There comes a point in every young mother’s life when she can no longer ignore the call of the Costco membership. Maybe it’s the gigantic box of diapers, the cheap organic milk, or the big bottles of wine (it’s definitely the wine!), but the urge to “Go Big” grabs us all.
Unfortunately, once we get into the store for the first time it is overwhelming. As Sarah already mentioned, there is plenty of great things to buy here. If you can believe it, I walked out of my first Costco visit with just a jug of Vega protein powder and a box of Kashi granola bars. (Don’t worry – the second time I went the other way and left with a trunkful of stuff I’m still working off of two years later. Who uses that much toilet paper in a reasonable time??)
To help you make sense of your first visit and to bring order to your weeknight meals, here are my favorite food items from Costco and five meals you can make from them.
What To Buy At Costco
- Gigantic box of fresh spinach
- Six-pack of red peppers
- Infamous rotisserie chicken or gigantic package of frozen organic chicken breasts cooked using Pioneer Woman’s recipe
- 2 pack of goat cheese
- 2 lb. block of cheddar cheese (Look in the freezer section for the Kirkland brand. Just as good as Tillamook.)
- 10 lb. bag of organic brown rice
- Frozen organic green peas (5 lb bag)
- Organic black beans (cans by the case)
- Mac and Cheese by the case (We like Annie’s, but YDY.)
- Angelic Bakehouse Premium Wraps (three bags of six wraps each)
- My Secret Ingredient (Read on for more!)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets and lay down two Angelic Bakehouse wraps on each. Top with spinach, chopped red pepper, and goat cheese and another wrap. Bake for 6-8 minutes until cheese is melty. Serve with salsa for dipping.
For a side dish, mix cooked brown rice, drained black beans, and salsa.
(Pro-tip: when you make brown rice tonight, make a whole lot of it. Freeze in 2- 4 cup portions and pull out for quick and easy future meals. Put in the microwave straight from the freezer and dinner is ready in until 5 minutes.)
Too Long Tuesday
Tuesday is my longest workday where I am in the kitchen all day making dinner for customers. Ironically, we rarely eat a home cooked meal that night. Who has time to make dinner when you work late??
In comes the savior, boxed mac and cheese. Since day one of cooking for my kiddos, I have always thrown in equal parts green peas to noodles (about halfway through the noodles cooking time), so it’s a guaranteed way to know my ladies will eat a vegetable.
Serve pieces of the rotisserie chicken on the side or mixed right into the pasta dish.
“Why Not” Wednesdays
I’ll be the first to admit that I take dinner time too seriously. We must have a fruit and a veggie. We must only use clean ingredients. If the kids don’t eat everything on their plate, I am a failure! Yada, yada, yada. Tonight’s dinner brings fun back to the table in the form of a communal platter of nachos.
Cut one package of the wraps into chips (making 36 chips). Place on a greased baking sheet. Top with cheddar cheese, black beans, and shreds of chicken. Then add more cheese because why not. Bake for a few minutes at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and everything is heated through. Serve with salsa.
Mix a quick salad of spinach, red pepper, and crumbled goat cheese. Add craisins or nuts if you have some on hand and serve with your favorite bottled dressing. If you don’t have any dressing around, a quick mix of balsamic vinegar and olive oil is the perfect topping for this simple salad.
Let’s take it back to the old school with a quick casserole. Mix any leftover chicken shreds with four cups of rice, a big ole handful of shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled goat cheese, a pile of spinach and a little milk to moisten it all up. Top with a little more cheese and bake in the oven at 375 for 15-25 minutes depending on how cold the ingredients were.
Serve with a side of peas.
Forget About It Friday
I wanted to call this day something else, but that’s probably not appropriate language for this blog. I bet you can guess. 😉
Anyway, if you’ve cooked every night this week it’s time for a break. Use my secret ingredient and take the night off. What’s the secret ingredient? The Kirkland brand four-pack of pepperoni pizzas. The pepperoni is perfectly salty and they serve their purpose of getting the family fed, so it’s a win. If you have any red peppers left, cut them into slices and be happy knowing you at least tried to serve a vegetable tonight.
Come check out your local Costco for Mom Hour on Friday, November 4th to pick up all these ingredients and a bag of chips. (Seriously – the Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips are like Fritos, but so, so much better.)