Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dinner on a Dime!

The other day, while at the grocery store, I picked up a spaghetti squash (which we learned about last year). Now, I know a lot of people aren't familiar with it, so I thought I would share a really easy and really cheap recipe with all of you (that I made for dinner tonight), so that you may incorporate it into your family dinners. Gather all of your ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds), olive oil, 1 medium onion, chopped, 1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 3/4 cup of sour cram, 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and bread or cracker crumbs.

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise.

The inside looks just like a pumpkin!

Scoop out all of the insides/seeds.

Make sure you get it good and clean!

Fill a casserole dish with about 1/2" of water. Place the spaghetti squash upside down, in the water. Place the casserole dish in the microwave and heat for 10 minutes. This "steams" the squash and makes it soft enough for you to get all of the "meat" out.

Be careful! The squash will be hot - hold the squash with a dish towel or pot holder (I tell you this from experience), and take a fork and just scrape the inside, the squash will peel off and resemble spaghetti.
I get EVERYTHING out of it! No sense in wasting any! :)

While the spaghetti squash is in the microwave, I put some ground turkey in a skillet to brown.
As you can tell, that meat is still partially frozen. I am really bad about remembering to set something down from the freezer, for dinner. Luckily, I have this handy little gadget. Just put your meat in the skillet, and get started with this thing, and in no time - your meat will be broken up, like it should be. You know - just as if I had my crap together, and laid the meat out to defrost. Add your spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.) and just start "chopping". And in no time - you have ground meat - like you're supposed to!
Then add in your chopped onions and basil.

Drain the can of mushrooms, and add them to the meat mixture.

Stir in the sour cream.
Add the squash.
Stir all together, until everything is well incorporated. Add grated parmesan cheese and stir together. Grease the casserole dish that you used earlier (to microwave the squash). Put the turkey/squash mixture in the casserole dish and spread out. Top with more grated parmesan. Top off with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. Darren despises bread crumbs, so I use about 6 crackers and just crush them up and throw them on top!
Bake for 15 minutes, and then serve while hot.
On Monday, Kroger's had spaghetti squash for .79 cents/pound (which is normal - about $2.40 ea.). I picked up sour cream for about $1.75, about 90 cents for an onion (I buy the yellow ones you have to peel yourself), about 50 cents for a can of mushrooms (I buy the store brand), and they had ground turkey for $4.45/pound (you can usually find it on sale cheaper).
I already had olive oil, basil, parmesan cheese, and crackers so I didn't have to pay for that. Since I figure 3 servings of sour cream (so I am going to figure about 60 cents for this recipe), I am only going to calculate the cost of 1/3 of the container and since I didn't even use half of the onion, I will only calculate half of the cost of that.
So, with that being said - I figure the cost for this meal is about: $8.45. This casserole serves six, so that makes the cost per serving approximately: $1.41
That my friends, is dinner on a dime!
Open 2 cans of any vegetable of your choice, and add a bag of salad (the premade kind in the produce section of your grocery store) and you have a complete meal for about $2.25/person!
If you don't want to add meat - don't. Just follow all other directions except browning the turkey, and bake for the same amount of time and you have a great side dish!
Or if you don't want to make this casserole - try using spaghetti squash in place of your regular spaghetti noodles, the next time you're in the mood for Italian! You might just be able to sneak a vegetable past your kids (or husband)! :)


Melissa said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Spag Squash! Its my FAV!

Anonymous said...

Spaghetti squash is delicious!