I lived on Long Island when Costco opened there and I remember going for the first time and experiencing amazement at the sheer size of the “warehouse.” Seeing the giant mayonnaise jars lined up and the supersized cans of tuna fish stacked, I was entertained in the same way as when you feel dwarfed by a huge chair in an amusement park or a giant toothbrush or crayon in that now-defunct store from the 80′s, “Think Big.” (if you remember “Think Big”, please give a shout out!) But shopping in Costco now as a vegan is anything BUT oversized consumerism—it’s nutritional and culinary inspiration!
For my entire, omnivorous life up until a few years ago, vegetables played a small cameo role on the lunch and dinner plate, where meat or chicken was always the star. I was so concerned with which form of animal protein I would make and fuss over recipes preparing it, that the veggies were an aside, an afterthought, a character actor without any influence on the plot. Back then, trip to Costco to buy in bulk certainly did not make sense in the vegetable and fruit section—that would be laughable. What would I do with a bag of 6 bell peppers, a big box of nectarines, a giant bag of broccoli? Probably end up throwing most of it out, unused and spoiled. I used to suggest to my mom that we should go together and split everything down the middle, but that idea, although a good one, never materialized into action.
When I go to Costco now, seeing the big produce section looming all the way against the back wall is like heaven! Spotting big bags and boxes of whole, colorful fruits and vegetables (sometimes organic and sometimes not) gets my creative wheels turning with ideas floating around about what can I whip up. Since my main dish is now centered around vegetables and/or a whole grain, buying them in bulk really works for me now. Unused fresh items can always be frozen but I try to use as much as possible before that becomes necessary. It’s like a race to incorporate everything I bought in one way or another before it has to get tossed out or in the freezer.
If you fear buying big bags of veggies and fruits in bulk, let these photos & 8 recipes inspire you:
Vegan American Princess
Voted #2 in Skinny Scoop's Top 25 Vegan Blogs of 2013
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