Shop Cheap

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

August 31, 2010
So long summer sales

Labor Day is just around the  corner and despite the temperature, you know it means so long to summer. To savor the last, lazy weekend before we start going all fall, Shop Cheap and the local supermarkets are focusing on our favorite summer foods.

But first, if you want to stock up on soda, this is the week to do it. At both Raley's and Safeway, Pepsi/Dr. Pepper/7.UP products are buy 2-12 packs, get 3 free. When Shop Cheap does the math, that's $12 (plus CRV) for 60 cans. But stop the presses, at Save Mart, 5-12-packs of Pepsi or Dew are just $10! Another good deal in the liquid dept.: a case of Crystal Geyser spring water at Henry's for $2.88.

Now for the other good stuff.

At Raley's - where "It's a Mom's World" - tri tip is $2.77lb; boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.97lb; gourmet burgers are $3.99lb and pork spareribs are $1.99lb. Corn on the cob is 5/$1; cantaloupe is 77-cents each; berries are 2/$5 and fresh limes are 10/$1.

If you are having a backyard BBQ or picnic, Stagg chili is 99-cents a can; Ball Park franks are 2/$3; Tostitos chips are $1.89; Arrowhead drinking water is $3.33 a case and 9-inch apple pie is $3.97. If you'd rather do the already-cooked picnic, 16-piece chicken is $9.99. Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and 7-UP 2-liter jugs are 89 cents when you buy 4 and Raley's sparkling/flavored water is 78-cents.

In the deli, chicken strips are $5.99 and Nob Hill dip is 2/$7. In the bakery, chocolate or strawberry shortcakes are $9.99 each.

Swinging over to Elk Grove and the new Henry's, whole Foster Farms chickens are 69-cents a pound; corn on the cob is 8/$1; watermelon is $1.98 each and apple pies are $2.99 each. Other great produce deals include gold pineapples for $1.50 each; O'Henry peaches for 88-cents a pound; raspberries 2/$3 and seedless grapes $1.50 a pound.

Super lean ground sirloin is $2.77lb in the family pack; deli salads are 99-cents a pound and lemonade is $1.88. In the Henry's kitchen, sliced roast beef is $4.99lb; focaccia bread is $1.69 a loaf and mild cheddar is $2.99lb.

Save Mart is advertising Foster Farms chickens for 79-cents a pound. Pork spareribs are $1.57lb and Ball Park or Oscar Mayer franks are BOGO. Always great with the produce prices are watermelon for $1.47; seedless grapes for 59-cents a pound; avocado for $1 and BOGO salad blends. A 5lb. bag of Sierra Rose or Gold potatoes is $2.49. Be sure to check out the recipe for Red Potato Salad.

If you're doing the BBQ, Kingsford briquets are $6.99; buns are $1.99 and olives are $1 a can.In the bakery, Fresh strawberry Boston cakes are $6.99 with coupon. In the deli, Butterball turkey breast is $6.99lb.

Flip to the back page of the ad for the best deals. Coupons for Coke products (buy 2, get 1 free); Doritos or Tostitos for $1.49 a bag and Ball Park meat franks for 99 cents. Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce is $1 a bottle and Sunnyside buns are 99-cents a package.

Safeway will get you clipping this week with buns for 99-cents; Lay's chips for $1.79; Bar S jumbo franks for 88-cents and whole seedless watermelon for $2.88. Eggo waffles are $1.77 and Kraft cheese is $1.69.

In produce, berries are BOGO, red or green bell peppers are 99-cents each and nectarines are 99-cents a pound. Nabisco snack crackers are BOGO and fresh baked cookies in the bakery are 2/$5. Oroweat, Thomas' or Francisco buns are BOGO, fresh baked rolls are 3/$1 and whole Dungeness crab is $5.99lb.

Large Lucerne eggs are BOGO; and 89oz jug of Florida's natural OJ is $3.99. Safeway's special All-American pie - half cherry/half apple - is $2.50 and the Friday only $5 special is 8-piece chicken.

Come back on Thursday for some end-of-summer recipes from the Shop Cheap kitchen.

August 25, 2010
Chicken recipes for every taste

So much chicken, so few recipes. To remedy that problem, recipe researcher Sheila Kern went to the Shop Cheap Kitchen and came out with 5 different ways to prepare chicken. Whole chicken is on sale this week at Safeway for 79-cents a pound; parts are a good buy, too at Raley's. We also have recipes that include grapes (on sale at Save Mart) and avocado (great price at Henry's). Enjoy

 Braised Chicken with Lemon and Olives Recipe


Makes 4 servings


4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 whole chicken cut in pieces, with bones

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 lemon

1/3 cup Kalamata olives

2 Roma tomatoes

2 sprigs thyme

1/2 bottle white wine

Additional salt and pepper



Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other large pot over medium high heat.

