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Food I'm a personal trainer who shops for a family of 6 at Costco. Here are 21 things I always stock up on.

18:15  02 october  2021
18:15  02 october  2021 Source:   insider.com

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I'm a personal trainer who shops at Costco for my family of six. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson I'm a personal trainer who shops at Costco for my family of six. Rachel MacPherson
  • I'm a personal trainer and I love to shop for my active family of six at Costco.
  • We stock up on protein-packed foods like chicken breasts, canned chickpeas, and peanut butter.
  • I also like to buy frozen cherries, monk-fruit sweetener, canned black beans, and sweet potatoes.
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I have four active kids and a busy career as a health writer and personal trainer, so it's no surprise my Costco cart is mostly filled with healthy food.

I work out and attend jiu-jitsu and kickboxing six days a week with my oldest child. My husband also lifts weights and brings his lunches to work every day. Our brood needs a lot of fuel and we love the wholesale retailer's bulk produce, proteins, grains, and other food-prep staples.

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We visit the store once every two weeks, on average. Here are 21 things I always buy at Costco:

Cottage cheese is versatile and high in protein

Cottage cheese works for sweet and savory dishes. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Cottage cheese works for sweet and savory dishes. Rachel MacPherson

For a snack, we top cottage cheese with fruit and nuts or cucumbers, salt, and pepper. It's also fantastic blended into a shake for a filling cheesecake-flavored beverage.

I also often add cottage cheese to my eggs for a creamy protein boost. It's tasty folded into an omelet or scrambled into eggs.

Chicken breasts are a no-brainer if you're trying to increase your protein intake

We eat chicken multiple times per week. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson We eat chicken multiple times per week. Rachel MacPherson

We eat chicken breasts two to three times a week in everything from enchiladas to lemon-chicken soup.

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I usually shred some of the chicken by putting two to three breasts in a pot and then poaching them.

Shredded chicken makes for an easy lunch when combined with mayo, greek yogurt, dijon, and seasonings. We eat this with crackers and cucumber slices, in a lettuce-leaf wrap, on top of a garden salad, or in a sandwich.

I also take leftover side salads from the previous night's dinner and turn them into a protein-packed lunch by adding shredded chicken breast, nuts, and cheese.

A little bit of kimchi goes a long way, so the giant Hankook jar from Costco lasts us a while

Kimchi is tasty in fried rice. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Kimchi is tasty in fried rice. Rachel MacPherson

Kimchi is a probiotic food that is spicy, highly flavorful, and good for gut health.

We use it to make a lot of Asian-inspired meals, like bibimbap, a rice-based dish topped with fresh vegetables, seasoned meat, fried egg, and kimchi. Sometimes we add this to leftover rice to create kimchi fried rice - a popular lunch for my kids.

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Egg whites are very useful to have on hand

Whole eggs are nutritious and packed with nutrients. We eat the yolks, too, but the whites are a big help when trying to eat high-protein.

They're almost pure protein and it's easy to add them to things like oatmeal, omelets, and scrambles, or make a lighter version of French toast or pancakes without potentially wasting yolks.

Whole eggs are a cheap source of protein that we eat every day

I stock up on eggs every time I go to Costco. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson I stock up on eggs every time I go to Costco. Rachel MacPherson

We buy at least two flats of 30 eggs each time we visit Costco.

I stick a dozen eggs in my pressure cooker each week to have on hand for snacks. My husband and kids love hard-boiled eggs with a sprinkle of salt and pepper as a snack. I tend to get a bit fancier and add Greek yogurt, mayo, and sriracha to mine.

We also add fried eggs to Korean-inspired dishes or scramble them into fried rice. One of my kids loves to make a simple egg-drop soup or Greek avgolemono, a quick-to-make lemon and chicken soup thickened with eggs.

Whole-grain tortillas are more versatile than bread in our house

Whole-grain tortillas are the base of some of our go-to meals. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Whole-grain tortillas are the base of some of our go-to meals. Rachel MacPherson

We use whole-grain tortillas to make wraps with egg or chicken salad. I also make homemade enchiladas for dinner, which makes a lot of delicious leftovers that heat up nicely.

