Shop Cheap

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

August 3, 2010
Gone shopping!

Shop Cheap has gone shopping this week but before leaving she asked recipe researcher Sheila Kern to come up with some Summertime recipes that will fill the void until Shop Cheap returns. Make sure to study the ads, then shop the sales. Enjoy!

Green Beans with Peanut-Ginger Dressing


Makes 20 servings (5 beans each)


1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 T sugar

2 T rice vinegar

2 T soy sauce

1 T vegetable oil

1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes

1 piece (1 inch) gingerroot, peeled, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Chopped peanuts, if desired


In 3-quart saucepan, heat 6 cups water to boiling over high heat. Add beans to boiling water. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain. Cover; refrigerate while making dip.

In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients except peanuts with wire whisk until smooth. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Stir before serving. Garnish with peanuts. Serve beans with dip.

Rainbow Veggie Salad


Makes 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)



1 1/2 cups uncooked rainbow or plain rotini pasta (4 1/2 oz)

2 cups cubed cooked ham (about 3/4 lb)

1 cup thinly sliced carrots (2 medium)

1/2 cup cup thinly sliced radishes (4 medium)

1/4 cup sliced green onions (4 medium)

1 large cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, sliced

1 T chopped fresh parsley


3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing

1 T sugar

2 T lemon juice

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper


Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix remaining salad ingredients. In small bowl, mix dressing ingredients until well blended.

Gently stir cooled cooked pasta into salad. Pour dressing over salad; stir gently to coat. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Veggie-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


Makes 4 servings


1 small yellow sweet pepper cut in bite-size strips

1 small red onion, chopped

1 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded

1 carrot, coarsely shredded

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. snipped fresh basil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 5-oz. pkg. fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

4 4- to 5-inch portobello mushroom caps, stems removed

4 slices provolone cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. In 12-inch skillet cook and stir sweet pepper, onion, zucchini, carrot, celery, and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat 4 minutes. Stir in basil, parsley, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper. Top with spinach; cover. Cook for 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat. Stir crumbs and half of the Parmesan cheese into spinach mixture; set aside.

2. Remove gills from mushrooms, if desired. Arrange mushrooms, stemmed side up, on prepared pan. Top each with slice of provolone cheese. Divide spinach mixture among mushroom caps. Bake for 15 minutes (mushrooms will water out slightly). Top with remaining Parmesan. Bake 2 minutes more or until heated through.

Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette


From EatingWell July/August 2008

Makes 8 servings, about 1 cup each


1 1/4 cups dried beans, preferably heirloom, or 2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed (see Tip)

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 cup minced red onion

1/4 cup cider vinegar

4 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 pound tomatoes, sliced


1. If using canned beans, skip to Step 3. If using dried beans, rinse and pick over for any stones, then place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use our quick-soak method: see Tip.)

2. Drain the soaked beans, rinse and transfer to a large saucepan. Add 6 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer gently, stirring once or twice, until tender but not mushy, 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the freshness of the dried beans. (If you're using heirloom beans, be sure to check them after 20 minutes: they tend to cook more quickly than conventional beans.) If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup water. When the beans are about three-fourths done, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. When the beans are tender, remove from the heat and drain.

3. Combine the beans (cooked or canned), the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, vinegar, honey, oil and pepper in a large bowl. Stir, cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

4. Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Pat dry and add to the marinated beans. Stir in cherry (or grape) tomatoes and basil. Season with pepper.

5. To serve, arrange tomato slices around the edge of a serving platter or shallow salad bowl and spoon the bean salad into the center.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Tip: To quick-soak beans, place in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Proceed with Step 2.

While we love the convenience of canned beans, they tend to be high in sodium. Give them a good rinse before adding to a recipe to rid them of some of their sodium (up to 35 percent) or opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties. (Our recipes are analyzed with rinsed, regular canned beans.) Or, if you have the time, cook your own beans from scratch.

Fiesta Rice Salad


Yields: 4 servings


2 cups hot cooked brown rice, prepared according to package directions (from 3/4 cup uncooked rice)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

Juice from 2 limes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown (about 8-10 minutes). Stir in black beans, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together lime juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Stir in hot rice, making sure each grain is coated with the dressing. Add the corn and bean mixture and toss to combine. Let cool to room temperature.

