I looked at my calendar this afternoon and realized that MONDAY is Halloween. Growing up I would have never let that slip by; costume-talk dominated the elementary school social scene the entire month of October, and it just trailed birthday party gossip in terms of excitement level. On the big night, my whole family–including the dog–would dress up and go plundering the neighborhood for candy together.
I cherish the family tradition, but I can’t even describe the empowering, liberating independence I felt when I was finally allowed to go out with JUST my friends…How cool were we? Those years were few, though, because I blinked and all of a sudden was “too old” for trick-or-treating (what does that even mean?!?!). But little liberties like that are what made adolescence so paradoxically thrilling.
Of the holidays that bring about nostalgia for childhood, Halloween has to be near the top. Adult dress-up parties are fun and everything, but it’s just not the same.
I don’t have any cutesy Halloween snacks for your kiddos to giggle at. But what I do have is this hearty, insanely yummy and easy, nutrient-dense and protein-packed dinner that they can fill up on before stuffing themselves with junk.
It’s so simple yet tastes super decadent with loads of flavor and different textures…soft and juicy baked sweet potato, tender pulled chicken with a sweet-spicy sauce, caramelized yellow onion, sharp cheddar, and crisp smoky bacon–all baked up and melted together for intermingling layers of pure YUM.
Plus a sprinkling of chives because they make everything a bit more appealing. (Plus I’m not sure why, but I have a small obsession. Of all foods…?)
Fabulous with some veggies roasted alongside the potatoes while they’re heating, or sautéed in the same pan after the chicken and onions (just add a little more broth and soak up all those awesome flavors!). Plus some of my FAVORITE healthy cornbread that I keep meaning to share but haven’t gotten to yet…how rude of me.
This is also perfect for leftovers for a quick dinner on a busy night! Just refrigerate before re-baking your assembled potato, and pop in the oven when ready to enjoy.
Happy Fall 🙂