Tag Archives: longan

Happy Halloween and a new pumpkin dip recipe!

Happy Halloween, all!  Are you and your kids sugared out yet?  I have some last minute, simple ideas for you to help Halloween go smoothly with a healthier side to things.

I was invited back on my local ABC affiliate station ABC7’s Suncoast View today to show off my nutritious snacks and lunches.  They have been eating candy all week so I tried to simplify things for them and show them how to feed little tummies before all that candy hits.  

I made a couple of lunches to show a few of the things I like to pack for my kiddos.

Eyeball lunch in Planetbox for Halloween

I made mini potato gnocci pasta with marinara sauce.  I used a halved cherry tomato for the eyes and black olive slices for the pupils and smile.  To the left in her Planetbox Rover are organic raspberries and green grapes, in the top left is a rambutan eyeball with apple mouth and sliced and slivered almond fangs for teeth.  In the center is a fig treat I purchased at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market from Raw Raw Foods (homemade by them, not me!) and in the top are longan fruit eyeballs with blueberries in the center.  I will put a link at the bottom to show you where you can purchase these adorable eye bento picks.

Bat sandwiches, pumpkin dip & cinnamon chips in Easy Lunchboxes

For the second lunch, I made bat sandwiches from Rudi’s Organic Whole Wheat bread. Inside is a thin layer of hummus, fresh baby greens and cucumber slices.  Also in the Easy Lunchboxes container are homemade cinnamon tortilla chips and a pumpkin dip recipe I created. Recipes below to make your own!   In the top of the lunchbox in the spider cup are mini bell pepper slices.

Before I say another word, I have to thank my dear friend Michelle Donner who has 2 sites to like.  I insist!  The first is her plant-based recipe website called Take A Whole Bite and the second is her amazing talent for photography which you can find here at Michelle Donner Photography.  Michelle has played my Sous Chef, Food Designer and morale coach behind the scenes for all of the food prep for these shows.  My eternal gratitude for her support!


 Homemade Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Tortilla chip cutouts

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  I picked up a package of whole grain tortillas at the store and broke out the cookie cutter stash for these homemade, oli-free chips.  I cutout all these fun shapes which is a labor of love.  Pitas also work well for these chips, and you can enlist the kids for the cutout work.  I place the cutouts on a baking sheet (ungreased) lined with parchment paper for simple cleanup.

Maple Syrup painted chips

I avoid oil for many reasons, but the most important of which is the artery clogging factor.  Secondly, it’s just a ton of empty calories your family doesn’t need.  I brushed these chips lightly with maple syrup to get the toppings to stick.

In a bowl on the side I mixed 1/3 cup of vegan sugar with 1 tsp of cinnamon and mixed it well.  Then I just sprinkled over the chips to cover.  

Baking chips

Pop these babies in the oven.  I set the timer for 5 minutes (at 350) and watched carefully after 5 minutes.  Mine took between 7-10 minutes total to cook.  Everyone’s oven is different so just watch closely after about 5 minutes so they don’t burn.

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips by bentoriffic

And here’s the final product!  Delicious homemade cinnamon chips without all the added ingredients!

I made a Dairy-Free Pumpkin Dip recipe to go with the chips.  Here’s what you’ll need:

1 can pumpkin puree

1 can cannellini beans

1/3 cup maple syrup

3/4 pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp sea salt or pink salt

This will take you 5 minutes to make.  Dump all these ingredients in a good blender or food processor, mix until ingredients are blended well, place in serving dish and serve right away or refrigerate for later for a firmer dip.  You can add spice and syrup to taste at the end to adjust to your liking.

Bentoriffic's Pumpkin Dip

This recipe is allergy friendly.  It can also be served with apple or pear slices to keep it gluten free.  It is packed with potassium and Vitamin A.  As with all orange veggies, the beta carotene helps with immunity, growth and vision health.

Finished Pumpkin Dip-Bentoriffic

IMG_0921Here I am ready to go on set!

Below is the link to my 5 minute tv segment.  You will have to click on the icon for Healthy Halloween Snacks, and the video doesn’t work from phone and iPads from what I understand. Thank you again for your support.  Wishing everyone a safe Halloween!

Healthy Halloween Snacks tv segment on ABC7’s Suncoast View


Things I used to make these lunches:

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 3.41.42 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 3.49.13 PM