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July 30, 2009
Easy summertime recipes

Take all the fresh fruit and veggies and combine that with the hot weather and you get lots of salads, some salsa and cool desserts. You can thank recipe researcher Sheila Kern for coming up with these gems. Enjoy!

Baja Chicken Salad with Taco Vinaigrette


Makes 6 servings


1 (1-oz.) pkg. Old El Paso taco seasoning mix

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup cider vinegar

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 to 2 tablespoons oil

1 (10-oz.) pkg. mixed salad greens or baby greens

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup sliced red onion

2/3 cups shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend

1/3 cup sour cream

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced

3 tablespoons sliced ripe olives

Blue tortilla chips


In medium bowl, combine taco seasoning mix, brown sugar, 1/2 cup oil and vinegar; mix well. Place chicken in shallow medium bowl. Pour 1/2 cup seasoning mixture over chicken. Reserve remaining mixture for dressing.

Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. With slotted spoon, remove chicken from seasoning mixture; discard remaining seasoning mixture. Add chicken to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

In large bowl, combine mixed greens, tomatoes and onion. Add reserved seasoning mixture; toss to coat. Arrange salad mixture on serving platter. Top with chicken, cheese, sour cream, avocado and olives. Arrange tortilla chips around salad.

Two Bean Salsa


Combine in a large bowl:

3 cups corn (fresh or frozen, lightly blanched or steamed)

2 cups chopped, seeded tomatoes

2/3 cup sliced green onion

4 tsp minced cilantro

15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

15 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 cup minced bell pepper

Shake dressing ingredients in a little jar:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp lime juice

1-1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

Toss dressing & veggies, refrigerate 4-6 hours.

Tomato Zucchini Salad


Servings: 8


2 cups water

4 small zucchini, thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 small tomatoes, cut into wedges

2 slices red onion, separated into rings


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add zucchini; cover and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and immediately place zucchini in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Transfer to a large serving bowl; sprinkle with salt. Add the tomatoes and onion.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, tarragon, mustard, salt, hot pepper sauce and garlic; shake well. Pour over vegetables and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley. Refrigerate until serving.

Nectarine Arugula Salad


Servings: 8


4 cups fresh arugula or baby spinach

4 cups torn Bibb or Boston lettuce

3 medium nectarines, sliced

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil


In a large salad bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually whisk in oil until dressing thickens. Drizzle over salad; toss to coat.

Grilled Peach Tiramisu


Serves 4


4 ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted

Canola oil

8 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

8-12 Ladyfinger cookies, crumbled

8 tablespoons whipped cream

Cocoa powder or shaved chocolate


Preheat the grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of peaches with oil. Arrange peaches flesh-side-down on prepared grill and grill 2 minutes. Flip and grill 1 more minute. Remove from grill and, when cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch peaches.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine mascarpone, milk, sugar, and vanilla extra. Whisk until smooth.

In tall parfait glasses, layer crumbled ladyfingers, mascarpone mixture and then peaches. Repeat layers, ending with peaches. Top with whipped cream and cocoa powder (sift cocoa over for a fine dusting) or shaved chocolate (use a vegetable peeler for fine shavings).

Brown Sugar Grilled Plums with Lemon Sorbet



Cooking spray

2 tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 large or 8 small plums, halved and pitted

2 cups lemon sorbet

Fresh mint for garnish


Coat an outdoor grill or stove-top grill pan with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Brush mixture all over fresh side of plums. Grill plums, flesh side down, 5 mins until soft. Serve plums with lemon sorbet. Garnish with mint.

Southern Peach Pie


Makes 8 servings


1 box (15oz) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box


5 1/2 to 6 cups sliced peeled peaches (8-9 medium)

1 T. lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 t. ground nutmeg

1/4 t. salt


1 T. cornstarch

1 bag (12 oz) frozen whole raspberries or blackberries, thawed, drained and liquid reserved

1/2 t. almond extract


Heat oven to 400°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.

In large bowl, gently mix peaches and lemon juice to coat. Gently stir in all remaining Filling ingredients. Spoon into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Cool at least 1 hour before serving.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. If necessary, add water to reserved raspberry liquid to measure 1/2 cup. Gradually stir liquid into sugar mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Gently fold in raspberries; stir in almond extract. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

To serve, cut pie into wedges; place on individual dessert plates. Spoon sauce over pie.

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About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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