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We also regularly make the TikTok-famous folded tortilla with a variety of fillings, like shredded chicken, salsa, and black beans, to create breakfasts and lunches. We either make them on the stovetop or in our air fryer.

We eat a lot of zucchini

Zucchini is versatile and we use it for meals and sometimes desserts. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Zucchini is versatile and we use it for meals and sometimes desserts. Rachel MacPherson

As I mentioned, we shred zucchini and add it to oatmeal. I also love to sautee it as a base for shredded chicken, basil, fresh mozzarella, and marinara sauce for a quick lunch.

Zucchini is also great as a replacement for pasta even though we don't eat low carb. Zucchini is packed full of nutrients and has a much lower calorie count than pasta, which sometimes feels too heavy. Mixing zucchini noodles with regular whole-wheat or bean-based pasta adds more veggies and nutrients to our meals.

Sometimes we also shred zucchini into muffins, pancakes, and brownies for moisture and bulk.

Top sirloin steak is great in salads and other dishes

Cooked, cold top sirloin pairs well with salads and eggs. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Cooked, cold top sirloin pairs well with salads and eggs. Rachel MacPherson

I think Costco has great-quality meats with excellent prices.

We love steak at our house and usually stick to the leaner cuts. Top sirloin is delicious and cooks fast. We use it to make steakhouse-style salads with blue cheese or marinate it for bibimbap or bulgogi, grilled pieces of thinly-sliced meat.

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Cold, leftover steak is also a nice salad topper or side for scrambled eggs.

A protein powerhouse, Greek yogurt is an everyday food at our house

I use Greek yogurt to make sauces. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson I use Greek yogurt to make sauces. Rachel MacPherson

We eat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and use it as a base for protein pudding with avocado and protein powder blended into it.

I most frequently use Greek yogurt to make sauces. In any sauce that typically uses mayo, I cut it with Greek yogurt to reduce the fat and increase the protein content.

For example, I use it in sriracha mayo or a spicy Asian-inspired sauce, as a base for chicken or egg salad, and in homemade salad dressing for a creamy texture.

Steel-cut oats are a breakfast staple

At least one of us tends to eat oats for breakfast every day.

Bob's Red Mill makes a quick-cooking version of steel-cut oats that offers the chewy, savory texture and taste that we love but also can be cooked in minutes in the microwave.

My kids love to add frozen berries, cocoa powder or chocolate protein powder, and milk their oats. My husband and I add shredded zucchini, egg whites, almond milk, frozen fruit, and protein powder.

I also grind oats into flour to use for making baked goods, homemade protein pancake mix, and healthy mug cakes.

Kefir is good for smoothies, shakes, and dressings

We use kefir in smoothies sometimes. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson We use kefir in smoothies sometimes. Rachel MacPherson

My local Costco carries a large jug of drinkable Good Moood Farm kefir, a tangy probiotic beverage that contains more healthy bacteria than yogurt and is good for gut health.

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We add this to smoothies and protein shakes. It's also great for making gut-friendly salad dressings like ranch and Caesar.

We use mixed baby greens for salads and sandwiches

Mixed greens are a great salad base. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Mixed greens are a great salad base. Rachel MacPherson

I make easy lunches in no time by throwing mixed greens in a bowl and topping them with leftover meat, boiled eggs, chickpeas or black beans, nuts, cheese, and dressing.

Kirkland natural peanut butter is delicious and well-priced

Sometimes a spoonful of this peanut butter is the perfect snack. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Sometimes a spoonful of this peanut butter is the perfect snack. Rachel MacPherson

We always have peanut butter on hand to put on oatmeal, waffles, and toast or to mix into smoothies and yogurt.

Peanut butter is an easy way to get in some healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and protein. My middle boy is quite small, so he drinks protein shakes with plenty of high-calorie peanut butter to help him grow.

Plus there's not much a spoonful of peanut butter can't cure.

A staple carb, sweet potatoes are a nutritious vegetable that we use in many ways

Roasted sweet potatoes are a nice salad topping. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Roasted sweet potatoes are a nice salad topping. Rachel MacPherson

Sweet potatoes are also excellent cooked in bulk in the pressure cooker and used throughout the week as the starchy carb part of our meals. And air-fryer sweet-potato fries are incredible.

