I am not a scientist. I am not a proselyte. I do believe I am a witness to evolution. At least to the evolution of grocery shopping in El Paso.
Over the past few months as a new Whole Foods Market was being built, the Sprouts Farmers Market developed an olive bar, a soup bar and a pretty fair salad and take out entrée bar. Greatly appreciated, but a little out of the way for me. Suddenly, since the Whole Foods opened, the closest and somewhat corporately neglected Albertsons nearest to it has evolved to include a modest soup and salad bar and a fairly decent bulk foods display of grains and nuts. It even has had a facelift inside and out and is has more varied in all areas than previously. I will give it credit for having a wings bar that has provided last minute suppers at my house. People who are familiar with the Whole Foods concept know about well stocked cold and hot food bars, many prepared foods to take home and an exhilarating variety of produced and seafood new to us. The evolution in markets here is a good thing for our palates. Rumors of HEB and Trader Joe’s are floating and we await the next step in evolution in El Paso
I managed to hit both Whole Foods and Albertsons and find the makings for a different and fun dinner. I love the cold bar at Whole Foods. I can build an interesting salad with lettuces, grains, vegetables and cheeses that lets me have a salad for two without over filling the vegetable drawers in the fridge. It makes salads fun at last! Sometimes the well-stocked olive bar adds a new kick to a salad as does a wonderful cevichi bar.
The other night, I picked up roasted purple and white cauliflower florets, roasted broccoli and mixed greens for my dinner salad. Around the corner at Albertsons I found mushroom agnolotti on sale. The agnolotti are similar to ravioli. The mushroom ones were excellent and I’m be trying the artichoke one’s soon. My luck held out and large shell on shrimp were on sale, too.
This dinner came together quickly. I let the shrimp sit in a coating of garlic powder while I put the salad together and made a blistered tomato sauce for the agnolotti. I pan grilled the shrimp and plated it up for an good evolved meal. I’m getting spoiled by convenience. If I watch myself, I don’t blow the budget with what I bring home (most of the time).