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

September 2, 2010
Labor day recipes without the labor

We are approaching the last lovely three-day weekend of Summer. With that in mind - and so that you don't have to stress over the menu - recipe researcher Sheila Kern has come up with enough great ideas to keep you cooking. Enjoy!

Corn, tomato, black bean, and avocado salad


Serves 4


2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 ears fresh corn, shucked, kernels removed from cob

1/4 red onion, cut into thin strips

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Juice of 2 limes

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt, to taste


1. In a bowl combine the tomatoes, corn, onion, jalapeno, black beans, avocado, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt.

2. Stir gently but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, if you like.

3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and for up to half a day.

Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company

Grilled Steak with Fresh Corn Salad


From EatingWell: August/September 2005

Makes 4 servings


1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

2 boneless strip (top loin) steaks, trimmed (about 1 1/4 pounds)

5 large ears corn, husked

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 small orange or red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar


Preheat grill to high.

Combine garlic, 1 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Rub the mixture on both sides of steaks. Place the steaks and corn on the grill. Grill the steaks 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let them rest while the corn finishes cooking. (The steaks will continue to cook while resting.) Grill the corn, turning to cook all sides, until some of the kernels are slightly charred, 8 minutes total. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.

Remove the kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife. Combine the corn, tomatoes and bell pepper in a medium bowl; stir in basil, vinegar, the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slice the steaks and serve with the corn salad.

Santa Fe Corn Pudding


From Sunset, June 2007

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears), divided

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

About 1 tsp.coarse kosher salt

1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles (see Notes)

1 cup crushed buttery salted crackers (such as Ritz Crackers or Carr's Croissant Crackers, crumbled), divided

4 tablespoons melted butter, divided

1/2 cup grated Monterey jack cheese or pepper jack cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-qt. baking dish.

2. Put 1 3/4 cups corn kernels in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is still a bit chunky, about 5 pulses. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, and 1 tsp. salt. Add whole and puree corn kernels, green chiles, 1/4 cup crackers, and 3 tbsp. melted butter. Stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and scatter cheese over top.

4. In a small bowl, mix together remaining 3/4 cup cracker crumbs and 1 tbsp. melted butter. Sprinkle over cheese.

5. Bake pudding 45 to 50 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. The edges should be a bit crusty and the center still a little jiggly. Serve hot.

Notes: Fresh or frozen roasted green chiles (such as Anaheim or New Mexico varieties) will give the dish more flavor, but if these aren't available, you can substitute canned roasted green chiles.

Warm Green Bean and Potato Salad


Serves 4 to 6


4 cups sliced potatoes

2 cups fresh trimmed green beans, cut in 1/2-inch lengths

4 to 6 slices bacon

1/4 cup vinegar (wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar are good)

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

dash garlic powder

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Peel potatoes, halve then slice in 1/4-inch thickness. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover and boil for 5 minutes; add green beans and more water to cover, if necessary. Boil for about 10 more minutes.

Fry bacon and drain; set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil and bacon drippings slowly into the vinegar; add minced onions, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour over vegetables. Crumble bacon over and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or room temperature.

Picnic Potato & Egg Salad


Serves 6 to 8


3 pounds potatoes, cooked until just tender, cubed, cooled

5 or 6 hard cooked eggs, cooled, coarsely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped celery, optional

thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber, for garnish, optional



3/4 cup mayonnaise (a little more or less, as desired)

1 to 2 tablespoons prepared mustard

salt and pepper to taste


Combine potatoes, egg, onions, and celery. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. (Stir the mayonnaise and mustard in a little at a time, until you have the flavor and consistency you like.)

Top with thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber, if desired.

Three Pepper Pasta Salad


Servings: 8


1 (16 ounce) package tri-color pasta

2/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 yellow bell pepper, julienned

1 orange bell pepper, julienned

1 medium fresh tomato, chopped

1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

In a blender or food processor, blend the olive oil, white wine vinegar, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, dressing mixture, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, tomato, and olives. Top with mozzarella cheese to serve.

Stuffed Peppers


Servings: 6


1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1 cup water

6 green bell peppers

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until evenly browned.

Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers.

Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)

In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

Cantaloupe Salad with Lime, Mint, and Ginger


Bon Appetit | July 2006

Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 cantaloupe, halved, seeded, peeled

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons grated lime peel

2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons honey


Cut cantaloupe into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups) and place in large bowl. Add lime juice, mint, and lime peel; toss to blend. Mix in sugar, ginger, and honey. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve, stirring occasionally, up to 3 hours.

Flank Steak with Melon Relish


SELF | August 2007

Makes 8 servings


1 large cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced

1 medium red onion, diced

1 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoon white balsamic (or cider) vinegar

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 pounds flank steaks

2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Toss cantaloupe, onion, parsley, mint, vinegar and oil in a bowl. Set aside. Heat a grill, grill pan or large skillet over high heat. Season flank steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 8 minutes on each side for medium rare, 8 to 10 minutes per side for medium and 10 to 12 minutes per side for well done. Remove from heat and allow to rest on a clean cutting board for 5 to 7 minutes. Cut steak diagonally into 1/8-inch-thick slices and transfer to a platter. Spoon half the relish on top. Serve remaining relish on the side.

Cranberry & Herb Turkey Burgers


From EatingWell: June/July 2005

Makes 6 servings


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat couscous

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey


Place couscous in a large bowl. Pour in boiling water, stir and set aside until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. If grilling the burgers, preheat grill to medium-high.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds more. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the couscous, add cranberries and stir to combine. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add turkey and stir until combined; do not overmix. Form the mixture into 6 patties.

To cook on the stovetop: Coat a large nonstick skillet, preferably cast-iron, with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the patties, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Cover and continue to cook until lightly browned but still juicy (the juices should run clear, not pink), about 4 minutes more. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 165° F.) To grill: Oil the grill rack (see Tip) and grill the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes per side, flipping gently to avoid breaking them. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Aloha Burgers


Yield: Makes 4 1/4-pound burgers


1 pound ground beef

3/4 cup teriyaki sauce

1 small can pineapple slices

1 large onion, sliced

4 lettuce leaves

4 buns


Drain pineapple juice in a bowl. Add teriyaki sauce and mix. Place pineapple slices and 3 tablespoons of pineapple teriyaki mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Turn to coat and set aside. Shape hamburger into 4 patties and spoon remaining pineapple teriyaki sauce over top. Preheat grill. Butter buns. Place burger patties on hot grill and grill until done. Place buns on grill cut side down to toast lightly. Remove pineapple slices from bag and place on grill and cook until slightly browned and warmed through. Assemble burgers with patty, pineapple slices, lettuce, onion slices, Swiss cheese and bacon.


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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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