Ever since moving to a new Airbnb for an internship opportunity, I’ve been dreading the process of cooking and packing. During lockdown I was able to cook at my own pace, however, since having to work from the office, I’ve found that a new challenge of managing my meals has taken a toll on my time management capacity. Arriving home late some days, worn out and with low energy, did not help my already lacking motivation for cooking. However, I also did not want to eat out of a KFC bucket. I wanted a balance of nutrition and flavor without having to get my hands dirty. One option I have relied on heavily since the start of this internship is my Costco membership. For AU students who are looking for this blend of health, flavor, cost-savings and time-savings, the ready-to-cook section of Costco is one of my go-to selections. Here are my top picks of the offerings:
Costco has some of the best lasagna selections, from full-casserole sized options to personal-sized lasagnas that are perfect for quick meal preparation. Since the focus of this column is on ready-to-eats, there’s a freshly prepared family-sized lasagna that is packed with cheese, tomato sauce, and beef crumbs. Unlike some of the salad options, this dish still requires 20 minutes of baking in the oven. However, unlike the frozen options, the lasagna does not need to be transferred into another baking tray, making the process as mess-free and hassle-free as possible.
Flavor rating: 8/10
Cost rating: 9/10
Having been using this in my meal preparations every day last week, I can confidently say that this is a great cold dish that can be served alone or alongside other salads. The sheer quantity of this product lasts me an entire week. For the price of this platter, it is also an incredible deal. For those who are looking to take a break from the monotony of meal-prepping during quarantine, this can help change up the palette.
Flavor rating: 7/10
Cost rating: 8/10
This new platter hit the shelves at my local Costco not too long ago as I have never seen it previously in Canada. My first purchase of this product this week pleasantly surprised me. While the Shawarma platter is slightly pricier than some of the other carbohydrate-packed options, this item is loaded with donair meat, grape tomatoes, and onions. The platter comes with its own tzatziki sauce that is rich, thick, and flavorful. The entire platter makes eight shawarmas and is an excellent choice for those craving a different flavor profile.
Flavor rating: 9/10
Cost rating: 5/10
This dish has caught my attention since the first day I walked into Costco. The platter features six enormous bell peppers packed with rice, beef, and shredded cheese. The flavors remind me of Tex-Mex spices with a twist. I loved the texture of the rice that is not overly soggy or overly tough. The value of the dish from the proteins mixed with the rice is worth every penny. Moreover, Kirkland brand has a reputation of using fresh ingredients that never disappoints
Flavor rating: 7/10
Cost rating: 6/10