For me, grocery shopping has always meant being prepared with a list in hand, coupons clipped and organized. The plan was to start on one side of the store and finish on the opposite, with no backtracking through aisles. For years Iíve written my list according to the order in which most grocery stores stock their merchandise and, after checking the specials, paper-clipped any coupons Iíve saved to the bottom of the list.
I honed it to the most efficient process possible: in and out in less than 20 minutes for a weekís worth of groceries for four. I was intent on one thing: Being as focused as possible.
Now in a new town with a new schedule, I donít need to get in and out so quickly. I find myself meandering through the grocery store aisles, looking at unfamiliar products and being completely intent on something totally different ó enjoying the grocery-shopping experience.
It was this casual enjoyment of my new local grocery that was the catalyst for todayís recipe: Skinny Baked Chicken with Chopped BLT Salad. The abundance of specialty bread crumbs and salad dressings captured my imagination on this trip. As I perused the aisles, this good-for-you dinner salad practically assembled itself before my eyes. I couldnít wait to get home and cook.
And I realized thatís what was missing from my previous trips to the grocery store ó joy. My new approach and inspiration to grocery shopping are all about enjoyment.
Even if youíre not quite there yet when visiting the grocery store, I hope you like this easy and delicious dinner salad.
Skinny Baked Chicken with
Chopped BLT Salad
4 oz. thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
ľ cup light peppercorn ranch dressing, divided use, or more to taste (see note)
2 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
2 cups chopped or torn romaine lettuce
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
1 slice cooked bacon, crumbled, or 1 tbsp. real bacon bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a shallow baking dish or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken breast fillets in a single layer. Cover with 1 tablespoon of the dressing in a thin layer. Sprinkle the panko crumbs over the breasts. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and crumbs are lightly browned.
While chicken is baking, mix together the lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and remaining dressing. Toss to mix well.
Pile salad in the center of a serving plate. When chicken is done, add chicken and drizzle with additional dressing, if desired. Serve at once.
Makes 1 serving, easily doubled, tripled or more.
Note: Any type of creamy ranch-style dressing may be used. Nutritional analysis is based on reduced-fat peppercorn ranch dressing.
Each serving has about 404 calories, 19 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 118 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams dietary fiber and 653 milligrams sodium.
Alicia Ross is the co-author of three cookbooks. Contact her c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://kitchenscoop.com.