Beyond Tricks and Treats

Come November 1st, a nationwide tummy ache is pretty much the norm, stomachs still riotous with the undue stress of containing more Halloween candy than is advisable to eat in even two or three sittings. Something about the festivities just gets under the skin, the holiday itself being a grand excuse to go crazy and overdo the sugar. Common sense be damned, it’s the same pattern every year, from young to young at heart feeling the aftereffects of this particularly sweet evening. Awareness of such consequences still does little to dissuade me from indulging perhaps more than is advisable, but it does make me keenly aware of everything else fueling me that day. Without a solid foundation of whole grains and protein beforehand, the inevitable sugar crash would be a very ugly scene indeed.

That doesn’t mean those healthier options must be austere and dull, though! Black and orange to match the “traditional” colors of Halloween, this dish is a touch spicy too, enhanced with a slightly devilish addition of paprika and red pepper flakes. Toothsome wild rice makes it a stellar sort of pilaf, but it can also be an easy, no-muss main dish as well, thanks to the protein-packed black beans.

Even if you do plan on loading up on the sweet stuff, as I do, start the day out right with something a bit healthier first. There’s no need for the candy hangover the following morning!

Yield: Serves 8 – 12 as a Side; 4 – 6 as a Main

Halloween Rice

Halloween Rice

Black and orange to match the “traditional” colors of Halloween, this
dish is a touch spicy too, enhanced with a slightly devilish addition of
paprika and red pepper flakes. Toothsome wild rice makes it a stellar
sort of pilaf, but it can also be an easy, no-muss main dish as well,
thanks to the protein-packed black beans.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 2 Cups Uncooked Wild Rice
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Large Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 – 1 Small Chili Pepper, Finely Minced, or 1/4 – 3/4 Teaspoon Dried Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
  • 4 Ounces (About 4 Large) Cremini or Button Mushrooms, Roughly Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Peeled and Diced Sweet Potatoes (About 3 Cups)
  • 1 14-Ounce Can (1 1/2 Cups Cooked) Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, or to Taste


  1. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is simply cooking the
    rice, so it’s best to get that out of the way early. Heat about 2 quarts
    of water in a medium-sized stock pot, and bring to a boil. Add the wild
    rice, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer at a brisk bubble for 45 –
    60 minutes, until the grains are beginning to split and are tender
    enough to eat. Now, just like pasta, drain out the excess water, and set
    side the cooked rice. The rice can be made a day or two in advance, as
    long as it’s stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.
  2. In the same stock pot (or one larger) melt the coconut oil and coat
    the bottom of the pot with it before tossing in the chopped onion. Saute
    over medium heat until softened and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add
    the minced garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until
    everything is starting to take on an amber hue around the edges. Stir in
    the mustard seeds, pepper or pepper flakes, paprika, and chopped
    mushrooms, stirring frequently and cooking for an additional 3 – 5
    minutes, until the mushroom has reduced in size and the spices are
  3. To prevent burning, quickly add in the stock, mirin, and vinegar,
    stir well, and follow with the chunks of sweet potato. The liquid won’t
    completely cover everything, so don’t panic. Turn down the heat to a
    steady simmer, cover loosely with the lid, and keep stirring the mixture
    every few minutes, until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. This could
    take anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes, so be patient. The excess liquid
    should be mostly if not completely evaporated by now.
  4. Mix in the cooked wild rice, cook over low heat for a few minutes to re-warm, and season with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 245mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.




36 thoughts on “Beyond Tricks and Treats

  1. Wild rice is a wonder grain. It’s delicious hot and cold with the right mix of veggies. I love it with cucumber, tomato, red pepper, parsley for a fresh summer meal. Your suggestion is awesome too, a keeper.

  2. Hearty and healthy fuel like this is definitely needed on a day like Halloween when sugar is so hard to avoid! Wild rice and sweet potato sound like a fantastic combo.

  3. Hannah! This looks amazing! As much as I love my sweets, I’m super keen on spicy savoury meals too, and this one is so aesthetically strikingly pretty :)

  4. I definitely overloaded on the sweets yesterday and now I am ready for some of this wholesome goodness! Thanks Hannah, for providing me with something delicious to make this weekend!

  5. wow…sounds scrumptiously tasty..
    first time your space..awesome presentation..with great cliks..
    Am your happy follower now..;)

  6. Hi Hannah,

    I run across your flickr photos and fell in love :) and came here to your blog! Awesome photos and recipes, I’m gonna try some of them today.

    Thank you so much.

    One thing – could you please tell where did you buy these cool forks? Love them!!

    1. Thank you, I hope you enjoy the recipes!

      I bought that fork pictured above in a set of 6 various cocktail fork shapes from TJ Maxx a couple of years ago… Unfortunately, they don’t have the brand stamped in them so I can’t locate them online. Sorry I don’t have more helpful details…

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