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“Party Vegan” Halloween

Since today is “Flashback Friday” and my theme this week is Halloween, it seems fitting that today’s post is favorites from Halloweens past, specifically the Halloween menu from my book, Party Vegan: Fabulous, Fun Food for Every Occasion.
Besides, this menu is so much fun, it deserves repeating.  As you can see, each menu item is orange and black, beginning with the Black Olive Tapenade on Carrot Sticks (and/or Orange Bell Pepper Strips).  Best of all, you don’t need a party to enjoy these recipes since each dish can be enjoyed individually anytime, from this Black Bean and Butternut Chili (recipe below):
… to these adorable pumpkin muffins (photo of muffins and chili by Tamasin Noyes).  
 —    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
If you don’t own Party Vegan, you may be interested to know that it’s not only about parties!  It’s about celebrating vegan food every day, including holidays, family dinners, and casual get-togethers.  To me, every day we eat vegan food is a reason to celebrate, and the recipes in Party Vegan reflect that — as a bonus, you’ll get a complete menu and recipes for holidays and get-togethers throughout the year.  Now, here’s the recipe for that “spooktacular” 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.

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