Another Trip To Costco!

I had so much fun shopping with you at Costco last time that I wanted to shoot another video sharing more of my favourite things. 🙂 Plus, I found some new stuff, so watch the video and see how we did!

If you’re looking for pretty flowers, Coscto is a cheap and cheerful place to find them. Roses by the dozen, orchids, and I found several lovely perennials in pots for only $9.99! I bought a Hydrangea (my mother will kill me for not knowing for sure if that is what I had in my cart!) and was able to split it into 2 large pots at home. It may only last me the season (because I am not planting it in the ground), but you just can’t beat the price and quality at Costco. That said, when you need floral arrangements, gifts, or something for a special occasion, I believe there is nothing like dealing with a local florist who will work their magic and create something remarkable. 🙂

I talked about the Vega Protein Powder, for those times I need a quick breakfast, a mid-day boost or if I’m traveling. This trip, I chose to buy the LeanFit brand since it is also a vegetable source of protein with a similar ingredients list to the Vega brand. The taste is good, you get more per container, and the price is better. Win-win-win. 🙂

For The Love Of Food

Moving on to the food. As you can see from the video, I LOVE tomatoes! I have always loved Italian food, and so pasta has forever been a favourite. I have really been enjoying the Ancient Grains Penné sold at Costco for the quality ingredients list and the value. Plus, it cooks up in about 6 minutes! I also really love the Kirkland brand of organic oven roasted Roma tomatoes, and I tell you how I love to use them in the video. 🙂

I just love the richness and depth of flavour you get from tomatoes, and it’s why I am such a fan of using tomato paste in recipes. Plus, cooked tomatoes are higher in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant,  than raw tomatoes. Eaten with some healthy fat, like olive oil, lycopene is better absorbed in the body.

The trouble is that due to their high acidity, canned tomatoes leach more of the chemical BPA (short for Bisphenol-A) and so we should limit or avoid using them. I agree that they are not a perfect choice, but I do have the canned Kirkland brand organic tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste on hand at all times. That said, I also buy BPA-free canned tomatoes at health food stores as well as the strained tomatoes found in glass jars, which can also be used in my “Better than Campbell’s” Tomato Soup recipe. 🙂

A Speedy Lunch

“Better than Campbell’s” Tomato Soup

1 can of organic tomato sauce or 1/2 glass jar of strained tomatoes
1 can worth (or equal part if using jarred tomatoes) of almond milk, cow’s milk or water
Pinch of Himalayan Salt
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Tiny Drizzle of pure maple syrup

Place a pot on the stove, and over medium heat, pour in tomato sauce/strained tomatoes.
Add the milk or water and stir well to combine.
Add salt, maple syrup and oil, stirring well until soup reaches desired temperature.
Serve piping hot alongside a grilled cheese sandwich (using a high quality whole grain or gluten-free bread–look for 5 grams of fiber per slice–and organic cheese) and enjoy as a special treat!

Where's The Beef?

The organic ground beef at Costco, at about $28 for 3 large packages, is a great value for a high quality product. You can use ground beef in so many recipes like home-made hamburgers, Meatloaf and Shepherd’s Pie; Mexican dishes like chili, tacos and burritos; Italian dishes like ragout, meatballs and pasta sauce; and my all-time favourite childhood recipe, Sloppy Joe’s! Here’s a “cleaned-up” recipe, a departure from the typical “Manwich” or ketchup-infused version, plus we’re serving it on the more nutritious base of Baked Sweet Potato Chips instead of burger buns. Not as sloppy, but just as tasty! 🙂

A Dinner To Please A Crowd

Not-So-Sloppy Sloppy Joe’s (served on baked sweet potato chips instead of burger buns)

Time: 30 minutes Prep + Cook Time
Serves: 8

1 lb. ground beef
I can pinto or kidney beans, well-drained and rinsed
1 medium cooking onion, finely diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 can of organic tomato sauce (or 1/2 jar strained tomatoes)
1/2 – 1 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar or maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
3-4 medium Sweet potatoes

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meat.

Begin preparing the Sweet Potato chips (see below).

Drain off any excess juices from the meat, and add all of the diced vegetables to the skillet.

SautĂ© the mixture for 2 minutes and add the garlic, mustard powder and chili powder. Allow spices to “bloom” for a minute and then add all the remaining ingredients, including beans. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the skillet (with a lid or tinfoil), and simmer it for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Serve on Baked Sweet Potato Chips. Arrange several chips on a plate and, using a slotted spoon, pour one large spoonful of the mixture on top (you can also serve it on a baked sweet potato).

