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“Party Vegan” Halloween Menu

With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favorite Halloween ideas.  I’ve always enjoyed making food that fits the occasion, and few occasions are more fun to cook for than Halloween.  Even when I’m not throwing a special Halloween party, I like to make a special “orange and black” dinner on Halloween “just because.”

Below is the Halloween menu from my new book Party Vegan. As you can see, each menu item is orange and black, which looks positively “spook-tacular” (sorry, couldn’t resist) when served together.  Best of all, you don’t need a party to enjoy these recipes since each dish can be enjoyed individually anytime. 
For my own Halloween dinner this year, I’ll be making the Black Bean and Butternut Chili shown above (recipe below) and a batch of these adorable pumpkin muffins. 

To go with the chili and muffins, I’ll also make a tossed salad garnished with black olives and shredded carrots, of course. (By the way, these photos were taken by Tami at Vegan Appetite, who also tested many of the recipes for this book.)
— Menu —
Halloween Boo-ffet
Black Olive Tapenade with Carrot Sticks and Orange Bell Pepper Strips
Black Bean and Butternut Chili
Savory Pumpkin Muffins with Black Sesame Seeds

Black Rice Salad (with grated carrot, diced orange bell pepper, etc.)
Orange-Carrot Cake with Dark Chocolate Icing

Here’s the recipe for the chili:
Black Bean and Butternut Chili
This flavorful chili makes a great centerpiece when served in a large pumpkin shell. You can also serve it in a crock pot on the “keep warm” setting. (This recipe is from Party Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2010, John Wiley and Sons.)
1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 1/2 cups cooked or 3 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
1 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the squash into 1/4-inch dice and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, squash, carrot, and bell pepper, if using. Cover and cook, until softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and chipotle. Stir in the apple juice, chili powder, allspice, sugar, and salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Uncover and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.