Costco Series – Part 2 Healthy Snacks and Grocery Staples

Although I just did a Costco Series post last week, I wanted to do another one because I found lots of new healthy snacks that are wonderful and I also wanted to share a few staples that I always buy. If you’d like to see the healthy and organic choices from last week go here.

Let’s get right to this weeks finds…

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 1. Toasted Natural Sesame Seeds ~ I love the flavor sesame seeds brings to dishes and it will go well with the stir-fry veggies I bought (#2 of this post).

2. Stir-fry Vegetable Blend ~ Costco sells another stir-fry blend that comes with its own sauce, sesame seeds and cashews but the sauce is not gluten-free, so I can never eat it with my family. I bought these so that I can add my own gluten-free sauce, sesame seeds (#1) and cashews. It’s always nice when I can make one meal and not have to make a separate one for me.

3. Shredded Cheddar and Jack Cheese ~ This is an absolute must at our house at all times. We use it for quesadillas, omelettes, nachos or anything that we want to melt cheese on.

4. Cauliflower Florets  ~ Another staple in our house, because by now you must know how many veggies we eat.

5. Red Potatoes ~ This variety of potatoes are one of my favorites, I make them many different ways. I’m looking forward to trying a new recipe for smashed potatoes by Ina Garten which I will be sharing on my Cookbook Series starting this week.

6. Stacy’s Organic Pita Chips ~ We usually buy these every week. We like to eat them with hummus. I’ve decided to try to make fresh hummus, I have a few different recipes to try. I’m thinking once I have fresh hummus I won’t want to buy it premade again. I’ll let you know.

7. Fresh Lemons ~ I bought this for the hummus that I’m going to make but I use lemons in lots of different recipes and we also like slices in our water. My lemon tree I just planted this summer has lots of lemons but they’re not ripe yet. I’m so excited to have my own lemon tree and never have to buy lemons anymore.

8. Pecorino Romano Cheese ~ We like freshly grated cheese on pasta and I also have a new recipes that is calling for freshly grated Parmesan, so I’m using this.

9. Pace Picante Sauce ~ This has to be in my house at all times if I want a happy household.

10. Campari Tomatoes ~ Really delicious and a nice size to slice for sandwiches.

11. Albacore Tuna in Water ~ My husband LOVES my tuna fish sandwiches and tuna casserole, so I always keep this in my pantry just for him.

12. Chinese Chicken Salad ~ Or should I say Chinese NO Chicken Salad. My vegetarian daughters love this salad but we never add the chicken. It’s actually great without it, just add lettuce and it comes with everything else. There are  2 complete salads in each pack. If you haven’t tried this it’s really good and a complete meal all on its own.

13 Finlandia Cheese Slices ~ I keep this as a staple at all times for sandwiches or served with crackers. My family loves this.

14. Hadley Pitted Dates ~ We use dates a lot in smoothies but I’m also trying to eat these when I need something sweet in lieu of candy or cookies.

15. Crispy Crunchy Organic Chickpeas ~ OK this is it!!! These roasted chickpeas are the most wonderful snack, packed with protein which is great for my little vegetarians. I can’t stop eating them. Skye and I like to eat them with Gouda cheese and strawberries. The combo is really good. So glad I found these, run out and get them right now.

16. Super Seeded Multi-Grain Gluten-Free Bread ~ This is a really nice gluten-free bread. As with most gluten-free bread, it’s better toasted. This is really close to regular bread. I like the heartiness and the seed flavors are delicious.

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17. Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar Chips ~ I love the Kettle brand but honestly not a fan of salt and vinegar chips but the rest of my family loves them.

18. Boudin Organic Seeds & Grain Sourdough Bread ~ I’ve got a family that are big fans of Boudin Restaurants and really love the bread. This one is new and my husband said it’s so great. Not gluten-free though (insert sad face emoji here).

19. Organic Fruit Stretch ~ This is a great take-a-long snack, for your kids lunches or if you’re snack mom. All natural and organic ingredients. Just fruit. Love it.

20. Organic Blueberry Pomegranate Squares ~ 100% addicting and oh so good!!!

21. Organic Fruit, Seed & Nut Clusters ~ These look amazing and all natural ingredients. I can’t have them because they are not gluten-free but they look so good.

22. Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic ~ This is a quick side dish to have on hand, pop it in your microwave for a healthy side dish or top it with some veggies. I like this but to be honest it’s got too much of a garlic flavor to it, I never thought I could ever say that since I love garlic but I know lots of people who love it. It is really easy and it’s good, just not great. Worth a try though.

23. Organic Black Bean & Corn Salsa ~ Cannot wait to try this, looks so yummy. All fresh and organic ingredients.

24. Organic Long Grain Brown Rice ~ I love the convenience of the frozen brown rice which I showed you in my last Costco post, but Costco is sometimes out of it. This is a great staple to keep in your pantry. You can always make some ahead of time and keep it in your refrigerator for convenient meals.

