What is it about Costco that can trick your mind into believing you need a 12 pound bag of anything? Do they change the oxygen levels in the store or something? I usually try to keep my purchases simple and only buy products I’ll either use quickly or actually have room to store, and if you saw my apartment you’d know it doesn’t leave room for much.
But why is it that I almost always leave Costco with something I don’t really need, and often don’t want? I think the biggest factor might be that I only go to Costco after a weekend workout because it’s convenient, and going hungry can definitely be a hindrance.
In this case the “accidental” purchase was a grape tomato bruschetta mix. Not exactly a coincidence as this particular sauce was one of the sample items served with grilled salmon. Being famished from the killer workout, I tried the sample and really enjoyed it, so much so that I bought it – a freakin’ two pound jar!
The second I got home I was struck with buyer’s remorse, for that and the case of juice, but that’s another story. What was I going to do with this? Surely, I wasn’t going to be buying baguettes every day and making crostini with the bruschetta topping. I needed to find another use for it.
The first thing I tried was to mix a little in with cooked quinoa. It was fine, but not something I was overly eager to try again. The next experiment was to add the mix to one of my favorite combinations: white beans and spinach!
I make this often with slight variations depending on what I have on hand: garlic and lemon juice, olive oil and halved cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, bacon with any of the above combinations, and more.
In this case, I cooked down a half bag of baby spinach over low heat until wilted, added a can of rinsed and drained white beans, and then heated it with about 2 tablespoons of the bruschetta mix. It was really good!
Granted, I’m going to have to make this twice a week until September to use up the jar, but it was a deliciously healthy solution.
And when the jar is gone, I’ll continue to make the dish but with my own bruschetta mix. It’s actually quite easy: mix diced tomatoes with olive oil, chopped basil, and maybe a little minced garlic. Simple, clean and very healthy.
Here’s the recipe for White Beans and Spinach:
White Beans & Spinach – makes 2 servings
Note: The white beans and spinach are a base to add other flavor such as bacon, garlic, Parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes, and more!
Olive oil or olive oil spray
2 cups baby spinach
1 15-ounce can white beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons bruschetta mix*
Heat a nonstick pan over low heat and coat with a small amount of olive oil or olive oil spray. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the white beans, salt and bruschetta mix and cook until heated through.
Serves two as a side dish or one as a main course.
*Make your own bruchetta mix by combining diced tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, chopped basil and salt and pepper to taste.