Do you love a good cooking challenge? I do! When Cub contacted me and asked me if I’d try their Plenty for Twenty idea, I said yes right away. The idea is that you come up with meal (or meals!) for just $20. You’ll find my recipe below!
Here’s where you come in: Leave a comment & let us know what YOUR vegetarian Plenty for Twenty idea is (by 10p Central Time on Wednesday the 14th) for a chance to win a $20 gift card from Cub! You can also receive extra entries for following me on Twitter (be sure to let me know in a comment below or via Twitter!), tweeting about the contest, retweeting one of my Tweets about the giveaway, or liking Pepperoni is Not a Vegetable on Facebook. I’ll choose a winner & Cub will send you a $20 gift card – pretty sweet!
And one more thing: If you spend $20 at Cub by September 15th (that’s this Thursday – save your receipt!) and submit a photo of what you made to their contest on Facebook, you’ll be entered to win free groceries for a year. Can’t beat that!!
Music Pairing: I was lucky enough to see Bon Iver in concert last week, and I listened to my Bon Iver station on Pandora while I was making this dish. Email me and I will send you a link to the station!
Note: Spaghetti squash is my new favorite vegetable for fall. I love it because it is an AWESOME stand-in for pasta, and super easy to make. You bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes, and it turns into noodly vegetable goodness. I made this recipe with my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce, but you could easily use canned pasta sauce, alfredo sauce, or pesto on it, too. It’s incredibly healthy, and is a good source of Vitamin C and fiber.
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 medium white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper
1 cup mushrooms
6 Tbs Italian seasoning (basically basil, oregano, and thyme)
salt & pepper
2 large cans petite diced tomatoes (I used Cub’s brand)
1 small can tomato paste
1. Preheat the oven to 375*. Cut the squash in half lengthwise (it’s a little tricky – be careful!). Remove seeds. Place some water in the bottom of a baking pan, and place halved squash face down on the water. Cook for 30-45 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a fork slides in easily.
2. Make the sauce while the squash is cooking. Chop one medium onion, 1 green pepper, and 1 cup of mushrooms. Saute onions, garlic, and green pepper in olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Throw in mushrooms after a few minutes, and cook a few minutes more.
3. Transfer vegetables to a stockpot, and add diced tomatoes. Simmer on medium low for 10-20 minutes. Add the jar of tomato paste, and mix in well.
4. Add a few squirts of lemon juice, and mix well. Add more Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper if needed.
5. Using a hot pad and a fork, gently pull the “noodles” out of the spaghetti squash. Be sure to scrape the inside of the skin clean! It should yield quite a bit.
6. Serve the sauce on top of the spaghetti squash, just like pasta!
Optional: For extra flavor, add parmesan cheese, Sriracha hot sauce, or crushed red pepper.
My husband and I enjoyed this alongside New French Bakery’s Take and Bake French Baguette, available in our Cub bakery section. New French Bakery is a Minneapolis company, so check to see which local products are available at your Cub!
Don’t forget to tell us your Plenty for Twenty idea in the comments below! What delicious meatless meal would you make with $20 from Cub? Be sure to tell your family & friends about the giftcard giveaway here using the share buttons below, and about Cub’s Plenty for Twenty Contest on Facebook!
Update: (09/14/11, 10.32p CST)
A winner has been chosen for the giveaway! Jason submitted his Plenty for Twenty idea on Facebook:
“My ‘Plenty for Twenty’ is Stuffed poblano peppers with a southwest rice and spicy tomato shooters. To make it vegetarian, just subtitute the meat in the stuffing with mushrooms and rice and switch the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Easy as pie. Had it all written up in the recipe but had no place to fit it in on the entry. Weight Watchers friendly, too!!”
What a fantastic idea, Jason! I have tried stuffed peppers before but never with poblanos – can’t wait to try it.
To everyone else, thanks so much for your entries! So many great ideas to try. The big contest for Cub (win free groceries for a year!!) is still running through tomorrow (09/15/2011) – all you’ve got to do spend $20 (or less) on ingredients, cook your meal, snap a photo, and submit it! Visit Cub Food’s Facebook page for more details.subscribe to my RSS feed!