If you want a real fright, take a glance at all the sugar and artificial coloring listed on the nutrition labels of most Halloween party treats.
These mini jack-o'-lantern pizzas, made with smoky Canadian bacon and low-fat cheddar cheese, are diet-friendly, cost less than 60 cents each to make and will be a hit with adults and kids. Plus, they're made with wholesome ingredients to balance out all the Halloween sweet treats.
Store-bought dough makes these pizzas easy to prepare, but to save even more money you could make your own dough.
This also is a good cooking project for children, who can customize their jack-o'-lantern pizzas. Buy a variety of vegetables and other toppings and let the children design their own. Broccoli florets, for example, could be added for hair.
mini jack-o'-lantern pizzas
Start to finish: 40 minutes Servings: 12
12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
12 pitted black olives, quartered lengthwise
6 slices (about 3 ounces) Canadian bacon, halved
20-ounce ball prepared pizza dough, room temperature, divided into 12 portions
8-ounce can tomato sauce with basil and oregano
2 cups shredded, reduced-fat orange cheddar cheese
Heat the oven to 450 F. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
To make eyes, place the tomatoes cut-side down on a cutting board. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, make a 1/4-inch slit through the center of each tomato. Stuff an olive quarter into each slit to make the pupils. Or just use olive slices.
To make mouths, trim each half of Canadian bacon into a jack-o'-lantern-style mouth.
On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a 5-inch-wide round, then transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets.
To make the pizzas, coat each round of dough with tomato sauce and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Arrange the mouths and eyes on the pizza. Additional olive quarters can be used as fangs.
Bake until the crusts are browned and the cheese is melted, about 8 to 12 minutes.
Nutritional information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 203 calories (66 calories from fat), 7g fat (3g saturated, 0g trans fats), 17mg cholesterol, 25g carbohydrates, 11g protein, 1g fiber, 654mg sodium.