Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP The meatballs, pizza and quesadillas may all be prepared in advance and cooked or heated just before serving.
BLOODY EYEBALL SANDWICHES
1 large egg
1 pound lean ground beef (93 percent lean)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce provolone cheese, cut in 1/2-inch rounds
1/4 cup sliced green pimento-stuffed olives
1 1/2 cups tomato-basil sauce
6 potato (or regular) hot dog rolls
1. Coat a baking sheet or broiler pan with cooking spray; preheat the broiler.
2. Beat the egg lightly with a fork in a large bowl. Add the beef, bread crumbs and Parmesan; mix thoroughly. Form into 18 round balls (each about 11/2 inches in diameter), press lightly on the top and bottom to slightly flatten.
3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on the undersides, about 4 minutes; turn and cook until again browned, about another 4 minutes. Transfer to the prepared pan.
4. Top each meatball with a piece of provolone and broil until just melted, about 2 minutes. As soon as it comes out of the oven, top each piece of cheese with an olive slice stuffed with pimento.
5. Warm the tomato sauce in the skillet; place the meatballs "eyeballs" facing up in the sauce until warmed through. To serve, spoon the sauce in the folds of each roll and top with the meatballs.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 315 calories, 22 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 594 mg sodium
SPIDER WEB PIZZA PIE
"Hide" pepperoni or other surprise ingredients under the tomato sauce for a tasty Halloween trick.
1 (12-inch) whole-wheat thin pizza crust
1 cup bottled tomato sauce
4 ounces mozzarella, cut in thin 2-inch long strips
2 to 3 pitted black olives
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet pan and spread the sauce over the surface, leaving a 1/2-inch border free. Form the web using the mozzarella: start in the center and form 8 spokes that extend to about a half-inch from the outer edge. Join the spokes in concentric circles. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden.
3. Immediately form spider on the warm cheese near the center of the web: cut 1 olive in half and invert one half to form the biggest part of the body; cut the remaining half in half again and use 1 piece for the head. Cut 8 thin lengthwise strips from the remaining olives for the legs.
4. To serve, cut in 8 slices.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 299 calories, 16 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 12 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 945 mg sodium
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 (16-ounce) can low-fat refried beans
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded reduced-fat orange Cheddar
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1. Preheat the broiler; coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Stack the tortillas and, using the point of a paring knife, cut away enough of the top to form a pumpkin stem. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, cut out triangles for the eyes and nose and a big mouth with teeth. Repeat using a total of 4 of the tortillas.
3. Spread each of the 4 tortillas that do not have a face with an even layer of the refried beans. Top with the cheese. Position the tortillas with the cutouts on top.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium high; slide 1 quesadilla in the pan and cook until the cheese begins to melt and the tortilla is golden on the underside, about 2 minutes. Slide onto the prepared baking sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
5. Place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until tops are golden; serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 382 calories, 17 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 774 mg sodium