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 I've written my list according to the order in which most grocery stores stock their merchandise and, after checking the specials, paper-clipped any coupons I've 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 week's worth of groceries for four. I was intent on one thing -- being as focused as possible.
Contact information ( * required )
Now in a new town with a new schedule, I don't 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 -- enjoying the grocery-shopping experience.
It was this casual enjoyment of my new local grocery that was the catalyst for today's 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 very eyes. I couldn't wait to get home and cook.
And I realized that's what was missing from my previous trips to the grocery store -- joy. My new approach and inspiration to grocery shopping is all about enjoyment. Even if you're not quite there yet when visiting the grocery store, I hope you like this easy and delicious dinner salad.
Suggested menu: Skinny Baked Chicken With Chopped BLT Salad with wheat crackers and iced tea with lemon.
• Alicia Ross has been creating quick family-friendly meals for two decades. Write her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or firstname.lastname@example.org. More at the Kitchen Scoop website, kitchenscoop.com.