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

To make baked sweet potato chips, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice 2 unpeeled sweet potatoes and toss the slices in a bowl with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil and 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt, 1/2 tsp. rosemary, and 1/2 tsp. oregano. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for about 20 minutes until they are lightly browned and crispy, flipping them once halfway through.

My "Beeting" Heart

I also got excited about the large pack of pre-cooked beets I buy at Costco. I just love the flavour and texture of beets chopped into a big salad, tossed into a pasta dish, and if you saw the post, Healthy Juice Boost, you’ll know that I love to use beets in my veggie smoothies. Beets are awesome because they are full of fiber and betalains, which increase circulation, plus they add a nice sweetness to anything you are making. As I mentioned in the video, I always prefer to buy organic, but according to the Environmental Working Group, beets are neither on the dirty dozen list nor the Clean 15 list, so they lie somewhere in the middle. I eat both the organic and non-organic versions.

Here in Ottawa, we have a favourite vegetarian restaurant that we bike-ride to in the summers called The Wild Oat and they serve the most delicious “Very Veggie Crepe”. We get it on the buckwheat crepe (buckwheat is a gluten-free grain) and it’s got Tahini, Goat Cheese, Pesto, SautĂ©ed mushrooms, wilted spinach and sliced beets tucked inside. It is a delicious combination of flavours, and so I have used those ingredients and mixed them into cooked quinoa, another staple I buy at Costco, or on Ancient Grains pasta for an easy vegetarian meal.

Decadence without guilt: Dates are an amazing food because they are naturally sweet and loaded with fiber, so they are diabetic-friendly as they don’t spike blood sugar. So many chefs and great cooks are baking with dates as the sweetener, including The Detoxinista in many of her exceptional recipes, including one of my favourites for “The healthiest Cookies Ever”.

But my absolute favourite way to enjoy something sweet, easy and satisfying is with a date smeared with almond butter and sprinkled with a little Himalayan salt. Heaven!

Breaking Bread

So, now we're moving on to the last item I talked about in the video....that Super-Seeded Gluten-Free bread. As I mentioned, a friend of ours had recommended this bread saying it was absolutely delicious! I had to go an check it out, so after we stopped filming, I found the ingredients list. Here are the pros and cons, followed by the decision I made:

The pros are that each slice has 5 grams of fiber (which is what you are looking for) and the first ingredients are water, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.

The cons are that after that, it is mainly made up of sugar--both in the forms of actual sugar and then also in white rice flour and starches (which are also perceived by the body as sugar ) as well as fruit juices, which again, are sugar. Each slice contains a whole teaspoon (4 grams) of sugar. A woman's daily max is 6 teaspoons of sugar, and a man's is 9 teaspoons.

My problem is that I wouldn't stop at one slice. I would have at least 2, and then having 2 whole loaves in the house would derail my health goals. As you probably know by now, I have an addictive personality, so if I have large quantities of something on hand, I become obsessed and could easily find myself seeking ways to top that bread with butter, peanut butter, honey, home made strawberry jam...the list goes on...and I'd find myself eating a whole loaf in just a few days.

But, if you can stick to just one or two slices here and there, then I am quite sure this would be a most delicious treat! I will just have to take your word for it. 🙂

In case you're wondering, my favourite breads these days are the Udi's brand gluten-free Chia & Millet bread or the Ezekiel sprouted grain bread (not gluten-free).

I hope you enjoyed this second trip to Costco and discovered something new that you might try! I plan to head back there to fetch some more great products, so stay tuned for another follow-up. In the meantime, please comment below with your thoughts on anything I talked about or on other items at Costco that you love. I'll be sure to check them out!

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. What are YOUR favourite finds at Costco? Plus, watch my first trip to Costco with you here!

P.P.S. Let's be friends! Connect with me on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. 🙂











  • Sandra Ferguson

    Reply Reply August 12, 2015

    I like all the products you tell us about at Costco including the Pre cooked Beets did not know they even existed. But it just reminded me how easy it was for me to roast fresh multi varieties I pick up from the farmers market. Thanks again.

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply August 12, 2015

      I agree 100%, Sandra! I visit the Farmer’s Market every Sunday at Lansdowne here in Ottawa, and love all of the fresh produce we can get this time of year!. We can store many, many vegetables in the freezer to use over the winter in soups, sauces and stews. Beets can be cooked, peeled, chopped and frozen. Roma tomatoes can be frozen. Cauliflower and broccoli should be blanched and then frozen. Zucchini can just be cut, seeded and frozen as-is. Beans can be blanched and frozen whole. Berries can be frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then popped in Ziploc bags to be used in future recipes. Same with avocados. Peaches can just be sliced and frozen. It is a wonderful time of year and if you have the time to do a little planning, it is wonderful eating this yumminess in the winter! Enjoy!! 🙂

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