Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Costco Wholesale's food and prices are the best revenge

This omelet uses Kirkland Signature Real Egg Product, which is 99% pure egg whites. I served it with leftover whole-wheat pasta for a rib-sticking breakfast.


The phrase, "Eating well is the best revenge," often echoes in my head when I'm enjoying a good meal or find another surprisingly delicious item at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

On Friday, I came across wonderful marinated white anchovies from Italy, and I haven't been able to stop eating them.

On Saturday, my 14-year-old son wanted to have dinner at T.G.I. Friday's, a chain restaurant in Hackensack. 

My wife had coupons I had given her, so I urged her to take our son and his best friend to dinner there, and leave me to my white anchovies.

Grazing for dinner

I started with a plate of the chewy, vinegary little fillets; grainy slices of Grana Padano cheese, also from Italy; and plenty of crunchy Arirang cabbage kimchi from Englewood.

Later, I had melon and a leftover sweet potato, plus tea.

I enjoyed the plate's contrasting textures and flavors, but realized, too late, I could have added Kirkland Signature U.S. No. 1 Supreme Whole almonds to the plate.

For $9.89, I buy a 3-pound bag of the salt-free raw almonds at Costco, then roast them in the oven for 1 hour at 275 degrees until they crack between my teeth.

Anchovy omelet

For a Sunday morning breakfast, I made an open-face omelet with three organic brown eggs from Costco, along with reduced fat Swiss cheese, smoked wild salmon (also from Costco), white anchovies, Aleppo red pepper and Mexican green salsa or salsa verde.

I make omelets in an 8-inch, non-stick pan and never fold them -- allowing me to add more filling. It cooks through from the bottom, which is beautifully browned.

Kirkland Signature Organic Brown Eggs are a relatively new item. Two dozen eggs in a single container are $6.99 or about $3.50 a dozen.

I saw organic eggs at ShopRite for $3.99 to $4.99 a dozen.

White anchovies circle smoked wild salmon.

The Seagarden white anchovy fillets are wild caught, and come in two trays sealed with clear plastic. They are marinated in vegetable oil, wine vinegar, parsley, garlic and salt.

Far less sodium

The fish and marinade weigh 14 ounces and cost $8.99, but the white anchovies are far more delicious and far less salty than the usual canned anchovies.

For example, half of a 2-ounce can of Season-brand Flat Fillets of Anchovies provides 36% of the recommended daily intake of sodium, compared to 34% sodium for 7 ounces of the white anchovies, drained.

Beefsteak tomato with za'atar thyme mixture, and Arirang cabbage kimchi are tasty side dishes for breakfast or any other meal.

Comparing nut bars

Another new item at the Hackensack warehouse store are Kirkland Signature Variety Nut Bars (Kirkland Signature is Costco's house brand).

You get 20 1.4-ounce bars for $10.99, compared to 30  1.2-ounce bars in Kashi Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars for $11.79. But those are not the only differences.

The Kirkland bars have more calories, more fat, more sugar and less protein than the Kashi bars. Neither has high-fructose corn syrup. 

The Kirkland bars -- Nut & Fruit and  Nut & Seed -- have more calcium, Vitamin C and iron than the Kashi bars.

I tried a Kirkland Nut & Fruit bar, finding it pleasantly chewy and sweet, and I could taste an unusual ingredient, orange peel. It also contains pistachios.

Most of the ingredients for a canned-fish salad come from Costco Wholesale, including limes (not shown). I also add powdered cumin to taste.

Smart Balance spread

I also picked up two 32-ounce tubs of Smart Balance, the faux-butter spread we have been using for years, for $6.69 or about 10 cents an ounce. 

At ShopRite, I saw 15 ounces of Smart Balance on sale for $3 or 20 cents an ounce.

Apples at DiPeiro's in Montvale were $1.89 a pound.

$15+ liter of EVOO

After a meeting in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., I stopped at DiPiero's Country Farm at 300 W. Grand Ave. in Montvale to pick up apples, but thought the price per pound was too high.

I walked through the store and saw a 5-liter tin of 100% Italian extra-virgin olive oil from Italy for $78. Pasta from Italy was $7.89 for 500 grams or 17.6 ounces.

At the Off The Hook seafood counter, which is independently owned, fresh hake fillets were $11.99 a pound, compared to $7.99 a pound on sale at Whole Foods Market in Paramus.

King salmon fillets were an outrageous $21 a pound.

These prices seem to be aimed at the wealthy executives who work in the headquarters of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Free 5-cheese lasagna

I stopped at the Hackensack ShopRite on Saturday after having my car washed across the street, and walked away with a free Stouffer's 5-Cheese Lasagna as part of a holiday promotion (96 ounces, normally $13.99).

A half-gallon of Smart Balance Fat-Free Lactose-Free Milk was on sale for $2.99 ($1 off), but with a doubled 75-cent coupon, I got it for only $1.49.

Unfortunately, I had only one coupon and had to buy a half-gallon of ShopRite 1% Lactose-Free Milk for $3.29 (a discount of 10 cents).


A reliable source for cumin, ground Aleppo red pepper and za'atar thyme mixture is Fattal's Syrian Bakery at 975-77 Main Street in Paterson.

Arirang Kimchi is available at the source, 191 W. Englewood Ave. in Englewood.


  1. Personally, I prefer the wild caught, longline anchovies from Iceland. They go after them in converted whaling boats, since it's now verboten to catch whales in Iceland, and they've replaced the gigantic fish hooks they used when fishing for whales with tiny hooks fashioned out of safety pins. But you have to be careful, because sometimes a sardine gets into the can.

    1. OMG, I see you bought a new camera with upload capabilities. Now I suppose in addition to reading about every grain of aleppo pepper you pour on your eggs in the morning, we'll have to look at them too :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Yup. Been taking photos with new iPhone. Used it in San Francisco, too. Cheers.

    1. I think that picture of the white anchovies circling the wild salmon is a little misleading. If the salmon were that wild, they likely would have eaten the anchovies before you could take the picture.

  4. Replies
    1. Those would be wild and crazy salmon.


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