We challenged readers to create a recipe based on a grab-bag of seasonal foods. See our winners' delicious results.
March 01, 2009
1 of 5Bill Bettencourt
About the Contest
In our Market Basket Challenge story, we challenged some of our favorite cooks to create an entrée based on a grab bag of seasonal foods. We wanted to show that wildly different results are possible from common ingredients. The results: recipes as varied as the participants.
We put the same test to our readers, and the response was impressive: 107 entries. After culling through each mouth-watering recipe, running nutrition, and making sure all of our Market Basket ingredients were used in each recipe, we tested and photographed the finalists. These recipes made the top three.
2 of 5Beau Gustafson
Grand Prize: Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Mushrooms and Spinach
Our grand prize winner submitted a variation of one of her favorite pasta recipes from her repertoire. She thought the texture of roasted spaghetti squash would be a nice stand-in for ubiquitous pasta, and we agree. Her results were at once satisfying, comforting, and creative.
"I found the dish to be simple enough for a quick weeknight family meal, but also elegant enough with the right kind of accompaniments to be used for entertaining friends." ―Claudia Krempp, Plainfield, IL
3 of 5Beau Gustafson
First Runner-Up: Tuscan Chicken, Bean and Spinach Soup
This soup is quick and easy to prepare, with a flavor that belies its simplicity.
"This is a complete meal containing very little fat and loads of fiber and flavor. A truly guilt-free dinner. I have served a version of this soup for many years and updated it for this contest." ―Charlene Chambers of Ormond Beach, FL
4 of 5Beau Gustafson
Second Runner-Up: Spicy Southeast Asian Chicken and Squash Stew
Our Second Runner-Up credits her mother's Filipino home cooking as the inspiration behind this rich, creamy, coconutty stew, infused with the full flavor of chicken thighs and a refreshing heat.
"When I saw the ingredients in the Market Basket Challenge, I knew I had to adapt them into a Southeast-Asian-inspired stew that was healthy, flavorful and comforting―with a little bit of heat. This is a little bit spicy, but one can tone it down by backing off on the hot chili peppers and ginger a bit." ―Jasmin Baron, Livonia, NY
5 of 5
Enter Our Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest
We're now accepting entries for the Cooking Light 2009 Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest. Enter your favorite recipe using one or more of our sponsor products and you could be one of twelve finalists who will compete in an on-site cook-off! The Grand Prize Winner will receive $20,000, and four Category Winners will each receive $5,000. Hurry―the contest ends May 25, 2009.