25. Organic Garden Medley Tortilla Chips ~ Great alternative to regular tortilla chips.

26. Brown & Red Rice with Chia & Kale ~ Same brand as #22 and it doesn’t have garlic, so I’m going to give it a try. This seems like a good and healthy side dish to keep in the pantry for a quick meal.

27. Organic Raw Honey ~ Always like to keep honey on hand for many recipes, but my favorite is gluten-free toast with peanut butter, banana slices and honey, okay sometimes I leave off the bananas.  Yummy!

28. Green Pea Crisps ~ A nice alternative to chips. Great for kids lunches too.

29. Hemp Heart Bar ~ Can’t wait to give these a try. All natural ingredients for a healthy snack.

30. That’s It Fruit Bar ~ Just like it says, that’s it, only fruit in each bar. Gluten-free, vegan and raw. Hope these are good because I love finding healthy snacks.

31. Nutella ~ Another family staple. We use it on toast, as a dip or in recipes but the family favorite is on a crepe with strawberries, bananas, whip cream and chocolate sauce. Amazing!!!

32. Corn Tortillas ~ Simply a must in our household at all times. We love vegetarian tacos or just with melted cheese.

So that’s it for this Costco run. As you can see I found lots of healthy snacks and I find lots of my staples there. You can’t beat the prices and with the large sizes, it keeps my pantry and refrigerator full of healthy choices.

Thanks for stopping by and look for my Cookbook Series to start again this week. I will be sharing recipes from Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead Cookbook. I’m a big fan of Ina’s and everything she makes looks so good. Can’t wait to make my way through this cookbook. I hope you come along for the ride.

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Costco Series – Part 1 Healthy and Organic Choices

You all know that I love to shop at Trader Joe’s for their healthy products and great prices (check out my Trader Joe’s Series Part 1, 2 and 3) but my other favorite place for great food and great deals is Costco. I think most people think that it’s just for the gigantic portions that you get for a wonderful value, but you can shop incredibly healthy and organic. Costco has really stepped up their game and I’m finding so many options for the way we eat and live; incorporating fresh, organic and vegetarian. Check out what I found this week. Let’s start with all the wonderful fresh produce…

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1. Fresh Garlic ~ I use fresh garlic EVERY SINGLE DAY. This is one big bag of garlic and to be honest, I never really get through the whole bag without it going bad, I buy it anyway because for the price it’s worth it even if I don’t use the whole thing. If you’ve seen my first installment of my new series “Currently Reading”, I’ve been reading a wonderful health book called “The Daniel Plan”, it’s really motivated me to eat lots of whole foods and vegetables and to season my food with lots of garlic, onion and herbs.

2. Mixed Baby Squash ~ I buy as much fresh produce as I can. I hadn’t tried baby squash before so I bought it to give it a try.

3.  Avocados ~ We eat lots and lots of avocados in our family. We love to make guacamole, put slices on toast with an egg on top, or add it to sandwiches. We can’t get enough.

4. Fresh Broccoli Florets ~ A giant bag of goodness. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but I say it’s some broccoli a day, keeps the doctor away.

5. Organic Baby Bella Mushrooms ~ These mushrooms are delicious. My husband likes to slice them and then sauté in a little butter and soy sauce along with some cut up broccoli and seasons to taste. Sometimes he’ll put this on top of some bow tie pasta and then sprinkle some parmesan on top or he’ll put it on top of steak (poor guy’s gotta get his meat in every once in a while living in a house full of vegetarians). I like to slice them and add them to any veggies I’m sautéing, they make a great addition to a veggie omelette.

6. Fresh Corn on the Cob ~ a summer favorite or anytime of the year when available.

7. Organic Yellow Squash and Zucchini ~ a personal favorite of mine, I like to steam, sauté, or roast, I’ll eat it anyway I can. This is a nice big bag and I love that it’s organic.

8. Organic Blueberries ~ Put a bowl of blueberries or strawberries in front of my daughter Skye and they are gone before you know it. She’ll pick fresh fruit over chips any day. My daughter Sage likes to add these to her morning smoothies or smoothie bowls, she’s become quite the smoothie maker.

9. Cuties ~ My girls always loved these in their school lunches, I like to carry a snack with me at all times (another thing I picked up from the Daniel Plan) and this is always a good option, they also make for great sport snacks, an easy thing to bring when your “snack mom”.

10. Organic Green Beans ~ Roasted green beans are such an easy side dish and a family favorite.

11. Organic Deep Green Power Blend ~ Cannot say enough about this, I add it to sandwiches, sauté it with some onions and garlic or with other veggies. You can also sauté it with some tomatoes and serve it over pasta, or add it to smoothies. A great way to get your greens in. YUM!

