Ellie Krieger's Halloween 'Spooky' Black Bean Dip recipe. / Renee Comet / USA WEEKEND
Halloween and candy go hand-in-hand, but the sheer quantity of sweets can be one of the more frightening things about the holiday. While it’s fine to indulge a little, you can prevent a full-out sugar overdose and keep the holiday spirit alive by serving some scary-themed healthy nibbles at your party. This easy-to-make black bean dip with spider web topping is a treat that really does the trick.
More hauntingly good-for-you ideas:
Eyeball Eggs. Cut hard-boiled eggs in half; place sliced olives in the center of each to make eyeballs.
Witches’ Fingers. Roll pizza dough into the shape of fingers and place a sliced almond at the tip as a nail. Bake at 450 degrees until browned. Serve with marinara sauce.
Vampire Blood. Serve cups of tomato juice — spiked with lime and a dash of hot sauce, if desired.
Jack-O-Lantern Soup. Ladle up puréed pumpkin soup in carved-out mini-pumpkins.
Goblin Goo. Mash avocado with lime juice, then stir in chopped fresh cilantro, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Serve as a dip with green vegetables.
"Scary" Spider Web Black Bean Dip
• Tb. olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 Tbs. seeded and minced jalapeño pepper
• Two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice
• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 Tbs. water
• ½ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. ground black pepper, to taste
For the spider web garnish:
• ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
• 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
• 1 small plastic spider (optional)
Plus, baked tortilla chips, for serving and 1 small plastic spider (optional).
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute.
Place the beans in a food processor. Add the onion mixture and the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Spread the dip into a wide, shallow serving dish.
To make the spider web garnish, stir the sour cream and lime juice together in a small bowl. Place it into one end of a plastic bag, and snip a small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe the sour cream mixture onto the dip in the shape of a spider web.
Place the plastic spider on top. Serve with chips.
Yield: 8 servings
Per serving (1/4 cup dip): 120 calories, 18g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 3g fat (1g saturated), 5g fiber, 5mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium
Contributing editor and registered dietitian Ellie Krieger is best known as the host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite. Her most recent cookbook is Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy.