Costco has always been one of my favorite stores, for various reasons, over the years. As a child, I loved it because of the free samples they would give out (I’ve always been obsessed with food, especially the free kind). As a young adult, I liked perusing their gadgets and, ahem, cheap alcohol. Today, I like that they have become increasingly quality-conscious when it comes to food items; in many remote cities, Costco carries the freshest, highest quality ingredients around. It’s slowly become a legitimate, viable option for families looking to improve their health through diet.
I was ecstatic to learn that every Costco in the United States is currently carrying my cookbook, Paleo Takeout. So much so that I’ve written up this guide to how to make the process of cooking through my book even easier (and more affordable).
Before we get to the guide, let’s talk about a giveaway I’m running right now: I’m giving away a $25 gift card to eight different readers. There are two cool things about these Costco gift cards (they call them “cash cards”): $25 covers the price of Paleo Takeout if you don’t have it yet, and you don’t need to be a Costco member to use the card! To enter, click here and fill out the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway limited to US residents, and will end at midnight EST on August 6th, 2015. Good luck!
The Paleo Takeout Costco Survival Guide
Whole Organic Chicken – the whole chickens at Costco are reasonably priced and moderately well-raised. Besides roasting the chicken whole (recipe here), you can break the chicken down for all sorts of other recipes (here’s an excellent guide on how to break down a chicken). Once you have the pieces separated, you can use the dark meat (bone-in thighs and drumsticks) for several recipes in Paleo Takeout, like Simple Tandoori Chicken (p 190), Grilled Chicken Adobo (p 204), or Fried Chicken in a Bucket (p 236). The breast meat can be used for dozens of recipes, from Sweet and Sour Chicken (p 64) to Chicken Sandwiches (p 232). Remember to save all of the leftover scraps to make Chicken Broth (p 265), and the livers can be used to make the Dirty Rice recipe in The Ancestral Table (or just pan-fry them using the starch coating in the Fried Chicken in a Bucket recipe).
Frozen Chicken Wings – these wings are affordable and work great with Korean Fried Chicken (p 140) and the various Chicken Wing recipes (pgs 222-226) in the book; just be sure to thaw them overnight first.
Rotisserie Chicken – while not necessarily your best bet in terms of quality (the chickens are not organically/pasture raised), Costco’s rotisserie chickens are an excellent compromise when in a pinch and faced with fast food alternatives. You can carve the meat from the chicken and eat it as-is, throw it on top of a Pizza (p 214) or toss it with the Saucy or Dry-Rubbed Wings options (pgs 224-226). Be sure to throw that carcass in a pot to make some Chicken Broth (p 265).
Ground Beef – most Costco stores carry grassfed ground beef at a competitive price, which can be used to make Asian Meatballs (p 40), Bakso (p 188), Burgers (p 288), Gyros (p 256), and Spaghetti and Meatballs (p 242).
Wild-Caught Seafood – Costco carries high-quality salmon (Salmon Teriyaki, p 128), and cod, halibut, snapper, catfish, and tilapia (which can all be used to make Blackened Fish Tacos, p 252). Be sure to grab some tail-on shrimp for the many shrimp recipes in the book, too.
Kerrygold Butter – Kerrygold makes a very high quality butter from cows that are grass-fed in Ireland. Their unsalted butter is what I used when developing recipes for Paleo Takeout.
Fresh Produce – when feeding a crowd, or batch-cooking, the large portions of fresh produce like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots are very convenient. For example, you can buy a bunch of cauliflower, then whiz all of it in a food processor and steam or bake it (p 288) then divide it into individual portions and freeze it for super quick meals in the future.
Frozen Vegetables – Costco carries their Normandy Vegetables pack (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) and organic broccoli which are handy when you want to whip up a vegetable side quickly while cooking through Paleo Takeout; simply steam them on your stovetop or in a microwave. They also work well when making the Vegetables in White Sauce (p 102) and Fried Rice (pgs 50-52) recipes; simply thaw them a bit before using. Finally, Costco also carries frozen peas which are found in several recipes in the book.
Organic Eggs – if you don’t have access to an affordable egg supplier, these organic eggs are not a bad choice.
Salsa and Guacamole – Costco often carries a fresh salsa made from organic ingredients, and a pretty good Guacamole (“Wholly Guacamole”), which can be added to any of the Mexican-American dishes in the book (Fajitas, Carnitas, Blackened Fish Tacos, Burrito Bowl Date Night, pgs 248-254). This will save you prep time and make meal prep a bit less intimidating.
Nuts – Costco carries excellent cashews and macadamia nuts, which are used in several recipes in the book (and double as a snack).
Organic Honey – I’m a big fan of local honey since it often helps with seasonal allergies, but if you don’t have access to local honey the Costco honey is excellent.
Avocado Oil – Chosen Foods avocado oil is available in most Costco stores, and is used to make Mayo (p 276) and Chili Oils (p 268). While you’re there, grab a tub of coconut oil, which can be used to saute just about anything.
Flours and Starches – some Costcos carry almond flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, and/or potato starch; all are used frequently in Paleo Takeout.
Looking for other resources that will help make your Paleo Takeout experience even better? Check these out: