Shop Cheap

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

October 14, 2010
Recipes for guac and a whole lot more

Whether you are going to be out and about this weekend or plopped in front of the TV watching sports, recipes from researcher Sheila Kern and the Shop Cheap Kitchen will be all you need to plan your meals and feed your fun. Lots of the items are on sale at your neighborhood supermarket. Enjoy and GO GIANTS!

Nacho Guacamole

From (Hass Avocado Board)

Makes 8 servings


4 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, seeded, peeled and diced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced

1/2 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

1 tsp. garlic salt


Place half the avocado in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine, somewhat mashing the avocado.

Gently stir in remaining avocado. Chill until ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Tip: If a smoother guacamole is preferred, add all the Hass Avocado in step 1. If a chunkier guacamole is what you like, add all the Hass Avocado at the end and gently stir in.

 Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Hass Avocado Stuffed Marinated Mushrooms

From (Hass Avocado Board)

Makes 8 servings


2 (8-oz.) boxes fresh white mushrooms

2/3 cup prepared balsamic dressing

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. coarse ground garlic salt

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, halved, seeded and scooped out

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


Using a wet paper towel, wipe all mushrooms to remove any soil.

Pop out mushroom stems. Place mushroom caps in a sealable plastic bag and add salad dressing, making sure all the mushrooms are coated with dressing. Marinate the mushrooms for 30 minutes.

Remove mushrooms from dressing and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, garlic salt, onion and avocados. Coarsely mash, combining all ingredients. Spoon avocado mixture into a sealable plastic bag and seal tightly.

Push mixture away from one of the bottom corners of the bag. Using scissors cut a small hole in this corner of the plastic bag. Squeeze a generous amount of the avocado mixture through the hole in the bag into each mushroom cap and sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve.

 Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Black Bean, Avocado and Corn Salsa

From (Hass Avocado Board)

Makes 6 servings


1/4 cup vinaigrette salad dressing

1/4 cup sliced scallions

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. grated lime peel

15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1 fully ripened avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced


In large bowl, whisk together salad dressing, scallions, cilantro and lime peel. Stir in beans, corn and red pepper.

Add avocado; toss gently. Season with salt, if desired.

 Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas


Makes 4 servings


1 red onion, sliced thin

1 bell pepper, sliced thin (red or green) (optional)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded

1/2-1 cup barbecue sauce

1 -2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Cilantro, chopped (optional)

4 large flour tortillas

additional barbecue sauce


Saute onions and bell peppers (if using) in pan with butter. Remove from pan and set aside.

In another pan heat through shredded chicken with bbq sauce.

Lightly butter one side of a tortilla.

Place butter side down in saute pan.

Quickly add some of the cheese, chicken and onions (peppers and cilantro, if using) to one half of tortilla. Then quickly fold in half forming a semi-circle.

Continue to cook until bottom side is golden brown, then carefully flip quesadilla over.

Brown other side and remove from pan.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Cut quesadilla into wedges and serve with additional barbecue sauce.

Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Mustard Arugula Salad

Makes 6 servings



1 1/3 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (about 4 pounds)


1 1/3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter, melted


3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 5-ounce package arugula

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler into strips



Whisk first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover and chill overnight, turning occasionally.


Mix first 10 ingredients in another large bowl. Place 1 wire rack on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets. Remove 1 chicken breast from bowl. Turn chicken breast in coating mixture. Transfer to rack, skin side up. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts, arranging 3 breasts on each rack. Let stand 30 minutes.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon melted butter over each breast. Place 1 baking sheet on top rack and second sheet on bottom rack.

Bake chicken 20 minutes. Reverse baking sheets. Bake until coating is browned and instant-read thermometer registers 160°F when inserted into thickest part of breast, about 20 minutes longer.


Meanwhile, whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with pepper.

Place arugula and Parmesan in large bowl. Add some of dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 1 chicken breast on each plate. Divide salad among plates and serve.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Grapes and Almonds


Serves 4 to 6


2 cups water

1 1/3 cups quinoa

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups green or red grapes, quartered

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa and a pinch of salt then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed,15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking well. Add quinoa and toss to combine. Add chicken, grapes and almonds and toss again. Serve at room temperature or chilled, if you like.

Easy Grape Salad



1 pound seedless green grapes

1 pound seedless red grapes

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

1 (6 ounce) package slivered almonds


Wash grapes in a colander under running water, and remove all stems. Place in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture over the grapes. Using a rubber spatula or large serving spoon, fold the mixture into the grapes until well coated. Fold in the almonds.

This salad may be served immediately, or covered and refrigerated for 1 hour to set slightly, and to allow flavors to blend.

Apple Coleslaw


Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Poppy Seed Honey Dressing:

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup poppy seeds

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium cabbage, cored, finely shredded

2 large carrots, peeled, julienne

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup finely minced parsley leaves, optional

4 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, julienne

Prepare the Poppy Seed Dressing. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients together until well blended. Set aside.

Prepare the salad. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, parsley, and apples. Pour in the reserved dressing and toss until well blended. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, mixing the salad at least once to evenly distribute the dressing.

Apple Strudel Muffins


Makes 12 servings


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped apples

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Warm Brie with Fuji Apple, Pear and Melba Toasts


Yield: 4 servings


1 large Fuji apple

1 large red or brown skinned pear, slightly underripe

A wedge lemon

1 pound individual wheel brie cheese

24 sesame Melba toast rounds, any brand


Quarter apple and pear lengthwise and cut into each quarter on an angle to remove the core. Slice apple and pear into 1/4-inch thick slices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fruit to slow browning.

Cut the top rind off the brie and place in the microwave on high for 60 seconds. Depending on the ripeness of the cheese, it will take 60 to 90 seconds on high to heat and melt. If brie is not yet soft and hot after 1 minute, place it back in microwave for another 30 seconds on high.

Serve the softened, warm brie with a platter of fruit and Melba toasts for dipping and spreading. Reheat brie if it tightens up for 20 to 30 seconds at a time on high.

Raspberry, Avocado & Mango Salad


From EatingWell: July/August 2007

Makes 5 servings, about 2 cups each


1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 cups mixed salad greens

1 ripe mango, diced (see Tip)

1 small ripe avocado, diced

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts, or sliced almonds (see Tip), optional


Puree 1/2 cup raspberries, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender until combined.

Combine greens, mango, avocado and onion in a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top and gently toss to coat. Divide the salad among 5 salad plates. Top each with the remaining raspberries and sprinkle with nuts, if using.

Tips & Notes

Tips: To dice a mango:

1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.

2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.

3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.

4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.

To toast chopped or sliced nuts, heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Raspberry Truffle Tart


Makes 10 servings



1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

1 egg white

2 tablespoons ground almonds


6 oz sweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces

1/4 cup butter

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons raspberry-flavored liqueur, if desired

2 cups fresh raspberries


1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 oz sweet baking chocolate

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Mint leaves


Heat oven to 375°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom or 9-inch glass pie pan. Trim edge if necessary. Bake 7 minutes.

Remove partially baked crust from oven. Lightly brush crust with egg white; sprinkle with ground almonds. Return to oven; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool while making filling.

In 2-quart saucepan, melt 6 oz chocolate and the butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.

In small bowl, beat egg yolks slightly with wire whisk. Stir in liqueur. Add egg yolk mixture to chocolate. With wire whisk, beat over low heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Pour into cooled baked shell. Arrange raspberries over filling.

In 1-quart saucepan, melt jam over low heat. Stir in extract. Gently brush over raspberries.

In another 1-quart saucepan, melt 1 oz chocolate with oil over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Drizzle over raspberries. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with mint leaves. Store in refrigerator.

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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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