On a plate, mix flour, salt and pepper. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Dredge skin side of chicken in flour then place flour side down in preheated pan. Season non-floured side of chicken with salt and pepper. If chicken does not all fit in one layer, work in two batches. Saute chicken for 3-4 minutes until browned on one side.

Meanwhile, slice onion into 1/4-inch pieces and crush garlic with the back of a chef's knife. Flip chicken over and add onion and garlic to pan, tucking down between chicken pieces. Saute for about 3 minutes until onion start to soften.

Peel 1/2 of lemon with a vegetable peeler. Use a sharp knife to cut lemon into strips 1/8th inch thick. Cut tomatoes into a large dice. Add lemon strips, olives, tomatoes and thyme to the pot with the chicken, tucking ingredients in between the chicken pieces. Add the wine to the pot making sure it comes about half way up the chicken without submerging it completely. Bring the flame to high to bring the wine to a boil. Season liquid with a bit of extra salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cover pot with a lid and braise chicken for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces, until cooked through. Remove from heat. Taste liquid for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve chicken with the braising liquid and bread to sop it up.

Broiled Chicken With Herb Butter


Makes 4 servings


3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

3 tablespoons minced shallots or onion

1/2 teaspoon each thyme leaves and rubbed sage

1 teaspoon dry tarragon

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 whole (3 to 3 1/2-pound) frying chicken, quartered

1/4 cup dry white wine or regular strength chicken broth


In a small pan, thoroughly combine butter, shallots, thyme, sage, tarragon, salt, pepper, and lemon peel. Set aside.

Reserve chicken neck and giblets for other uses, if desired. Rinse chicken and pat dry. With a sharp knife, cut small slits in skin over breasts, thighs, and meaty part of wings. Push small amounts of butter mixture through slits between skin and flesh, using about 3/4 of the butter mixture and dividing it evenly among chicken quarters.

Melt remaining butter mixture over low heat and stir in wine. Remove from heat. Arrange chicken quarters, skin side down, on a rack in a broiler pan.

Broil 6 to 8 inches below heat for 15 minutes, brushing several times with butter mix¬ture. Turn chicken over and continue to broil, brushing occasionally with butter mixture, until meat near thighbone is no longer pink when slashed (15 to 20 more minutes).

Beer Can Chicken


Yield: 4 servings


1 (4-pound) whole chicken

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons of your favorite dry spice rub

1 can beer


Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub chicken lightly with oil then rub inside and out with salt, pepper and dry rub. Set aside.

Open beer can and take several gulps (make them big gulps so that the can is half full). Place beer can on a solid surface. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its 2 legs and the can like a tripod.

Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners on directly under the bird), with the grill cover on, for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Grilled Citrus Chicken Under a Brick


Bon Appétit | May 2008

Yield: Makes 4 servings


1 cup fresh orange juice

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

3 teaspoons salt, divided

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 whole chicken (about 3 3/4 pounds), neck and giblets removed, butterflied

1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 1/2 oranges

2 foil-wrapped bricks or 1 cast-iron skillet


Whisk juices, olive oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and garlic in glass baking dish. Add chicken to marinade. Turn to coat; chill 2 hours, turning occasionally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled).

Mix remaining 2 teaspoons salt, paprika, and pepper in small bowl.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Slice 1/2 orange into 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick slices. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry. Loosen skin from chicken breast and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and breast. Loosen skin from thighs and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and thighs. Rub paprika mixture over both sides of chicken. Place chicken, skin side down, on grill. Place foil-wrapped bricks or cast-iron skillet atop chicken (if using bricks, position 1 brick over top half of chicken and 1 brick over bottom half). Cover and grill until skin is crispy and brown, about 15 minutes. Remove bricks or skillet. Using tongs or 2 large spatulas, turn chicken. Replace bricks or skillet and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes longer. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place whole orange on grill and cook until slightly charred, turning often, about 1 minute. Cut into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over chicken.

Honey-Mustard Chicken


Makes 4 servings


3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons grainy mustard

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, preferably Madras

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 3-pound chicken, skin removed, trimmed and cut into 8 pieces


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, coat a rack with cooking spray and set it on top.

Combine honey, mustard, oil, curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush chicken pieces all over with the mustard glaze; set the pieces on the rack.

Bake, basting occasionally, until the chicken is golden on the outside and no longer pink in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Grape Sorbet Recipe


Makes 6 servings


4 cups chilled grapes (any variety)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice


Process the grapes and sugar in a food processor or blender for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the grape skins are pulverized. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Stir the grape puree with the lemon juice and freeze the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Strawberry, Melon and Avocado Salad


Makes 4 servings


1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pinch of salt

4 cups baby spinach

1 small avocado (4-5 ounces), peeled, pitted and cut into 16 slices

16 thin slices cantaloupe (about 1/2 small cantaloupe), rind removed

1 1/2 cups hulled strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)


Whisk honey, vinegar, mint, pepper and salt in a small bowl.

