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3 Slow Cooker Stews That'll Make Halloween Dinner a Snap

Boil, boil, toil and trouble: Fire up a slower cooker stew before trick-
or-treating, and dinner's ready on the double! 

Talk about a horror story: You come home after hours of escorting the kids door-to-door, scaring up bagfuls of candy. They're tired, chilly, and a little bit wired from tearing into those sugary treats—and you've got to get dinner on the table before they completely gorge themselves on goodies.
I won't tell you how late to keep the kids out or how much candy to let them eat on the big night, but I can help you solve this one problem. All three of these stew and soup recipes cook unattended in your slow cooker while you're getting ready for Halloween and off having fun. When the final doorbell has been answered and the kids are down to sorting and swapping their booty, these big-flavor cauldrons-full will be bubbling away like a veritable witches' brew, ready to serve up in the nick of time.
Both sophisticated and full of the antioxidant beta-carotene from the kabocha, the beef and squash stew packs in lots of flavor from the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and Marsala wine. Black beans give a hearty pork stew a bewitchingly inky appearance that's in the spirit of the spooky holiday, and although the andouille sausage has a bit of heat to keep the grown-ups happy, it's mild-tasting enough for the littlest
ghouls.
There's no reason for vegans to be scared off; we've got a meat- free option, too. This lentil, kale, and mushroom soup has lots of protein thanks to the legumes, plus nutrients and filling fiber from the vegetables—a healthy choice to mitigate the treats your crew will be clamoring for after the main event!

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