Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

January 6, 2010
Start the new year with new recipes

To start the New Year, recipe researcher Sheila Kern headed into the Shop Cheap kitchen with variety at the top of her list. The result: great recipes for salads, a crock pot dish and fish tostadas. Enjoy and Happy New Year.


Poppy Seed Dressing for Grapefruit Avocado Salad


Yields: 2 cups dressing


1/4 c honey

1/4 c white vinegar

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 t dry mustard

1 t grated onion

1/2 t salt

1 t paprika, optional

1 C oil, canola or corn

1 T poppy seeds

1/4 C sugar


In a food processor or with a mixer, combine all the ingredients except the oil and the poppy seeds. Pour in the oil and continue mixing until the dressing is thick. Drizzle the dressing over Grapefruit-Avocado Salad or another fruit salad. Refrigerated, the dressing keeps for a couple of weeks. If it separates, process or mix it again before using.

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad for Two


From EatingWell: July/August 2009, EatingWell

Yields: 2 servings


1/2 15- to 19-ounce can beans, such as chickpeas, black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed, or 1 7-ounce can

1 5- to 6-ounce can water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked (see Note)

1/2 large red bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

2 teaspoons capers, rinsed

3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 cups mixed salad greens


Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, rosemary, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Divide the greens between 2 plates. Top each with the tuna salad.

Tips & Notes

Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. FDA/EPA advice recommends no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces canned light tuna is considered safe.

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole



1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Celery Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup cooked peas

2 tablespoons chopped pimientos

2 cans (about 6 ounces each) tuna, drained and flaked

2 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles

2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon butter, melted


Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the soup, milk, peas, pimiento, tuna and noodles in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the tuna mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with your favorite vegetable combination. For dessert serve ice cream.

Substitute Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup for the Cream of Celery.

To melt the butter, remove the wrapper and place the butter into a microwavable cup. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.

Super Simple Cranberry Roast (beef or pork) Slow Cooker Recipe


Serves 4


2-3 pounds beef or pork roast or stew chunks

1 tablespoon dried onion flakes, or 1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)

1 (16-ounce) whole berry cranberry sauce (or 2 cups homemade!)


Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Plop in the meat (frozen is fine), and add the onion and soy sauce. Pour in the entire can of cranberry sauce over the top. Do not add water. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 5-6. If you are cooking on high, you may need to "help" the meat break apart by taking it out an hour or so before serving by cutting it into chunks, then returning to the sauce. I like it when the meat is tender and the juice has fully soaked in.

Traditional Yankee Pot Roast


Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef and about 1/2 cup vegetables)


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

2 cups low-salt beef broth

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chopped plum tomato

1 1/4 pounds small red potatoes

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan, browning on all sides (about 8 minutes). Remove from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Return roast to pan. Combine broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire; pour over roast. Add tomato; bring to a simmer.

Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies


Bon Appetit | January 1998

Yield: Makes about 4 dozen


3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned style or freshly ground)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Beat in both sugars. Scrape down sides of bowl. Stir half of dry ingredients into mixture. Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.

For each cookie, roll 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough into 1 3/4-inch-diameter ball. Arrange dough balls 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using back of fork, flatten dough balls and form crosshatch design on tops. Bake cookies until dry on top and golden brown on bottom, about 14 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Tilapia Tostadas


Makes 12 tostadas


1 tablespoon canola oil

4 tilapia fillets, about 1 1/3 pounds total

Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

1 (15-ounce) can refried beans, warmed

12 corn tostada shells

1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

3 limes, cut into wedges

Sour cream (optional)

Salsa of your choice (optional)


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season tilapia with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook the fish, in batches if needed, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. The fish is ready when it flakes easily with a fork. Transfer to a plate. When cool enough to handle, flake fish into pieces with a fork.

To serve, spread some warm refried beans over the tostada shells. Top with fish, green onions, lettuce, avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream and salsa on the side.


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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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