For parents, one of the scariest parts of Halloween can be trying to get the kids to eat something more substantive than Twizzlers.
With a troop of ghosts and goblins eager to get out the door, finding time to put a real meal on the table can be near impossible. So don't try.
If ever there was a time for easy eats, this is it. But the trick is to make it appealing enough to kids so that they want to eat it - even when they know bags of candy beckon.
Which is why I came up with these pizza sticks, which are just purchased whole-wheat pizza dough (thereby justifying a guilt-free green light for all the sugar to come) cut into sticks, then wrapped with lower-fat (lower than bacon, that is), but high-flavor prosciutto. During baking the dough gets crusty-chewy, while the prosciutto gets pleasantly crispy-bacony.
Pizza Sticks with Marinara
Start to finish: 25 minutes
20-ounce ball whole-wheat pizza dough (room temperature)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
18 slices prosciutto
2 cups jarred marinara sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil coated with cooking spray.
Roll the dough into roughly a 10-by-18-inch rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into eighteen 1-by-5-inch strips.
In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano and basil. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat each breadstick with the oil mixture.
Carefully wrap each breadstick with 1 slice of prosciutto, pressing it gently so it sticks to the dough. Arrange the breadsticks on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between them. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the bread is puffed and lightly browned and the prosciutto is crisped.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium, heat the marinara sauce, then divide between 6 ramekins or other small bowls.
As soon as the breadsticks come out of the oven, sprinkle them with the Parmesan cheese, then let them cool for several minutes. Serve with the marinara for dipping.
Nutrition information per 3-stick serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 447 calories; 171 calories from fat (38 percent of total calories); 19g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 46 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 3 g fiber; 2,093 mg sodium.
J.M. Hirsch is author of the new cookbook "High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking." He can be e-mailed at email@example.com.