Meatless Monday: Halloween Dinner Party Menu by Susan Swift

"Careful what you ask for, you just might get it."  Well, I was curious about guest blogging, and what should happen, but Susan Swift came along and offered to write for this blog.  It turns out she's an award-winning author of 15 romance novels (checkout the covers on her Facebook page) with Silhouette - and a vegetarian former attorney, who's defended animal rights activists.  Isn't it amazing how the Universe responds to our questions, sometimes?  Given the timing, we agreed on a Halloween dinner party menu for grownups, a little something beyond the old grape eyeballs and spaghetti guts standards.  So call over your coven, and crank up your cauldrons, folks, here's Susan Swift!


As the fun evening of Halloween approaches, some of us wonder how to celebrate this holiday in a more sophisticated way, say with a lover or a few close friends. So I created a Halloween dinner party menu, focusing on orange and black food :)

Blood Orange Salad with Black Walnuts and Fennel

Peel the blood oranges using a knife to remove all the white pith. Section the oranges, eliminating the tough fibers, and arrange on plates with slivered fennel and toasted black walnuts. Top with a simple vinaigrette dressing.

Squid Ink Pasta with Orange Tomato Sauce

Start with the sauce: Saute one-half of a diced yellow onion with a pureed clove on garlic in olive oil. Add a chopped orange pepper and a diced rib of celery.  Saute until soft, and add chopped oregano and basil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add as many diced orange tomatoes as you wish, according to the number of guests you want to serve.  Saute all until soft and puree if you want a smoother sauce, but you may want to serve it a bit lumpy.

Correct the seasoning and serve hot atop black squid-ink pasta prepared according to the package directions.

Bump up the protein content by sprinkling grated Parmesan cheese over the top, or if you are a vegan, puree the sauce with silken tofu.


For a sweet beyond the candy haul, try Dulce' Dough's Quick and Easy Black Forest Cake with Chocolate Ganache or Black Bottom Cupcakes from Always Another Recipe, and decorate with candy corn :)

Another option is to make Nutella Creme Brulee' from bell'alimento, decorated with thin curls of orange zest.

Accompany all to spooky music--Bach fugues and the like--or play horror movies on the TV. I prefer cheesy Japanese monster flicks like Godzilla and the Smog Monster or Godzilla and Mothra.

Happy Halloween!


Author bio: Sue Swift, a.k.a. Suz deMello, is a romance and erotica author whose work has nothing to do with the above menu, except that her characters love to cook and eat. Her favorite hero is one who prepares food for his girlfriend!

However, she frequently includes characters who are vegetarians, as in The Ranger and the Rescue andFashion Victim. Find out more about Sue and her work at:


  1. Belinda, thanks for hosting my blog!

  2. OMG. I love nutella. I will have to check out Nutella Creme Brûlée. *yum*

  3. I can't lie to you, Brinda--I didn't think of that--it was Belinda's clever addition. I'm not a baker! I generally buy desserts, though I know when I do, I have no control over the ingredients. Though I'm sure I can knock out creme brulee--it's just a fancy name for custard :)

  4. The pasta dish sounds interesting, but where do you get the black pasta? Health food store?
    Happy Halloween!

  5. Sounds wonderful--great ideas! Thanks for linking my Black Forest cake!