It’s Almost Halloween!
Can you believe Halloween is next week? I don’t know about you, but my kids are incredibly excited about Halloween. They have been talking about it for weeks! Literally!
This year, the kids are going to dress up as characters from Harry Potter. They recently watched the movies and are a little obsessed with “casting spells”. I’ve been turned into a frog, a dog and I think once they were talking about turning me into a “booty butt”! Where do they get these ideas from???
As a special surprise for my daughter, I made her a Harry Potter Inspired lunch box. I thought it would be fun to have a themed lunch to celebrate Halloween. She was so excited to see her lunch when she packed her bag this morning!
When I dropped her off at school today, I asked my daughter to let me know what she thought of her lunch today. This afternoon, when I picked her up from school she said, “Mommy, I ate every bit of my lunch and I thought it was so delicious!”. Now that’s the best compliment a mom can get! She also asked to have exactly the same thing tomorrow for lunch!
Here’s what the Harry Potter-inspired lunch box contains:
- Pumpkin Pasties: a savory pumpkin-filled pastry pocket. Crisp and flaky on the outside, pumpkin-y and herbaceous on the inside. The crust of this pastie was actually the gluten free pizza crust recipe! More details below.
- The Golden Snitch: this is a chocolate cake ball that I made using my Chocolate Mug Cake recipe (without the Nutella). Once the cake cooled, I added in a couple tablespoons of organic chocolate frosting and mixed well. Roll into balls and freeze while you melt equal parts white and yellow candy melts. Stir the melts till super smooth, then dip the cake balls into the candy coating to create a thin layer. Place on wax paper to allow the coating to set. While it sets, cut a toothpick in half, and cut two small wings from paper. Tape a wing onto each of the toothpicks. Once the cake ball coating has set, insert the toothpick into the cake ball to look like wings.
- Magic wands: gluten free pretzel sticks, dunked in white candy melts and sprinkled with halloween-colored sprinkles. Is this necessarily healthy? No. But is it tons of fun for kids? You betcha! Olivia even shared these with one of her friends, which I thought was really sweet.
- Spinach and multi-colored cherry tomatoes: see, there’s healthy stuff in this lunch!
- Mini “Pumpkin” made of a peeled mandarin orange and a small slice of a sugar snap pea. Also its healthy!
- Yellow lightning bolts: they were supposed to look like Harry’s forehead scar. Made of yellow candy melts and a silicone mold from Michaels.
- Cat shaped turkey and cheese whole wheat sandwiches: a cookie cutter made this super easy, plus Hermione had a cat and Olivia will be dressed as Hermione for Halloween.
This lunch box was so much fun to brainstorm and think of recipes. Plus the best benefit is seeing Olivia really enjoy it and talk or share with her friends.
This lunchbox balances sweet and savory flavors, which keeps it super interesting for the kids. My favorite savory recipe are these Pumpkin pasties. The crust was made so easily using the pizza crust dough that I posted a couple months ago. After the pasties bake in the oven, the crust had become lightly golden brown and crisp. It’s a great contrast to the creaminess of the pumpkin and sage filling.
To make these pasties even easier, I used a dumpling maker but you don’t need that tool to make this dish. You can cut circles out of the dough using a cookie cutter, then add a teaspoon of the filling to the middle of the circle. Fold up the circle around the filling to create a half moon shape. Lastly, crimp the edges, either using your fingers or a fork, to close the pastie and ensure the filling doesn’t come out. The dough is very forgiving so even if the dough breaks a bit while working with it, you can easily pinch any cracks back together.
Now my number one tip when making these pasties… don’t overfill the pasties! Believe me, I definitely added too much filling at times and it made the pastie split open while I was trying to fold the dough around the filling. There was a mess everywhere! As tempting as it is to add a bunch of filling, a little filling really goes a long way.
I was so happy with how this Harry Potter-inspired lunch box turned out! It was even better when my daughter requested it again tomorrow! Now I just have to think of more Halloween lunch box ideas! If you have any, please let me know in the comments below, or at @nourish_with_renata and use the hashtag #nourishwithrenata.
Happy Almost Halloween everyone!
A Harry Potter-inspired treat perfect for lunch boxes, snacks or a Halloween appetizer!
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ tsp ground sage
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 1 batch of the Easy No-Yeast Pizza Dough
In a small saucepan, add olive oil and saute the onion till tender.
Add in the garlic and stir till aromatic, about 1 minute.
Add in the pumpkin puree and stir well to combine.
Add in sage, salt and pepper and stir again. Taste the filling and adjust seasonings as desired.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely.
For the pastie dough, divide the dough in half and roll out to about ¼ inch thick.
Use a cookie cutter to cut large circles out of the dough. I made my circles about 4” in diameter.
Place a teaspoon of the cooled pumpkin filling inside the dough circle. Fold up the sides of the dough to create a half moon shape.
Crimp or pinch the edges to seal the half moon shape and ensure the filling doesn’t fall out. Repeat this with the remaining filling and dough.
Place pasties on a baking tray with a non-stick sheet or similar, and bake in a preheated 350 deg F oven for approx 20-25 minutes, till the pasties are lightly golden brown. Cooking time will also depend on the size of the pasties you are making.
Allow the pasties to cool for about 5-10 minutes before eating.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
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