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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
19 October 1999

HALLOWEEN PARTY TREATS - CRUELTY-FREE!

One of the best things about Halloween is having a spooky party for friends and relatives. But let's remember to keep our menu free of animal suffering by offering vegan and vegetarian treats. The following is a suggested menu to make your party a great success.

It's a good idea to start off the party with nutritious snacks to nibble on. Baby carrots, celery bites spread with peanut butter or Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese, cucumber slices, raw broccoli and cauliflower florets. Fruit, such as pineapple, apple and pear (coated with lemon juice to prevent browning) cut into chunks and skewered on toothpicks are great for dipping.

Pineapple-Tofu Dip

12.3 oz pkg Mori-nu extra firm tofu
1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 t vinegar
1 T cornstarch
1 T water
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut, optional

Place tofu in food processor. In small saucepan, bring the pineapple juice, maple syrup, and vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. In a small cup mix together the corn starch and water, then stir into the saucepan. Continue simmering, stirring constantly, until the syrup thickens. Pour the syrup into the food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in coconut, if desired. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled.

Also, pretzels, baked tortilla chips, air-popped popcorn and pita chips are a healthy alternative to greasy, fat-laden potato chips, corn chips and cheese curls. Try making this unique hummus recipe as a dip, omitting the hot sauce for kids if you want.

Spicy Orange Hummus

1 can (15 ounces) chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 oz) mandarin orange sections, well drained
1 T orange juice
1 t Dijon-style mustard
1/2 t curry powder
1/4 t ground ginger
2 t grated orange rind
Salt and pepper, hot sauce to taste

Process chick peas, orange sections, orange juice, mustard, curry powder, ginger in food processor until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Stir in orange rind; season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Now, on to the goodies! If you didn't get enough in your trick or treat bag, here are recipes sure to tempt your sweet tooth.

Spicy Cutout Cookies

Make them festive with Halloween cookie cutters

1/2 cup soy margarine
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t ground cloves

Cream margarine and sugar. Blend in molasses, water, flour, salt, soda, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Cover; chill 2-3 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough 1/4 thick on lightly floured surface, adding additional flour to dough if it is too sticky. Cut with Halloween cookie cutters; place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheet to cool on wire rack.

When completely cooled, frost with Lemon Icing, below. (* Vegan note -- confectioner's sugar may not be vegan. It is a combination of sugar, often refined, and corn starch. Refined sugar can be processed thru bone char to whiten. If you do not eat refined sugar, you may want to enjoy the cookies without this icing).

Lemon Icing

1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Lemon juice

Put sugar in a small bowl. A little at a time, add lemon juice until the icing is a smooth spreading consistency, stirring well. Frost the cookies; decorate with raisins or carob chips for eyes!

Crispy Rice Treats

A yummy alternative to the kind made with marshmallows

1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 T dark molasses
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal

Spray 8x8 square baking pan with cooking spray. Combine corn syrup, sugar and molasses in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add cereal, stirring quickly until all pieces are coated. Press into prepared pan with spatula coated with cooking spray. Cool slightly. Cut into squares with knife coated with cooking spray. Store in airtight container. Makes 25 squares.

Popcorn Gorp

A take-off on the original GORP

10 c Air-popped popcorn
1/2 c Salted pumpkin seeds
1/2 c Salted sunflower seeds
1 c Dried fruit - cherries, apricots, cranberries, raisins
1/2 c Banana chip pieces
1 1/2 c Unrefined sugar
1/2 c Light corn syrup
1/4 c Water
1/4 c Soy margarine
1 t Vanilla

Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl coated with cooking spray; set aside. In medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water; bring to a boil. Cook, covered 3 minutes. Uncover and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 260 F (4 - 5 minutes). Add soy margarine and vanilla; cook 1 additional minute, stirring constantly. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Turn mixture onto greased baking sheet and spread using hands coated with canola oil. When completely cool, break into pieces.

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