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Creepy or awesome? We'll let you decide.

Jaime Ritter
October 06, 2017

At Cooking Light, we're big fans of Halloween. We've developed dozens of healthy Halloween recipes, including lightened-up Halloween treats, Halloween appetizers, Halloween cocktails, and even a make-ahead Halloween dinner. All of that to say, any food that's spooky, creepy, or slightly kooky is our friend come fall. 

So when we saw inky-black food making the rounds on Pinterest, we wanted to make it ASAP. The only problem? A lot of recipes required funky black food dye, and we're just not into artificial ingredients. So, we scoured the Internet to find something that could make our food scary in a good way (not scary from fake ingredients).

We stumbled upon the holy grail: squid ink. Now, before you dismiss the thought, hear us out. Squid ink is released from a squid's ink sacs as a defense mechanism. It has a briny flavor that's decidedly more earthy than fishy, and it will transform everything from seafood dishes to cocktails. And it's not as obscure and hard-to-find as you might think — it's sold on Amazon for less than $20.

Here's how to use it this Halloween to make recipes that are Addams Family-approved.

Squid Ink Pasta

A few drops of squid ink will turn your fettuccine or spaghetti into a inky plate of goodness. Don't feel like buying and dyeing your own pasta? You can buy pre-dyed squid ink pasta here. Pair the dish with olive oil, lemon, sea salt, lots of garlic, and a healthy helping of your favorite seafood piled on top.

Black Paella (Arroz Negro)

When I was in Spain this past summer, they served us a steaming, black paella called Arroz Negro topped with shrimp, mussels, and squid that changed my life (I'm not being dramatic, it really was that good). If you're a seafood lover, this is a must-make recipe for Halloween.

Cocktails

Add a few drops (a little goes a long way) to savory cocktails like Bloody Mary's or Micheladas, or ante up your dirty martini with an even-brinier flavor. Your guests will get so excited when you bring out the "boos". 

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