Announcing The $1,000 Holiday Food Blogger Challenge Winners!

Earlier this season, Foraged & Found reached out to the culinary blogger community to compete in our first annual “Foraged & Found Blogger Recipe Challenge.” We were looking for inspirational recipes that could “WOW” us, and let me tell you, the many super talented food bloggers who entered, did not disappoint! 

The rules for the blogger recipe were simple:

1. Show culinary creativity using Foraged & Founds' nutritious Sea Asparagus Pesto.

2. Categories for the challenge included appetizers and entrées. 

3. One winner would be selected from each category to be awarded $500. The two winning recipes from each category would then compete for the $1,000 grand prize!

All entries were judged on taste, visual appeal, and creativity. Click here for full challenge rules and criteria.


The Main Dish Winner:
Spaghetti Squash with Sea Asparagus Pesto and Garbanzo Beans submitted by Merry Graham from A Merry Recipe food blog.


The Appetizer Dish Winner:
Cheesy Green Machine Pesto Braid submitted by Pamela Gelsomini from Dish Off the Block food blog.


and the $1,000 GRAND PRIZE WINNER IS....

Merry Graham from A Merry Recipe food blog for her hearty and health conscious, vegetarian, Spaghetti Squash with Sea Asparagus Pesto and Garbanzo Beans recipe!





  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 (4 oz) jar Foraged & Found Sea Asparagus Pesto
  • 3 tablespoons preferred olive oil Note: garlic or basil olive oil is nice, divided
  • 1 bunch of kale, veins removed, shredded
  • 15 ounces drained garbanzo beans Note: Look for steamed garbanzo beans in the produce aisle
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 slices of 1/4-inch thick fresh mozzarella cheese or preferred fresh cheese
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, leave whole
  • Grated Parmesan


Step 1 Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash and pat dry. Prick squash in a few places with a knife or fork. Par-cook the squash, in the microwave, on HIGH, for 5 minutes.

Step 2 Remove par-cooked squash from the microwave using oven mitts or dish towel. Place the squash on a cutting board. Use a chef knife to cut the squash lengthwise into two equal halves.

Step 3 Scrap the squash seeds out with a grapefruit spoon or large “spork”.

Step 4 Season the squash with salt and pepper. Flip the cut squash downward and place in a large microwave safe bowl. Fill the bowl with 1 inch of water, and over tightly with plastic wrap.

Step 5 Microwave the squash for 5 minutes then check doneness with a fork. Continue to microwave at 2 minute increments until spaghetti squash is tender but not too soft.

Step 6 Remove spaghetti squash from the microwave. Transfer squash to a cutting board. Pour and discard water from the bowl, and reserve the bowl for the squash strands.

Step 7 Use a fork to scrape most of the squash strands into the reserved bowl. Lightly toss spaghetti squash with 1/2 jar of Foraged & Found Sea Asparagus Pesto and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.

Step 8 In a large skillet, bring 1/4 cup water to a boil. Stir kale into boiling water and close the lid to steam. Steam for 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Drain water and transfer wilted kale to a cutting board, toss with 1 tablespoon Sea Asparagus Pesto. Set aside.

Step 9 Over medium high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garbanzo beans, onion, paprika, garlic, and sea salt. Sauté seasoned garbanzos for 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons Sea Asparagus Pesto, and sauté 1 more minute. Set aside.

Step 10 Fill the squash bowls halfway with spaghetti squash, half of the cheese, tomatoes, pesto kale, and pesto garbanzo beans. Top with remaining spaghetti squash, cheese, tomatoes, kale, and garbanzo beans.

Step 11 Place both halves of squash on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Serve with Parmesan Cheese.

For the full recipe and a printable version, head on over to A Merry Recipe.

To purchase our Sea Asparagus Pesto and start making amazing recipes like this one, shop our Wild-Alaskan Gourmet Products.


Click here to see more delicious recipes!

Full List of Entrants

Entrée Category:

The Prize of Cooking - Stuffed chicken with Sea Asparagus Pesto
Mason Jar Recipe - Cauliflower rice with Sea Asparagus Pesto 
Kitchen Wise - Sea Asparagus Pesto shrimp scampi orzo
The Jolly Tomato - Sea Asparagus Pesto rainbow bowls
Good Grief Cook - Surf & turf Sea Asparagus Pesto pasta
Dish off the Block -Sea Asparagus Pesto shrimp & meatball pasta
Dish off the Block - Sea Asparagus Pesto sausage delicata boats
The Prize of Cooking - Smoked salmon egg foo yung with Sea Asparagus Pesto
Went Here 8 This - Cod fish tacos with Sea Asparagus Pesto
Fleur Delectable - Sea Asparagus Pesto chicken taquitos
Heal Nourish Grow - Cilantro lime Sea Asparagus Pesto chicken soup
Fleur Delectable - Sea Asparagus Pesto Mexican pizzas
Sweet Dash of Sass - Sea Asparagus Pesto chicken stuffed peppers
Spice Chronicles - Instant pot Sea Asparagus Pesto pasta
Chop Happy - Sea Asparagus Pesto grilled cheese
A Merry Recipe - Spaghetti squash with Sea Asparagus Pesto
Living The Gourmet - Sea Asparagus Pesto pizza
At Home with Rebecka - Crispy skin salmon with Sea Asparagus Pesto
Simple Joyful Food - Sea Asparagus Pesto grilled chicken skewers
No Excuses Nutrition - Sea Asparagus Pesto sheet pan meal
Blackberry Babe - Sea Asparagus Pesto shrimp gnocchi skillet
Fresh Flavorful - Sea Asparagus Pesto salmon sandwiches
Beyond Mere Sustenance - Sea Asparagus Pesto sea bass
The Prize of Cooking - Italian sausage & Sea Asparagus Pesto stuffed zucchini

 Appetizer Category:
Good Grief Cook - Sea Asparagus Pesto crispy wrapped shrimp & party pull-apart bread
Bored Mom - Sea Asparagus Pesto zucchini potato egg bites
Dish off the Block - Cheesy bacon Sea Asparagus Pesto crostini
Dish off the Block - Green machine Sea Asparagus Pesto bread braid
The Fit Fork - 7 layer Sea Asparagus Pesto dip
The Prize of Cooking - Sea Asparagus Pesto goat cheese ball
Naughty Kitchen - Sea Asparagus Pesto cheese crisps
Went Here 8 This - Sea Asparagus Pesto mussels
Chop Happy - Sea Asparagus Pesto whipped ricotta dip
Spice Chronicles - Sea Asparagus Pesto & masala sweet potato fries
A Merry Recipe - Sea Asparagus Pesto & goat cheese shrimp
Spice Chronicles - Sea Asparagus Pesto salmon bites
Sweet Dash of Sass - Sea Asparagus Pesto & eggs on avocado toast
At Home with Rebecka - Sea Asparagus pesto & burrata tomato crostini
Kitchen at the Hoskins - Shrimp & Sea Asparagus Pesto crostini