Divide spinach among 4 salad plates. Arrange alternating slices of avocado and cantaloupe in a fan on top of the spinach. Top each salad with strawberries, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

TIP: To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. MAKE AHEAD TIP: The dressing will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Alpine Muesli with Red and Green Grapes


Makes 4 servings


1 cup rolled oats

ground cinnamon to taste

3 tablespoons raisins

1/2 cup skim milk

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1/2 cup seedless green grapes

1/2 cup seedless red grapes


Place the oats, cinnamon and raisins in a bowl. Add the milk. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Stir in the nuts and grapes when ready to serve.

Chicken Quesadillas With Avocado-Cucumber Salsa


Yield: 4 servings


1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced small

2 Kirby cucumbers, peeled and diced small

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 pound cooked chicken, shredded (about 1 1/3 cups)

1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about a cup)

8 6-inch corn tortillas

Olive oil, for brushing


In a bowl, mix together the avocado, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, jalapeño, salt and pepper.

Sandwich some of the chicken and cheese between two tortillas; repeat with the remaining chicken, cheese and tortillas. Brush the top and bottom of each quesadilla lightly with oil.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot. Cook the quesadillas, in batches, if necessary, until the cheese melts and the tortillas are crisp and golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.

Cut into wedges and top with some of the salsa.

August 24, 2010
Grocery deals are hot, hot, hot

Want a tip on staying cool during our 100+ weather? Try the frozen food aisle at the grocery store. Or anywhere at the grocery store. It's always cool.

And to fit right in with the weather, Safeway is having a Red Hot Weekend sale! Sometimes things just work out. The red hot prices to match include Kraft salad dressing - buy one get 2 free; Safeway SELECT or Minute Maid OJ FOR $1.99; Oscar Mayer sliced bacon for $3.49; Cheez-It crackers foar $1.25 and Angel food cake in the bakery for $1.49.

Other stuff we like at Safeway: Whole Foster Farms chickens for 79-cents a pound; 80% lean ground beef for $1.99lb and BOGO Foster Farms lean ground turkey. Jones sliced Canadian bacon or ham is 2/$6; General Mills Lucky Charms or Honey Nut Cheerios are $1.99 a box and Safeway Select variety breads are $1.79 a loaf.

They also having a 99-cent event with Cloverhill Danish, 6-packs of Nestle flavored water; Lucerne cream cheese; Minute Maid lemonade and Aquafresh toothpaste for less than $1.

In produce, white peaches or nectarines are 99-cents a pound; jumbo cantaloupe is 67-cents each; oranges are 99-cents a pound; and mushrooms are $1 a pound. In the coupon corner, check out the dozen eggs for $1.29; Safeway salsa for $1.99 and Kellogg's Mini-Wheats for $1.99. The $5 Friday special is Roasted Turkey Breast or Turkey Pot Roast. Signature Cafe salads are $3.99; cole slaw is $2.49lb and deli style breads in the bakery are $2.49.

If you do chips and soda, Doritos are BOGO and 2-liter Pepsi or 7-UP is 88-cents.

Checking out the new Henry's in Elk Grove, we are liking the 2/$1 avocado; red & green grapes for 88-cents a pound; bell peppers ar 4/$1; gala apples 77-cents a pound and mini seedless watermelon 2/$3. Berries are 2/$4, cantaloupes are 2/$1 and a 2lb container of strawberries is $2.99.

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are $1.29lb and boneless rib eye steak is $4.99lb. A case of Arrowhead spring water is $2.99; Dreyers fruit bars are BOGO and Brown Cow nonfat Greek yogurt is 89-cents. In Henry's kitchen, there's Black Forest ham for $6.99lb; Focaccia bread for $1.49 and Irish soda bread for $2.49.

Leaving Henry's and heading for Raley's we're definitely going to do Italian with Classico pasta sauce $2.50; Ronzoni pasta for 99-cents; grated parmesan $2.99 and a French baguette for $1.78. Other stuff we like at Raley's - their new Raley's Dailies. Low prices everyday on items like bananas 68-cents a pound; Zacky free range ground turkey for $3.38; and a 48oz. bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $6.98.

In produce this week, Raley's has nectarines for 77-cents a pound; seedless watermelon for $2.97; New Mexico Hatch peppers for 87-cents a pound and heirloom tomatoes for $2.97lb.

Soda lovers will like the buy 2, get 2 free 12-pack offer. Works out to $12 for 48 cans of Coke.

An 18-pack of Raley's large eggs is $1.98; a case of R Everyday drinking water is $3.28 and Bumble Bee light tuna is 49-cents a can.

Save Mart has the best price on green seedless grapes - 67-cents a pound; Bartlett pears are 29-cents a pound and nectarines are 97-cents a pound. Red or black plums are 99-cents a pound and hot house tomatoes on the vine are $1.97lb.

