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Published: Sunday, 3/4/2012

New approach to grocery store inspires recipe

Skinny Baked Chicken with Chopped BLT Salad. Skinny Baked Chicken with Chopped BLT Salad.

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 being as focused as possible.

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.

My new approach and inspiration to grocery shopping is all about enjoyment!

Visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at kitchenscoop.com.

Suggested menu:

Skinny Baked Chicken With Chopped BLT Salad

Iced tea with lemon

Wheat crackers

Skinny Baked Chicken With Chopped BLT Salad

Start to finish: 20 minutes

4 ounces thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup light peppercorn ranch dressing, divided use, or more to taste (see Note)

2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

2 cups chopped or torn romaine lettuce

1 cup sliced grape tomatoes

1 slice cooked bacon, crumbled, or 1 tablespoon real bacon bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 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.

Note: Any type of creamy ranch-style dressing may be used. Nutritional analysis is based on reduced-fat peppercorn ranch dressing.

Yield: 1 serving, easily doubled, tripled, or more

Approximate values per serving: 404 calories, 19 g fat (4 g saturated), 118 mg cholesterol, 40 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 653 mg sodium

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