Carve your Pumpkins and your Peppers, Too!

MEDIA SEGMENT: IAND Media Spokesperson Paige Hoyle, RD, LD on KCCI News 8



Healthy and Halloween typically don’t go hand in hand, but have no fear, there’s no tricks here. Join Paige Hoyle, Hy-Vee Dietitian with the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as shares a hauntingly healthy Halloween recipe to fill up your families before they fill up their candy bags. We all know that candy reigns supreme during this time of the year, but it’s far from the only thing to put you in the spooky spirit. Having a healthy meal before the kids go trick-or-treating can reduce the temptation to snack between candy stops. Between a freakishly flavorful dinner to trading out treats, Paige will discuss several ways to not totally blow your diet on the spookiest night of the year.


Curb the Candy Craze


Tricked Out Peppers

You don’t HAVE to feel the sugar rush to celebrate Halloween. Jack-o-lantern Stuffed Peppers are the perfect dinner idea that will keep you feeling satisfied, all while carrying over the carving fun. High in fiber and vitamin C, peppers are the jack of all

trades – healthy, flavorful, and versatile. It’s a dinner idea that’s so good, it’s scary!


Treat Yo Self to Natural Sweetness

While it’s difficult to encourage healthy eating on Halloween, it’s not impossible, especially when it comes to fresh, sweet fruit. Turn clementines into pumpkins and bananas into ghosts for a fun and frightful twist at your next Halloween party.


Keepin’ It Teal

Support the Teal Pumpkin Project and create a safer Halloween for all. Displaying a teal pumpkin on your doorstep lets others know that you will be handing out allergy-free treats OR other non-food Halloween goodies to trick-or-treaters! Trick-or-Toy!


Jack-O’-Lantern Stuffed Peppers

(Serves 6)


All you need:

  • 6 orange bell peppers

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 jalapeno, cored and diced

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup corn

  • 1 cup salsa

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese


All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cut off the top of each pepper. Remove and discard the cores and seeds. Using a sharp paring knife, carve a Jack O’Lantern face into each pepper carefully.

  3. Drizzle the inside of each pepper with olive oil and place the peppers upright in an 8x8 baking dish.

  4. Next, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté garlic, onions, and jalapenos until soft, about 5 minutes. Add beef to the pan and cook through until no pink remains.

  5. Add rice, beans, and corn to the pan along with the salsa, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  6. Divide beef mixture between the hallowed out peppers. Top with mozzarella cheese.

  7. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional


10-15 minutes. Serve warm!


Nutrition Facts per serving (1 stuffed pepper):

367 calories, 17 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 550 mg sodium, 32 g total carbohydrate,

6 g fiber, 4 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, 25 g protein

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