BOO! Oh-My-Goodness. This is certainly a Spooky, yet very Healthy Halloween meal if you have ever seen one! Completely original too! You know those moments where you just have a crazy meal idea and you just roll with it? Well.. this is one of those moments for sure. The thing is, this meal is brought to you by my husband. It and he were crazy! He was so exited to make this and really wanted to put our overstocked supply of winter squash to use! We just love all winter squash so he insisted we make this (as we both get super festive during the holidays.) 😉 Hey, I will take it, we had a blast being the dorks that we so very often are. (Meet Harry Potter's BIGGEST Fans Below, just saying!) I give you a Jack O' Lantern with a twist! A delicious and edible twist! Here we have a Kabocha Squash and/or a Sugar Pumpkin (we use both, why not!) filled with delicious chili (all the toppings please!) and served with homemade pumpkin seeds from both the Kabocha Squash and the Sugar Pumpkin! The best part is, once it is all assembled, you put it all in the oven to do all the work. For even more of an easy time, just buy store-bought chili to keep this simple OR make a Moni Chili Recipe of course is fine too! This super FUN, HEALTHY, DELICIOUS, HAPPY, and a KID-LOVIN' Halloween Idea. Great for parties- especially for you vegetarian and vegans, or if you want to just try something new- instead of carving plain old pumpkins! Try new flavors too, c'mon! The kids love the this too! They can decorate the mouth with the pumpkin seeds and the best part is, when you are ready to eat this, you can then cut the mouth out even more to get the chili oozing out like GUTS! 😉 Now it seems like a lot of work, but in reality, it really is not. Just a bit time consuming. Turn on some good Halloween tunes and make this "Spook-tacular" Meal! Want something sweet this Halloween BUT without all the fat, sugar, and calories? I thought so! Relax and try my Moni's " Blizzard-like" Spooky Protein Shake!! Really tasty and it involves your favorite "fun-size" candies. Also, here <-------you will find instructions for making the BEST Pumpkin Seeds ever if you are carving pumpkins with the kids and friends as well. Remember..."Spook-tacular Squash O' Lantern Chili Bowls" are 100% from my amazing and creative husband. Mu-ha-ha-ha, make them...if you dare!
Serves 2-4-(Makes 1 or 2 Spooky Squash O' Lanterns/Chili Bowls)
- 1 medium Kabocha Squash-preferably organic, cleaned and scooped out, seeds kept-cleaned and put aside
- 1 medium Sugar Pumpkin-preferably organic, cleaned and scooped out, seeds kept-cleaned and put aside
- olive oil
- sea salt, or additonal seasoning flavors that you like for the seeds
- NOTE: the number of people this is for, is what will determine how many kabocha squashes or sugar pumpkins you will need to buy. What I have listed is great for at least 2-4 people. If you are having more guests, just double everything.
- 1 store-bought 15 oz can of Organic Veggie Chili OR make a (Homemade Moni Chili Recipe!)-if using one squash or one pumpkin, just half this- otherwise use the full can.
- TOPPINGS: 1 cup of shredded sharp cheese, salsa, sour cream, and scallions. Anything else you fancy!
- FOR the Kids to decorate: Spaghetti Squash; for nose burgers, hair, or brains and Pumpkin seeds; for silly teeth- all optional-but so fun!
- Don't forget festive serving bowls or plates for the pumpkin seeds!
- You will need a medium sized Kabocha squash and/or Sugar Pumpkin for this. I make it with both! Wash the outside very well. With a sharp knife, gently and slowly cut the tops off the squash and pumpkin. Using a large spoon, scoop out the insides and place the seeds from both the kabocha (Yes- if you have never tried them, they are amazing too!) and Sugar Pumpkin in a colander. Rinse the seeds WELL and try to remove as much of the guts as possible-the Kabocha seeds are a bit harder to get off. Keep the seeds aside for now.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Using your hands to coat the squash and pumpkin is best, pour about 1-2 tbs of olive oil in your palm and coat the kabocha and pumpkin with olive oil. Use more oil if needed. Place on a jelly-roll pan with plenty of room because you are going to spread the seeds here too. Next is when you will also add the seeds. See, a two combo punch! (Are you with me so far!)
- Next, in a sauce pan full of water and 1 tsp of sea salt, add the seeds and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes and then reduce to a simmer for about another 5-8 minutes. (This is a great step and trick to get the ultimate pumpkin seeds!)Drain the seeds into paper towels and try to dry off the best you can. It is okay if they are not completely dry. In a bowl, mix about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (depends on how many seeds you have) to coat the seeds. Also, sprinkle with additional sea salt to your taste (or additonal seasoning that you love.) Place the seeds on the pan. Put the kabocha seeds near the kabocha squash and the pumpkin seeds near the pumpkin. This is so you know which one is which -(as the Kabocha Seeds cook slightly longer than the pumpkin seeds.)
- Now Put EVERTYHING in the pre-heated oven with a timer on for 10-13 minutes. When the timer goes off, check on the pumpkin seeds by pulling out of the oven and re-spreading the seeds. Cook about 3-5 mins more. I like them crispy so cook until they are to your liking; put them in a side dish. Put back in the oven everything else. Next let the kabocha seeds go for additional 4-8 more minutes. Check on them when the timer goes off and then take them out when they are nice and crispy; put in another side dish. Now place the squash and pumpkin back in for another 10-15 minutes. NOTE: you will slightly under cook the squash and pumpkin for this recipe as to what you may be used to doing when cooking with squash and pumpkin. This is so you can carve out the squash o' lantern faces! Plus, they need to hold up for the chili so overcooking will make it too mushy.
- When the timer goes off , Check on the kabocha and pumpkin squash by sticking a fork in a hidden side that you wont be carving into. It should be able to go through easy but not too soft.
- While the squash and pumpkin are cooking, heat up the pre-made chili OR (a homemade Moni Chili Recipe!) and get all the toppings ready. I like having shredded cheese, salsa, scallions, and sour cream all ready in small bowls.
- Let the squash and pumpkin cool for about 30-45 mins at least. NOTE: You can do all of these steps a day or two ahead and then just continue with step 8- when ready to serve and eat. 🙂
- Now place the cooled squash and pumpkin on a cutting board. Very carefully, with the sharp knife, cut out the triangles for each of the eyes, nose, and make a mouth any way you want. You can also eat those triangles now too if you want-GO for it!
- Place the squash and pumpkin in a large bowl or plate. Now very carefully spoon in the warm chili and top with you choice of toppings. If using any other props such as spaghetti squash and pumpkin seeds, now you can add in.
- Take a picture now because when you dive into it to eat, it will become a delicious but a guaranteed mess! That is why it is in the big bowl.
- So there you have it. Great for a Halloween party, great for your healthy friends, Great to do with kids to get them to try new flavors, and most of all- this is unique, something new, and just fun! Happy Halloween. As I mentioned, this recipe is 100% from the mind of my incredible husband!