Cross Rib Roast is $1.99lb (includes a recipe for shredded beef sandwiches); Foster Farms savory servings chicken breasts are $3.99lb and Jeannie-O ground turkey is $2.99 a package.

Bread is a good deal at Save Mart. Bohemian Hearth brand is $1.99 a loaf; Sara Lee Soft & Smooth bread is $1.99 a loaf and La Tortilla factory tortillas are $1.59 a package. Aquafina drinking water is $3.50 a case; 12-packs of 7-UP, A&W or Sunkist soda are $3 and Gatorade is 88-cents. The Big 3 coupons include El Monterey Burritos for 49-cents each; free Kettle Chips when you spend $50 on groceries and buy 2, get 2 free 12-packs of Coke products.

There's also a Kellogg's/Keebler/Sunshine offer. Buy 10 participating items (lots to choose from) and get $10 off plus a $10 off coupon for next time.

Come back on Thursday for recipe tips from the Shop Cheap Kitchen.

August 19, 2010
First come the sales, then the recipes

From appetizers, to main dishes and dessert, we have you covered this week. Researcher Sheila Kern scanned Shop Cheap, then hit the kitchen. She came up with recipes that include peaches (on sale almost everywhere); Pillsbury crescents (Save Mart); ground beef and ground turkey and as always - boneless chicken breast. Enjoy!

Parmesan Crescent-Topped Chicken A La King


Makes 8 servings


2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 1/2 cups carrot strips (1 1/2x1/4x1/4 inch)

1 1/2 cups cut fresh green beans or Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers frozen cut green beans

1 cup thin red bell pepper strips (1 medium)

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 3/4 cups Progresso Chicken Broth (from 32-oz. carton)

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 375°F. In large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add carrots, green beans, bell pepper and onions; cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to skillet. Stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Spoon into ungreased 2 1/2-quart oval casserole or 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Starting at short side of triangle, roll each triangle up halfway. Arrange over hot chicken mixture with tips toward center. DO NOT OVERLAP. Brush crescent rolls with egg white; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until crescent rolls are golden brown.

Sweet-and-Sour Shrimp Puffs


Makes 16 appetizers


3 tablespoons cream cheese spread (from 8-oz container)

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated butter flake crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls)

16 uncooked deveined peeled large shrimp (about 1/2 lb), thawed if frozen, tails removed, if desired

3 tablespoons sesame seed

1/3 cup SMUCKER'S Apricot Preserves


Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheet with CRISCO Original No-Stick Cooking Spray, or line with cooking parchment paper. In small bowl, mix cream cheese, soy sauce, ginger and garlic until well blended; set aside.

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise in half to make 16 triangles. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon cream cheese mixture on each triangle. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Place 1 shrimp on shortest side of each triangle; roll up, starting at shortest side, rolling to opposite point.

Place sesame seed in small bowl. Gently press top of each roll into sesame seed; place roll, point side down, on cookie sheet.

Bake 16 to 21 minutes or until golden brown.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave preserves uncovered on High about 20 seconds or until melted. Gently spread 1 teaspoon melted preserves over each puff to glaze. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles


Makes 4 servings


2 4-ounce cans diced green chiles, drained and patted dry

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed and patted dry

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups nonfat milk

6 large egg whites

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat eight 6-ounce or four 10-ounce heatproof ramekins with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.

Equally divide green chiles, corn and scallions among the ramekins. Top each with cheese. Whisk milk, egg whites, eggs and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the ramekins.

Bake the mini casseroles until the tops begin to brown and the eggs are set, about 25 minutes for 6-ounce ramekins and about 35 minutes for 10-ounce ramekins.

Speedy Spinach Quiche


Bon Appetit | June 1991

Serves 6


1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, chopped

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained well

1 9-inch refrigerated ready piecrust (1/2 box)

1 teaspoon all purpose flour

1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) grated Monterey Jack

1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) grated Parmesan

4 eggs

1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon dried dillweed


Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and stir until spinach is dry, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Dust 1 side of crust with flour. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter quiche dish or pie pan, floured side down. Press into pan, sealing any cracks. Trim edges. Sprinkle both cheeses over bottom of crust. Top with spinach mixture. Beat eggs, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and dillweed in large bowl to blend. Pour over spinach. Bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve.

Breakfast Burrito


Yield: 4 servings, serving size 1 burrito


2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 small red onion, diced (1 cup)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup drained, rinsed canned black beans, preferably low-sodium

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 eggs and 4 egg whites

1/3 cup (about 1 1/2-ounce) shredded pepper Jack cheese

Cooking spray

4 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas (burrito-size)

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup salsa

1 large tomato, (4 ounces) seeded and diced

1 small avocado (4 ounces), cubed

Hot sauce


Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until onions are softened and peppers are slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Add black beans and red pepper flakes and cook until warmed through, another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a dish.

