppers are on the dirty dozen list, so to limit pesticide exposure buy organic if you can find them. Our store never carries organic orange peppers – only the red and green ones.
- The rice both should be soaked overnight before cooking. This lessens cooking time and optimizes nutrition.
- When you used canned goods, try to find brands that are BPA free. I am pretty sure Eden Foods does not use BPA in their cans.
- I recommend buying your cheese in a block and grating it yourself. Commercially packaged shredded cheese has additives to prevent it from clumping. I don’t know about you, but I can do without the added chemicals!
- You will probably have filling leftover. That’s ok, it makes a great lunch the next day! Or freeze it for the next time you make cabbage rolls.
This Halloween recipe for kids is participating at the link parties listed here.