I eat them for breakfast with savory toppings like scrambled eggs, salsa, and black beans or with sweet ones like Greek yogurt, sauteed apples, cinnamon, and peanut butter.

Leftover roasted sweet potatoes make an excellent salad topping and work well as a side dish with eggs for breakfast.

They are even good whipped into a dessert or baked into brownies. I also like to thinly slice sweet potatoes and put them in the toaster to turn them into a bread substitute.

Garden Fresh's salsa is a quick, tasty topping for so many dishes

  I'm a personal trainer who shops for a family of 6 at Costco. Here are 21 things I always stock up on.

The Garden Fresh salsa tastes more vibrant and refreshing to us than others we've tried.

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We add salsa to eggs, baked potatoes, wraps, quesadillas, enchiladas, homemade nachos, and more.

The salsa also pairs well with the Kirkland-brand tortilla chips, which we buy on occasion.

Grape tomatoes are great for snacks and recipes

Grape tomatoes are great for making salad in a jar. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Grape tomatoes are great for making salad in a jar. Rachel MacPherson

Grape tomatoes are perfect for meal prep and leftovers because they are self-contained and don't leak juice that can make pre-prepared foods soggy.

They are also excellent for making jar salads since I can place them in the bottom of the jar with dressing to marinate. They also create a barrier for the dressing so the rest of the salad ingredients don't get soggy.

I also back grape tomatoes with baby carrots and cucumber slices in my kids' lunches as a snack.

A healthy source of fiber, carbs, and protein, black beans appear regularly in our meals

We use black beans in our Mexican-inspired meals. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson We use black beans in our Mexican-inspired meals. Rachel MacPherson

We add black beans to Mexican-inspired egg dishes, salads, and soups.

My family's favorite light brownie recipe also uses black beans as a secret ingredient. They're always a hit with the kids at school potlucks.

I buy both canned and dried chickpeas from Costco

Chickpeas are good for soups and salads. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Chickpeas are good for soups and salads. Rachel MacPherson

Chickpea salad is one of my favorite side dishes, and I also love to make homemade hummus for school and work snacks.

When I buy dried chickpeas I prepare them in my pressure cooker and freeze them. When they thaw, I can use them for hummus and dips (both sweet and savory, including edible cookie dough) or for making peanut-butter chickpea blondies.

Canned chickpeas are also excellent to have on hand for last-minute additions to salads or soups.

I love having frozen broccoli on hand

Frozen broccoli is a freezer staple for us. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Frozen broccoli is a freezer staple for us. Rachel MacPherson

Whenever we are making a quick weeknight dinner but forgot a green vegetable, frozen broccoli comes to the rescue.

It's quick to make in the microwave and we season it with lemon, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. It's also perfect as a quick side for meal prep.

I use monk-fruit sweetener for my healthier baked goods

Monk-fruit sweetener can switch up the taste of baked goods. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson Monk-fruit sweetener can switch up the taste of baked goods. Rachel MacPherson

I use monk-fruit sweetener for black-bean brownies, chickpea blondies, muffins, and mug cakes.

Sometimes I replace all of the sugar in a recipe with monk-fruit sweetener, but more often I just do half since the ingredient can have a cooling, mint-like effect or alter the expected taste of some dishes.

I buy a variety of frozen fruit from Costco, but always make sure we have cherries on hand

We like to add cherries to our oatmeal. Rachel MacPherson © Rachel MacPherson We like to add cherries to our oatmeal. Rachel MacPherson

Cherries are the most common addition to our morning oatmeal and they're also a delicious ingredient in chocolate protein smoothies.

For my kids, I add frozen cherries on top of vanilla yogurt in a cup or jar with a screw top. By the time they eat it for lunch or snack, the cherries have thawed and the juice combines with the yogurt, making a sweet and delicious treat.

We also do this with mangoes, blueberries, and mixed berries we buy at Costco.

Click to keep reading Costco diaries like this one.

Read the original article on Insider

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