An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

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!

Halloween Rice

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

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.

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 aromatic.

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.

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.

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

Printable Recipe

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

36 thoughts on “Beyond Tricks and Treats

  1. Looks great! Im gonna try that:-)

  2. 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.

  3. I’m already feeling a little crash from too many pumpkin cookies…I love healthy, fall meals like these to counterbalance the holidays. Beautiful!

  4. That looks delicious. I love finding new ways to incorporate wild rice. I love the stuff!

  5. Love the idea of Halloween rice! Happen to have some wild rice sitting in the pantry waiting to be used :)

  6. This is such a cute dish! SO true about tummies aching and people feeling sick. Way to bring out a delicious dish that’s not the normal sweet. It looks amazing and so festive!

  7. Yummy! This is something that I would like to make! Happy Halloween Hannah!

  8. 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.

  9. what a cool idea, Hannah! It’s so beautiful and the ingredients sound super tasty. :) Happy Halloween!

  10. Healthy, flavorful and different, I love it. Yeah the only thing I hate about wild rice is they take awfully long time to cook.

  11. that wild rice sure looks scary with the orange contrast! but i am sure it tastes yumm.. i’d rather do savory this halloween! Have a fun day!

  12. this looks very so comforting on a cold day :)

  13. 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 :)

  14. What a cool idea! I am getting kind of burned out with all the soups going around.

  15. 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!

  16. love the nutty flavour of wild rice. This looks delicious

  17. I just love the colors of this, and it looks like it would be great for Thanksgiving too!

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

  19. Wonderful dish! I love how the orange makes it so vibrant :D

  20. I love the wild rice dish! So pretty and so darn seasonal. I’d take that over a handful of candy any day!

  21. Mmmm this sound like a spicy dish well worth trying,nice photographs!

  22. Looks delicious and super healthy. Great recipe!

  23. Yummy looking dish, beautiful colors! I’m sure it’ll be just as tasty after the big candy binge. :-)

  24. Pingback: Halloween Goodies!

  25. I love your Halloween rice…looks creepy and yet tasty :-)
    Happy Halloween and have a wonderful week ahead!

  26. LOVE the Halloween rice! It looks like this incredible risotto from this awesome spot in Brooklyn – one of the best places to eat in New York . very festive and fun! thank you for sharing

  27. This is the perfect Halloween dish!!

  28. This recipe looks amazing and very colorful for Halloween. I can’t wait to try it.

  29. That looks amazing Hannah!

    Bookmarked for future use.

  30. 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!!

    • 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…

  31. Pingback: Vida Vegan’s Vegan Halloween Inspiration! « Vida Vegan Headquarters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s