Add bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro to the rice mixture and toss well. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately, or refrigerate for later. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Steak Fajitas


Yields: 6 servings


3 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime

1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak or flank steak

12 small flour tortillas, warmed (wrap them in foil and pop them in a 350 oven while the steak grills)

Cilantro leaves, guacamole, and salsa for serving


Combine the salt, garlic, lime juice and zest, cilantro, and olive oil then rub this mixture onto the meat, coating both sides. Put the meat in a large Ziploc or covered dish and refrigerate for two hours (this is ideal, but if you don't have this much time, just marinate it as long as you can -- at least 15 minutes).

Let the meat come to room temperature before grilling, and blot it dry with paper towels.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the steaks just to medium rare (longer and they'll be tough), around 4-6 minutes a side.

Let the meat rest 10 minutes on a cutting board, then slice it across the grain into very skinny slices. Serve with warm tortillas, cilantro, guacamole, and salsa.

Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadilla


Servings: 6


8 whole Flour Tortillas

Butter or Margarine

2 cups Grilled Pineapple, Sliced

3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Salt And Pepper, to taste

3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced


3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce


(To grill pineapple: cut wedges, stick on skewers, and grill over low heat. Cut into slices.)

(To pound chicken, place inside a Ziploc bag and pound with a mallet or large can to flatten to uniform thickness.)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Cajun spice (or cumin/cayenne, etc.) Drizzle olive oil on a grill pan and grill on both sides until done, brushing with barbecue sauce. Set aside and slice into very thin slices.

Warm griddle over medium heat and put sizzling butter or margarine in the pan. Slightly warm and toast tortillas on both sides, then remove from griddle and set aside.

To assemble, sprinkle four browned tortillas with grated Monterey Jack. Arrange chicken slices evenly over the surface. Add pineapple slices and jalapeno slices. Sprinkle on cilantro. If desired, drizzle extra barbecue sauce over the top. Add second browned tortilla on top of each one. (You'll have four complete quesadillas at this point.)

Add to oven to warm, or back to skillet to warm, until cheese is melted. Cut each quesadilla into six wedges. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and lime wedges.

Blueberry Buckle


Makes 4 servings


1/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

2 cups fresh blueberries


2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup cold butter


In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fold in the blueberries. Pour into greased 9-in. square baking pan.

For topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over blueberry mixture. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

S'mores Cheesecake with Summer Berries


Bon Appetit | July 2008

Makes 8 to 10 servings



1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (made from 9 whole crackers finely ground in processor; 1 packet)

3 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted


9 ounces high-quality milk chocolate (such as Lindt or Ghirardelli), chopped

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3 large eggs


1 cup sugar

2 large egg whites

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

12 large marshmallows, cut into quarters with wet kitchen scissors

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1-pint container fresh raspberries

1 1-pint container fresh blueberries


For crust:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir until mixture is evenly moistened. Press onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake until set, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven; cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

For filling:

Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until smooth. Remove from over water and cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Combine cream cheese, sugar, and salt in processor and blend until smooth. With motor running, add whipping cream through feed tube and process just until blended. With motor running, add melted chocolate, then add eggs 1 at a time, blending and scraping down sides after each addition until mixture is smooth. Pour batter over crust in pan.

Bake cake until outer edge is slightly puffed and cake is barely set in center (center will look shiny and move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 55 minutes. Transfer cake to rack. Run small sharp knife around cake to loosen. Chill uncovered until cold, 8 hours or overnight. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

For topping:

Whisk sugar, egg whites, 3 tablespoons water, cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to blend in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water; whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens and is hot to touch, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from over water and stir in marshmallows (keep water simmering in saucepan). Let stand until marshmallows soften, about 3 minutes. Set bowl with mixture over simmering water; using hand held electric mixer, beat until stiff shiny peaks form, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Scrape topping onto cheesecake. Using offset metal spatula, spread topping to edges of cake, swirling decoratively. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

Using kitchen torch, lightly brown topping in spots. (Or preheat broiler; place cake at least 4 inches from heat source and broil just until topping is lightly browned in spots, watching closely to avoid burning, about 2 minutes.) Chill cake until cold. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and keep chilled. Remove pan sides. Place cake on platter.

Mix raspberries and blueberries in medium bowl. Cut cake into wedges. Serve berry mixture alongside.

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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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