Shop Cheap

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

February 17, 2010
The cookin' is easy with these recipes

The Shop Cheap Kitchen is cookin' this week. Recipe researcher Sheila Kern has come up with lots of easy, tasty recipes that use ingredients that are on sale. Here's the skinny:

Get salmon fillets at Raley's, Safeway and Save Mart.

Eggs at Save Mart and Raley's.

For the Savory Lemon Chicken recipe:

Campbell's soup at Raley's

Chicken at Save Mart and Safeway

Red/Green bell pepper at Safeway.

Also, Idaho potaotes at Raleys and strawberries at Save Mart and Safeway.

Salmon Chowder


From EatingWell: September/October 2009

Yield: 6 servings


1 tablespoon canola oil

1/3 cup chopped carrot

1/3 cup chopped celery

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

1 12-ounce skinned salmon fillet, preferably wild-caught (see Note and Tip)

2 1/2 cups frozen cauliflower florets, thawed and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallions, or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried chives

1 1/3 cups instant mashed potato flakes (see Note), or 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables just begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, water, salmon, cauliflower and chives (or scallions) and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, maintaining a gentle simmer, until the salmon is just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the salmon to a clean cutting board. Flake into bite-size pieces with a fork.

Stir potato flakes (or leftover mashed potatoes), dill (or tarragon) and mustard into the soup until well blended. Return to a simmer. Add the salmon and reheat. Season with salt and pepper.

Tips & Notes

Notes: Instant mashed potato flakes is not a product that we typically use in our recipes, but we love how it gives creamy texture to soup without adding extra fat. Look for a brand that has the fewest ingredients possible (and therefore little to no artificial additives or flavoring). At our local market, the store brand was the best choice.

Tip: To skin a salmon fillet, place on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.

Baked Salmon Fillets Dijon


Yield: 4 servings


4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon

3 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a shallow baking pan with aluminum foil.

Place salmon skin-side down on foil. Spread a thin layer of mustard on the top of each fillet, and season with salt and pepper. Top with bread crumbs, then drizzle with melted butter.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Chili Rellenos Casserole


Yield: 6 servings


2 (7 ounce) cans whole green chile peppers, drained

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

8 ounces Longhorn or Cheddar cheese, shredded

2 eggs, beaten

1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Lay half of the chilies evenly in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and cover with remaining chilies. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and flour, and pour over the top of the chilies.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, pour tomato sauce evenly over the top, and continue baking another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and serve.

Savory Lemon Chicken


Makes 4 servings


Vegetable cooking spray

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Healthy Request Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

2 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup chopped green or red pepper

4 lemon slices


Spray a 10-inch nonstick skillet with the cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

Stir the soup, water, parsley, lemon juice, paprika and pepper in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Top the chicken with the lemon slices.

Basic Twice Baked Idaho Potatoes

From (Idaho Potato Commission)

Yield: 8 servings


4 large Idaho potatoes

1 teaspoon olive oil (optional, for a softer-skinned potato)

1/2 cup reduced-fat ("light") sour cream

Pinch nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Milk (as desired, for consistency)


Preheat oven to 425° F. Pierce potatoes with a fork several times. Rub potato skins with olive oil if a softer potato skin is desired. Bake potatoes directly on the middle oven rack for 50 - 60 minutes or until they yield to gentle pressure.

While potatoes are still hot (use oven mitt to hold potato), cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the interior flesh of the potato into a medium-sized bowl, leaving a shell about 1/4-inch thick all around. Using a potato masher, mash the potato flesh.

Add sour cream and seasonings and mash until smooth, adding a little milk if necessary to make a smooth consistency. Stir in add-ins as desired.

Turn oven to 400° F. Using a spoon, gently fill the potato shells with the potato mixture, mounding it up high. Place filled potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until hot.

Low-Fat Idaho Potato Gratin

From (Idaho Potato Commission)

Yield: 12 servings


Cooking spray

2 - 4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 - 3 pounds Idaho potatoes (8 - 10 medium - sized potatoes) well scrubbed, very thinly sliced

8 ounces shredded light cheddar cheese

3/4 cup nonfat mayonnaise

3/4 cup nonfat evaporated milk

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 8 -10 ounce zucchini, washed and thinly sliced

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or 2 tablespoons packaged grated Parmesan)


Preheat oven to 375° F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, sprinkle in garlic and arrange half of the potatoes in the dish. Evenly add 1/2 the cheddar.

In a small bowl, mix the nonfat mayonnaise, evaporated milk, white pepper and thyme. Spoon half of this mixture over cheese. Cover with the sliced zucchini. Sprinkle on remaining cheddar cheese, and spoon remaining milk mixture on top of cheese.

Arrange remaining potato slices on top and sprinkle Parmesan over all. Cover tightly with foil and bake 50 minutes.

Uncover and broil 6 inches from heat source 4 - 6 minutes or until golden. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad


Yield: 4 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 heart romaine lettuce, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces (3 cups lightly packed)

1 8-ounce container of strawberries, hulled and sliced

3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, diced (about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons


In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar salt and pepper. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing. Place the lettuce onto 4 salad plates.

Toss the strawberries with the remaining dressing and place 1/4 of the berries on top of each mound of lettuce. Top each with cheese and sprinkle with the basil.

Lemony Strawberry Parfait


Serves 4


1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

Lemon zest (optional)


In a chilled medium-size bowl, whip the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Gradually add in the remaining sugar and lemon juice, whipping until the cream is thick but not overwhipped.

Alternate layers of whipped cream and sliced strawberries in 8-ounce parfait glasses, then top each treat with a dollop of cream and lemon zest, if you like.

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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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