Shop Cheap

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

March 17, 2010
Spring into action with fruit and veggies

We're going all fruit and veggie this week  because we want to get your ready for Springtime. Shop Cheap recipe researcher Sheila Kern has just what you need to Spring forward and get healthy. Enjoy!

Cold Cucumber Salad


Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Show: Paula's Home Cooking Episode: Weekend House Guest

Yield: 4 servings


2 cucumbers

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Freshly ground black pepper


Peel and slice the cucumbers and put them in a glass bowl. Sprinkle them with salt and vinegar. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Pour off the excess liquid and drain in colander for about 30 minutes to allow complete drainage. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill and pepper, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Cucumber Lime Salad Dressing


Serves 8


2/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1/3 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber

2 Tbsp. sliced green onion

2 Tbsp. low-fat 1-percent milk

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

Pinch sugar


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; chill. Keeps up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Cucumber Sandwiches with Strawberries and Watercress


Serves 4


8 large strawberries

4 ounces (8 tablespoons) Neufchatel, softened

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced

1 bunch watercress, long stems trimmed

8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread


Chop 4 of the strawberries and slice the remaining 4. In a large bowl, mash chopped strawberries with a fork. Add Neufchatel, mint, zest, salt and pepper and mix until well combined.

Spread strawberry mixture evenly between slices of bread then arrange cucumbers, sliced berries and watercress over half of the slices. Top with remaining slices to form sandwiches then halve each and serve.

California Asparagus Pizza with Red Bell Pepper, Olive and Feta Cheese

From (California Asparagus Commission)

Serves 4


1 unbaked pizza dough shell, 12 inches

2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped Calamata olive

12 ounces fresh California asparagus, trimmed,

then blanched

3 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded

(about 3/4 cup)

3 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)


On the dough shell, layer in order, red bell pepper, onion, and olive. Arrange

asparagus spears, tips toward edge, in a pinwheel fashion over vegetables. Evenly sprinkle with cheeses.

Bake at 500° F degrees until crust and cheese are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges.

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce


Serves 4


1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed

cooking spray

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper.

Bake asparagus 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the baked asparagus to serve.

Asparagus Risotto


Adapted from Mario Batali

Yield: 3 to 4 servings


1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into one-inch-long pieces, tips reserved

4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 medium red onion, diced

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

Salt to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add half the asparagus stalks and cook until quite soft, at least 5 minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water. Put cooked asparagus in a blender or food processor and add just enough water to allow machine to puree until smooth; set aside.

2. Put stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add onion, stirring occasionally until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away. Add a large pinch of salt. Add warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally. Each time stock has just about evaporated, add more.

4. After about 15 minutes, add remaining asparagus pieces and tips, continuing to add stock when necessary. In 5 minutes, begin tasting rice. You want it to be tender but with a bit of crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes total to reach this stage. When it does, stir in 1/2 cup asparagus puree. Remove skillet from heat, add remaining butter and stir briskly. Add Parmesan and stir briskly, then taste and adjust seasoning. Risotto should be slightly soupy. Serve immediately.

Grapefruit Avocado Salad


From Country Woman

Servings: 4


1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Lettuce leaves

2 large red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

1 small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced


In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the first seven ingredients; shake well. On four salad plates, arrange the lettuce, grapefruit, onion, and avocado. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

Copyright Reiman Media Group, Inc. 2009

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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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