Whisk together the eggs and egg whites then stir in the cheese. Spray the skillet with cooking spray, and reheat the skillet over a medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add eggs, scrambling until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon each sour cream and salsa, then layer with 1/4 of the black bean mixture, 1/4 of the scrambled eggs, some diced tomato and 1/4 of the avocado. Season, to taste, with hot sauce. Roll up burrito-style and serve.

Tex-Mex Taco Salad


Makes 2 servings


1/2 cup prepared salsa

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 teaspoon canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces lean ground beef or turkey

1 large plum tomato, diced

1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Combine salsa and sour cream in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add beef (or turkey) and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato, beans, cumin, chili powder and salt; cook, stirring, until the tomato begins to break down, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the salsa mixture.

Add lettuce to the remaining salsa mixture and toss to coat. Divide the lettuce between 2 plates, top with the cooked meat and sprinkle with cheese.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Peach-Pecan Vinaigrette


Serves 4


1/4 cup toasted pecans, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger (optional)

3 peaches, pitted and sliced

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 red onion, sliced

1 head lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, grilled and chopped


Puree pecans, vinegar, ginger, one-third of the peaches, 2 to 4 tablespoons water, salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth. If desired, press through a fine sieve for a silkier dressing. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining peaches, onion, lettuce and chicken and toss to combine; garnish with more pecans.

Grilled Peaches and Cream


Makes 8 servings


4 peaches, halved and pitted

2 tablespoons clover honey

1 cup soft cream cheese with honey and nuts

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat a grill for medium-high heat.

Brush peaches with a light coating of oil. Place pit side down onto the grill. Grill for 5 minutes, or until the surfaces have nice grill marks. Turn the peaches over, and drizzle with a bit of honey. Place a dollop of the cream cheese spread in the place where the pit was. Grill for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until the filling is warm. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Peach Cobbler


From the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse

Servings: 6-8


2 lbs peaches (aprox 6-8 peaches)

1/4 c. light brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

2 c. blueberries

2 tbsp butter

1/2 c. sugar and a separate 1/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1/2 c. milk

1 c. flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp vanilla extract


Start with the blueberries. Combine 2 cups fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until a syrup forms for 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Now, the 2 lbs of fresh peaches -- pit and peel them, then chop the 2 lbs of fresh peaches (enough to make 3 1/2 cups) you can leave the skin on if you prefer.

Toss peaches in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp salt. Let sit for a few minutes to absorb flavor.

For the cobbler topping: In another large mixing bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg in a bowl and whisk. Add 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup milk. Beat well with a wire whisk until the mixture is smooth and resembles a cake batter.

To layer use a 3 quart rectangular casserole dish, spread the peach mixture evenly across the bottom. Spoon the blueberry mixture evenly over the peaches. Then pour the batter evenly over the blueberries.

Bake in a 375 degree oven, bake cobbler for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, in order for flavors to meld before serving. Serve warm with ice cream and fresh mint.


August 17, 2010
There's a new kid on the block - Henry

It's not like Shop Cheap is chained to her chair, she was just too darn busy to get out to Henry's Farmers Market for the grand opening. But if Wednesday's ad is any indication of what the store has to offer, you can bet that Cheap will get there before another grocery insert hits her desk.

Before we give you the skinny on what's cart worthy at Henry's, we want to give a shout out to Raley's for lowering the price of Bayview non-fat milk to $3.99 for 2 gallons. It's all part of their "Mom's World" outreach.

Back to Henry's where at 8 a.m. Wednesday they open their doors at 8211 Laguna Blvd. If you live in Elk Grove and subscribe to The Bee, you'll get the ad in your paper. You can also visit their website at

We've got to believe that these are grand-opening prices because they are that good. Bananas 4lbs for $1; peaches 3lbs for $1 and fresh pineapple for 98-cents. Other stuff that has Shop Cheap excited: Eggs for 99-cents a dozen; Arrowhead water for $2.50 a case; boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.59lb and New York steak for $3.97lb. Extra lean ground beef is $2.99 a pound and baby back ribs are $2.99 in the family pack. In seafood, Coho salmon fillets are $6.99lb; sea scallops are $7.99lb and snapper fillets are $4.99lb.

In the grocery aisle, Boulder natural chips are 99-cents a bag; Blue Diamond Almond Breeze is BOGO and extra virgin olive oil is $5.99 for a liter. Henry's kitchen looks pretty tasty with gourmet sliced turkey for $6.99lb; rotisserie chicken for $5.99 each and cibatta bread for $1.99 a loaf.

In dairy, cottage cheese is $1.79 a carton; Cascade yogurt is 50-cents and half-gallons of milk are $1.50. Haagen-Dazs ice cream is BOGO and Van's waffles are 2/$5. In produce, Braeburn apples are 88-cents a pound; avocados are 77-cents each; bell pepers are 77-cents each and a whole seedless watermelon is $2.98.

