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9 Quick, Hearty Meals to Curb a Halloween Sugar Crash

Heading out for the annual neighborhood Halloween stroll can end up with a little too much dipping into the trick-or-treat sack. Unfortunately, snacking on candy and chocolate can make blood sugar levels spike, leaving you hungrier and craving more sugar — a vicious cycle. The key is to sneak in a fiber- and protein-rich meal before you head out with the ghouls and goblins. Since trick-or-treating is the priority, dinner needs to be quick and easy. These meals fit the bill and will keep the costumed herd fueled to haunt the ‘hood well after sundown. Happy Halloween!

Crispy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

The slow cooker can be your best friend on busy days like Halloween. Just toss chicken thighs with a sweet and spicy dry rub and layer into the insert while you’re having your morning coffee. Set the temperature to low and come home to crispy, tender chicken. Serve a few thighs next to this tangy, fiber-rich Cole Slaw with Poppyseed Dressing.

Curried Chicken Pitas

The dressing in this chicken salad recipe has yogurt mixed in for added protein and gut-healthy probiotics. The cranberries and diced pears add a touch of sweetness that kids give the thumbs up and it’s all tucked into a handheld whole wheat pita. Serve these pockets with some Garlic-Roasted Potatoes or this Lemony Carrot Salad made with shredded carrots.

Cashew Salmon with Apricot Couscous

If you’re looking for something a little fancier (but still speedy) for your Halloween pre-game meal, try this simple broiled salmon. After it comes out of the oven, it’s served with a gingery apricot couscous and topped with a lemony yogurt sauce and toasted cashews. 

Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry

Stir fry delivers big on flavor in little time, making it a reliable “meal-in-a-hurry” option. This version doesn’t have the heat level of most Szechuan recipes, making it an excellent choice for little ones. Tofu and greens beans provide plant-based protein and, when served over brown rice, this meal hits all the notes to keep a sugar crash on the ropes.

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

Briny capers and vinegar add tang to the fresh tomato and eggplant skillet sauce in this easy Italian-inspired recipe. When it’s ready, spoon the sauce over a bowl of fiber-rich whole wheat pasta and fresh herbs. This dish is sure to fuel your trick-or-treaters for knocking on doors late into the evening.

Turkey Kofta with Tahini Sauce

Kofta, essentially a Middle Eastern spiced meatball, is formed onto skewers and grilled, making them more fun to eat. The yogurt and tahini dipping sauce can also be drizzled over a green salad or planks of grilled zucchini.

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Lean ground turkey is the base in these colorful wraps. When the turkey is ready, set up a make-your-own wrap station with shredded carrots, cabbage, and herbs and let the kids serve themselves while you get your costume on.

Spaghetti Frittata

Turn leftover whole wheat pasta into a hearty “breakfast-for-dinner” in this one-skillet meal. Eggs are whisked with fresh herbs and grated Parmesan, mixed with the pasta, and cooked right on the stovetop until golden brown all over. To boost the veggie factor, throw in some sautéed greens or slice into wedges and serve next to a hearty Kale Salad.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Baked not fried, these healthified crunchy tenders are a crowd-pleaser. If you’re the type that plans ahead, make a double batch and freeze some tenders on a baking sheet to reheat before the candy haul starts. They can be stuffed into a pita with greens, chopped over a salad, or broiled with mozzarella and dunked in a side of jarred tomato sauce for a quick take on Chicken Parmesan.

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