12. Cauliflower Florets ~ all ready to cook any way you want.

13. Fresh Mango’s ~ a seasonal item, so get them while you can.

14. Organic Baby Spinach ~ You can use these just like the Power Greens or of course for a lovely Spinach salad.

15. Classic Baby Creamers Potatoes ~ I roasted this whole bag and then used them throughout the week. I served them as a side dish and also with eggs for breakfast. Really good, I just followed the directions printed on the bag.

16. Grape Tomatoes ~ I really like to use fresh grape tomatoes to top off pasta. I’ll sauté them in olive oil along with garlic and onions, sea salt and pepper and wait until the tomatoes start to blister and break open, serve on top of pasta with a little parmesan…delicious!!!

17. Roma Tomatoes ~ One of my favorite types of tomatoes, I use them for so many things: Caprese Salad, tacos, sandwiches, omelettes, or with avocado slices.

18. Celery ~ I like to add celery to soups, use for snacks and especially to cut up and eat with hummus.

19. Fresh Nectarines ~ definitely a summer item and I will be sad to see them go. We can’t get enough. Remember these wonderful recipes: Peach (nectarine), Yogurt & Pistachio Treats, and Refreshing Watermelon Pizza from this summer.

20. Fresh Pears ~ Another seasonal item, so good.

21. Organic Raspberries ~ Of course Skye will eat these all by themselves, but I like them in smoothies or on top of some banana ice-cream (just frozen bananas put in a blender).

22. Fresh Apples ~ you can always find a variety of apples at Costco all year long.

23. Organic Romain Hearts ~ If you wash these as soon as you get home and store them between paper towels and in a ziploc bag or tupperwear, the lettuce will keep really well. I like the large leaves because I use them for lettuce wraps, but they are also good for sandwiches, veggie burgers, or salads. It’s a lot of lettuce for a great price. Getting them washed and prepared is the trick here.

24. Onions ~ I cook a lot with onions, I add them to almost everything. I know most people say to store them in a cool dry place but I keep them in my extra refrigerator in the garage. They last a long time and won’t take up all the space in my kitchen refrigerator. I’ve never had any problem storing them this way.

25. Red Onions ~ same as above. I use red onions raw also, served on sandwiches and veggie burgers.

So that’s some of the produce I bought, here are some other great healthy things I found…

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26. Pistachios ~ We eat them straight out of the bag or top them on salads or smoothie bowls or in the above mentioned recipes. They’re just wonderful.

27. Made Good Granola Minis ~ These where a great find: gluten-free and a great take-along snack or again a great thing when you’re snack mom.

28. Avocado Oil ~ Been reading a lot about the benefits of using Avocado Oil, haven’t tried it yet but I’ll give you an update when I do.

29. All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter ~ I normally buy my peanut butter at Trader Joe’s but I was all out and this was a great deal. So far we’ve already gone through one jar so I guess you could say, we’re sold.

30. Microwavable Organic Brown Rice ~ This is very popular at our Costco, so sometimes they are out. I try to keep this in my freezer at all times. I love the convenience and it’s so good. It also comes in white rice.

31. Multi-grain Bread ~ Somewhere along the way my kids got accustomed to white bread, which is funny because I always gave them either homemade bread (boy do I miss my bread maker) or healthy grain type breads. I gave them white bread once and now it’s a constant battle. So I’ve put my foot down and am trying to get everyone back to eating more whole grains or gluten-free. I don’t get to eat this, being gluten-free, but my family is eating it, so I guess I won this round.

32. Organic Eggs ~ love these, buy them every week.

33. Kettle Potato Chips ~ These are the Kirkland brand but I think they’re pretty close to the originals so I buy these pretty much weekly.

34. Sour Cream ~ I usually buy the organic sour cream from Trader Joe’s but my kids like sour cream on top of lots of things, so I went with this big giant tub and it’s been wonderful.

35. Fage Greek Yogurt ~ A staple in our house, we use this all the time.

36. Organic Spicy Hummus ~ I’m not a spicy fan so I did not try this but my family loved it.

37. Wedge of Gouda Cheese ~ What can I say, “It’s very Gouda” ha ha. Costco also sells wedges of Jarlsberg that is very good too.

38. Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese ~ Tried this for the first time, it was nice to have such a large amount as we use this a lot with pasta.

39. Chia Seeds ~ Love this big bag of chia seeds. I add chia seeds to as much as possible because they are so good for you. Add them to smoothies, your kids will never know.

40. Frozen Organic Sweet Potatoes ~ Have not tried these yet, but can’t wait too. So convenient, I’ll give an update after I try them.

41. Organic Red and White Quinoa Macaroni ~ Made these for lunch today, very good and a nice big bag for a great price.

So that’s a lot of great and healthy food I got from wonderful Costco. I’m always happy when my kitchen is full of good healthy food to prepare for my family. Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I guess that means summer is officially over and it’s time to get ready for the fall. So sad, I love summer so much, until next year sweet summer.

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