We were so excited. Like, really excited. Maybe too excited, in fact. This is the week we’re going to eat healthy! we thought to ourselves. Said to ourselves. And, at least for the moment, actually believed! So, we sat down and made a grocery list. Fruit this. Vegetable that. Organic as far as the eye can see! We jumped in the car on a quest for health! We flashed our membership card to the Costco human-counter (click, click, click!) like it was the Gold-Plated Deluxe Premium Platinum Sapphire Ruby Card or something. That’s how proud we feel about our Costco card. We weaved that red handled cart in-and-out of overzealous free samplers (some who we saw go back twice!) and grabbed everything — okay, almost everything — that was green or lean. Bags of broccoli. Antibiotic-free chicken. Frozen mixed berries. You name it, we bought it! And, friends, as the clerk scanned one item after the next, we felt proud, because we’d entered a new phase of our life, the one where we bought pure, fresh ingredients, cooked from scratch all three meals, and were like the people we’d seen in every Netflix documentary on healthy eating (click here to see our five favorite Netflix obsessions!).
And then we got home.
The next day, it was late in the afternoon. We’d been working since we woke up. And neither one of us had eaten. Anything. Unless you count coffee as breakfast, that is. We were just so busy running our business! Food wasn’t at the top of our to-do list. So, hangry and too tired and busy to prepare a real meal, we took a quick glance at all that healthy uncooked food that would take too long to prepare, and went. to. Chipotle.
That night, for dinner? We did it again. And the next day for lunch. And the next night for dinner. By the end of the week, that fresh produce? It was spoiled. That antibiotic-free meat, it wasn’t good anymore. Those grandiose plans, well, didn’t go as planned! So, what’d we do? The logical thing, of course! We went back to Cotsco and did it all again! THIS time will be different, we reasoned. Last week was a fluke! We won’t be as busy this week! Well, the next week came and went just like the one before. Fresh hopes and groceries spoiled… again. After a few weeks of this happening, spending money on groceries we didn’t eat and even more money on eating out to compensate, a friend said something that, to us, was a revelation, “You teach everyone else that time is money and, therefore, to outsource everything they can, so they can spend more time doing what they love with the people they love and less time doing things that aren’t those. “OUTSOURCE” YOUR COOKING! You shouldn’t cook anymore. At all. Just accept it. You’re never going to stop being busy! You need to let that idea go.”
And the weight came off our shoulders. Just. Like. That.
And the weight came off our shoulders
1. Kirkland Signature Soups
Costco’s pre-made homemade soups are in the refrigerated section near the fruit at our store, and for under $10 for a two-pack that serves 2-3 large portions each, it’s a steal at less than $2 per serving. Jordan sticks to chicken tortilla and minestrone because they’re low in fat and calories. Amy rocks out the broccoli cheese because she understands portion control. The tortilla soup pairs well with the Late July tortilla chips, too!
Prep Time: 2-5 minutes in the microwave. Boom!
2. Cracked Wheat Salad
This salad is made fresh at Costco every day and is in the refrigerated section as well. It’s got kale, red peppers, cranberries, cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and more underneath a sweet chili ginger sauce. It’s also just under $10 per salad and you get two large portions or four side-salad portions — and it’s DELICIOUS! Get two because you’ll want more after you finish the first one! Hint: If you add chicken to the salad, it’s a meal on its own!
Prep Time: None. Just scoop and serve!
3. Chicken, Pita, and Hummus
Those three words make Jordan’s little Greek boy heart skip a beat! We got the inspiration for this one because Jordan’s favorite menu item at Pita Jungle (a local Mediterranean spot) is literally just that: hummus with shredded chicken on top served with pita bread on the side. We can make that at home! we realized. So we did, and it’s just as good. Here’s what to do! Buy the pita bread from Costco for a few bucks (it’s uh-mazing!), a rotisserie chicken for five bucks, and a container of either regular or roasted red pepper hummus for five bucks each. We get both because we like to mix it up! So, the total is less than twenty dollars. Simply cut up the chicken at the beginning of the week and leave it in the fridge. Then, when you’re hungry, put a few heaping spoonfuls of hummus onto a large plate, spread it out so it covers most of the plate, sprinkle chicken on top, drizzle a little olive oil over it, heat the pita bread in the oven for 2-3 minutes on 400 degrees, cut into small pieces and serve! Hint: If you like Kalamata olives, throw a few of those in with the hummus with some cucumbers and tomatoes! It just takes an extra minute!
Prep Time: 5 – 10 minutes total.
4. Butternut Squash Ravioli
We haven’t eaten pasta at home in a LONG TIME, but we decided to give this a try and really liked it! Amy said, “It tastes like Thanksgiving!” For whatever that’s worth! It’s probably not enough to serve on its own, but with a pre-made side-salad or soup and some of that chicken sprinkled on top, you should be good to go! The best part? The ravioli only cooks for THREE MINUTES in boiling water!
Prep Time: As long as it takes you to boil water and dump pasta out of a bag!
5. Butternut Squash Risotto OR Vegetable Lasagna
Okay, this last one’s a tie and neither is from Costco! Both are from Trader Joe’s! Amy really, really, really likes the butternut squash risotto (with rotisserie chicken mixed in) because it’s literally a matter of heating it up for four minutes, stirring it, heating it for four more minutes, and eating it! Jordan likes the vegetable lasagna — even though it bakes for about an hour in the oven — because too much butternut squash is overkill for him! Amy says there is no such thing as too much butternut anything. Both are amazing dinner choices, though, and REALLY easy! The risotto is about two servings for five dollars and the lasagna is about the same. Again, it’s more expensive than making it yourself (still cheaper than going out!) but you don’t have to cook, you get something different, and you don’t have to go anywhere! All those reasons make it worth it for us!
Prep Time: About 10 minutes.
And that’s it! If you’re struggling with the same things we were struggling with, give yourself permission to try this for a week and see how it goes. It’s been a huge stress-reliever for us, and we’re finally eating most meals at home without having to think about it (really at all) until minutes before we want to eat. It’s seriously the entrepreneur’s/busy person’s dream! Let us know which ones you try and if you have any suggestions for us to try, let us know!
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