Heading over to Raley's, where you know we will be picking up the non-fat milk for $3.99. Also on the list, Sutter sirloin steak (it's BOGO); yellow peaches for 77-cents a pound and Breyer's ice cream for $2.50. There a Kellogg's & Keebler sale - buy 4 items like Mini-Wheats, Rice Krispies, Nutri-Grain bars or Club crackers - and each item is $1.79.

Jeannie-O Turkey store Italian sausage or ground turkey is $3.99 a package; French bread or baguettes in the bakery are $1.78 and dog or burger buns are $1.48.

There's plenty to like in produce. Blueberries are $5.97 for a 2lb container. Blackberries and raspberries are 2/$5; a 3lb bag of apples is $2.98 and a bag of mini carrots is $1.58.

Safeway has a Saturday/Sunday sale that includes cooked shrimpmeat for $3.77lb; garlic bread for $1.29; butter for $1.99 and the All-American sub sandwich for $5.99.

Week-long specials include boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.88lb; fresh pork spareribs for $1.67lb and BOGO Nathan's Famous Franks. Watch for a rush on soda, because Coca-Cola fridge packs are buy 2, get 2 free. Other BOGO buys: Classico pasta sauce; 18-count large eggs and berries. Safeway has a ton of coupons, including bath tissue or paper towels for $4.88; All detergent for $3.49; Kleenex for 79-cents and Skippy peanut butter for $1.49.

In produce, grape tomatoes are 99-cents; nectarines are 77-cents a pound; celery is 99-cents and corn on the cob 5/$2.

Safeway English muffins are $1 a package; string cheese is $2.99; Home Pride or Nature's pride breads are 2/$4 and Safeway Select or Minute Maid OJ is 2/$5.

The Friday only $5 meals are Signature Cafe rigatoni or  whole roasted chickens. Signature Cafe pizza is $4.99.

Save Mart is back with the glossy ad with prices to match. Red seedless grapes are 67-cents a pound and jumbo cantaloupes are 67-cents each. Also in produce, check out the recipe for guacamole, then pick up some avocado 4/$5. White peaches or nectarines are $1.69lb and berries are 2/$5. A whole seedless watermelon is $4.97.

A Master Cut premium turkey breast is $10. Killer coupons include Michelina's frozen entrees for 69-cents; Coke 12-packs - buy 2, get one free and chicken strips for $3.99.

Quaker cereals are on sale for $1.99. Ruffles, Tostitos, Lay's and Sun Chips are $2.50 a bag; Arrowhead spring water is $3.33 a case and Guerrero corn tortillas are $1.50 a pack. Buy 3 Pillsbury items, like pizza crust, breadsticks or crescent rolls (3/$6) and get a dozen eggs free. Weight Watchers yogurt is 50-cents and Sunnyside Farms cottage cheese is $1.80.

Klonkide bars are $2.99 and fresh bakery cookies are $2.50.

Come back on Thursday to see what's cooking in the Shop Cheap kitchen. 


August 11, 2010
Helping with the back-to-school lunch blues

It's still summertime on the calendar and outside, but the Back to School blues are in the air. In Folsom, Natomas, Twin Rivers and many other districts up and down the region, school is in session. Besides the idea of getting the kids up in the morning - which is never fun after the lazy days of Summer - it also means time to start packing lunch again. Shop Cheap wants to help with that chore so recipe researcher Sheila Kern got out the lunch box and started preparing new and tasty ways to feed the kids. Some recipes are perfect for school days; others are more appropriate for weekends. Enjoy and happy packing.

Apple Sandwiches with Granola and Peanut Butter


Serves 2


2 small apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds

1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

3 tablespoons peanut or almond butter

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons granola


If you won't be eating these tasty treats right away, start by brushing the apples slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut or almond butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches. Transfer to napkins or plates and serve.

Sandwich on a Stick





lunch meat

grape tomatoes





Cut up cubes of bread, cheese, and lunch meat (we ordered 1/2-inch-thick slices of ham and turkey at the deli counter).

Slide the cubes onto a skewer with other foods your child likes, such as a grape tomato, a piece of lettuce, a pickle, or an olive.

Set out a side of mayo or mustard for dipping.

Sweet Potato Chips


Makes 4 servings


2 medium sweet potatoes

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper



Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel 2 medium sweet potatoes and slice as thinly as possible. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. Bake about 20 minutes or until crispy.

Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad


Yield: 4 servings


8 ounces bow tie pasta, preferably whole grain

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen

1 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)



Cook the pasta as the label directs. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking; let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the corn, edamame, bell pepper and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add the parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss again and season to taste.

Vegetable Noodle Soup


Yield: 4 servings, about 4 cups


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 rib celery, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 medium carrot, sliced (about 3/4 cup)

1 clove garlic, smashed

1/4 medium onion, about 1/2 cup

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup orzo or other small pasta or egg noodles or broken up spaghetti

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (1 quart box, or 2 cans)

Small handful fresh parsley leaves, basil or dill, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)

Freshly ground black pepper

Serving suggestion: Whole-wheat crackers and cheese sticks


Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add all the vegetables, garlic and onion. Season with the salt, and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until slightly toasted and golden, about 2 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, covered, until pasta is just tender, about 8 minutes.

Stir in whatever herb suits you (or your young eater) and lemon juice. Season with pepper and additional salt, to taste. Fill thermos, pack in a lunch sack with crackers and cheese sticks and send off to school.

TIP: This soup freezes well, so freeze any leftovers or make a double batch to have plenty on hand. Also, you can stir in some cooked chicken or mini-meatballs, if desired, for another meal.

Cinnamon Snack Mix



4 cups Honey Nut Chex cereal

3 cups vanilla Yogurt Burst Cheerios cereal

2 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

1 1/2 cup raisins

1 cup pecan halves

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix cereals, raisins and pecans.

2. In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter uncovered on High 30 seconds to 1 minute or until melted; stir in honey, orange peel and cinnamon. Pour over cereal mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Spread evenly in ungreased broiler pan or 15x10x1-inch pan.

3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until mixture is glazed, stirring once during bake time. Spread on foil to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store in tightly covered container.

Popcorn Trail Mix


Serves 8


2 cups popped popcorn (preferably unsalted)

3/4 cup roasted almonds or roasted peanuts (preferably unsalted)

3/4 cups unsweetened dried banana chips

3/4 cup fruit-juice sweetened dried cranberries


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide between 8 small storage containers. Trail mix will keep about 5 days.

Apple Cheese Sandwich with Honey and Walnuts


Makes 2 open-faced sandwich servings


4 slices of your favorite bread

1 thinly-sliced Granny Smith apple

6-8 thin slices of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (not shredded)

1 Tbsp. honey

1/4 cup walnuts


Lay bread slices out side by side on a cutting board. Top each slice of bread with a few apple slices and cheese slices.

Drizzle sandwiches with honey. Top with walnuts. Enjoy!

Turkey Sandwich with Hummus



2 Tbsp. hummus

2 slices good-quality soft bread (white or whole wheat, not a crusty bread)

3 oz. sliced turkey


Spread one tablespoon of hummus on one side of each slice of bread.

Place turkey slices over the hummus on one bread slice.

Top with the other bread slice, hummus-side down. Cut in half.

Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad


Epicurious | July 2008

Kids and adults alike will enjoy this lunch. Store this tasty salad in a wide-mouthed thermal container, use several Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves to wrap around the salad instead of bread, and pack the nuts separately in a little plastic bag for sprinkling. For those who can take the heat, add a splash of Chinese hot oil or hot sesame oil to the salad.



1 1/2 cups finely diced cooked chicken meat (6 ounces, about 1 1/2 breast halves)

6 canned peeled water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

1 small celery rib, finely diced

1/2 cup diced apple, such as Gala or Golden Delicious (about 1/2 apple)


1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or sesame tahini

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

3/4 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (optional)

1/4 cup roasted soy nuts or coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts

1 teaspoon hot sesame oil (optional)


Combine the chicken, water chestnuts, carrot, celery and apple in a bowl and stir to mix.

Whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar and soy sauce until smooth. Whisk in the mayonnaise and chives, if using, spoon the dressing over the salad, and mix well. Sprinkle with soy nuts just before serving.

Peanut Butter Berry-Wich


Epicurious | July 2008

Yield: Makes 1 serving


2 slices whole-wheat bread or Banana Bread

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon softened Neufchatel (reduced-fat) cream cheese

2 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 teaspoon honey


Lay the bread slices on a work surface. Spread the peanut butter on one slice and the cream cheese on the other.

Arrange strawberry slices in an even single layer on top of the peanut butter. Drizzle the honey on the berries and then place the other slice of bread with the cream cheese on top. Cut into halves or quarters.



From EatingWell: Spring 2004

Makes 2 servings


1/2 ounce whole shelled (unpeeled) almonds

1/4 ounce unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1/4 ounce dried cranberries

1 tablespoon chopped pitted dates

1 1/2 teaspoon chocolate chips


Combine almonds, peanuts, cranberries, dates and chocolate chips in a small bowl.

Pizza Roll-Up


From EatingWell: March/April 2009

Makes 1 serving


1 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortilla

2 tablespoons prepared pizza sauce

12 leaves baby spinach

3 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella


Place tortilla on a plate and spread pizza sauce over it. Top with an even layer of spinach and sprinkle cheese on top. Microwave on High until the cheese is just melted, about 45 seconds. Carefully roll the tortilla up. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into pieces, if desired.

August 10, 2010
New ad from Save Mart; new store in Elk Grove

Shop Cheap hit the road for some R&R - and some shopping - last week. Came back with a better appreciation for our local supermarkets. Prices are about the same on the Other Coast but the produce doesn't even come close. Most of the good stuff comes from California - berries, pears, grapes. Our East Coast supermarket of choice - SuperFresh - did beat out the California competition on a dozen eggs (89-cents); Nathan's beef franks ($1.99 a package); Tropicana OJ ($1.79) and frozen Eggo waffles (4/$5).

Back home and scanning the ads, Shop Cheap was surprised to find the new-look Save Mart ad in Wednesday's Bee. Gone is the full page, newsprint advertisement. It has been replaced by a slick, glossy tab-sized ad that includes more recipes and coupons. The prices are good-looking, too.

Personal-size seedless watermelon for $1.47; peaches for 47-cents a pound; bananas for 57-cents a pound and cantaloupe for $2. Berries are BOGO and avocado is just $1. Grimmway packaged baby carrots - complete with a recipe - are 97-cents each.

Country-style pork ribs are $1.77lb in the max pak; Applewood or peppered bacon is $2.99lb and wild caught shrimp are $5.99lb.

Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.33 a case; a 2-liter jug of Coke is 99-cents (must buy 4); and Hansen's Natural apple juice is $1.50 a jug. Sunny Select olives are 99-cents a can; Nabisco snack crackers are $1.99 a box and S&W beans are $1 a can.

Bayview Farms Milk is $2.59 for 2 gallons; Yoplait yogurt is 10/$4 and Pillsbury Grands! biscuits are 99-cents. Home Pride or Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.99 a loaf; Lay's or Doritos are $2.50 a bag and Pepsi or Dew 12-packs are 3/$9. Coupons worth clipping: Maxwell House or Yuban coffee for $4.99 and Hormel Natural Choice lunchmeat for $1.99.

Over at Safeway, be sure to check out the produce. Blueberries are $1.99 a pint; black seedless grapes are 77-cents a pound and cucumbers are 3/99-cents. Leaf lettuce is $1 a head; bell peppers are $1 each and Bartlett pears are 99-cents a pound.

It's a crazy coupon week at Safeway. The highlights: a dozen large eggs for 99-cents; MultiGrain Cheerios for $1.99; Fiber One cereal for $1.99 and Safeway pasta for 69-cents. Wishbone salad dressing is $1.19. Tide detergent is $5.99 and Mr. Clean cleaners are $2.99. 

It's all about Back-to-School this week. On Saturday and Sunday, a 12-pack of Nabisco cookies are $2.99; Doritos chips are $1.88 and Sara Lee Classic white or wheat bread is $1.79 a loaf. A family-pack of Frito Lay chips is $5.49 with coupon; Nabisco snack crackers are BOGO and Capri Sun drinks are $2.69 for a box.

London broil is $1.99lb; Safeway chicken legs are 77-cents a pound and Ballpark franks are BOGO.

If you want to mix & match, General Mills has everything from Gushers to granola bars to Golden Grahams. Buy 4 and save $4.

The $5 Friday special is roasted turkey breast or meatloaf. In the bakery, Angel food cake is $2.49; Artisan dinner breads are $2.99 and giant burger buns are $2 a package.

Raley's is putting a new spin on its advertising, targeting Moms. And with that focus they are highlighting "Raley's Dailies," which guarantee lower prices on more than 1,000 items. 

Not  "Raley's Dailies" but good prices just the same: white corn on the cob 5/$1 and boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.87lb. Trimmed tri tip roast is $3.97lb.

Raley's clip-worthy coupons: Home pride bread $1.88 a loaf; Oscar Mayer deli lunchmeat $2.99; Frito Lay family pack of chips $4.77 and freschetta frozen pizza for $3.99.

A case of Crystal Geyser water is $3.33; 2-liter Cokes are 99-cents each (must buy 4); and Crystal Geyser sparkling mineral water is 88-cents a bottle.

Michelina's frozen entrees are 99 cents; S&W beans are 89-cents a can and DelMonte ketchup is 99-cents.

Here's a good one. Raley's now has a Kid's Meal in the deli: half a sandwich; apple slices Goldfish and juice for $2.98. (Check out Shop Cheap on Thursday for our suggestions for back-to-school lunches).

If you live in Elk Grove, there's soon to be a new kid on the block. Henry's Farmers Market will open its first Northern California store at 8211 Laguna Blvd. at 8 a.m. on Aug. 18. (That's next Wednesday.) Check out the ad and tell us what you think.

This Sunday, they are sponsoring a charity bike ride to benefit parks and rec in Elk Grove. Registration starts at 6 a.m. for a 52-mile and a 10-mile ride. Entry fee is $25. For more info go to




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.

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

October 2013

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