Costco is one of my favorite places to shop, as I’ve written here. But since my angioplasty, I’ve been severely disappointed at the unhealthiness of its food court offerings. I can no longer eat the hot dogs I once did, too much fat and salt. Same for the giant slices of Costco pizza. And even the Costco turkey sandwich, which you might think was healthier, is loaded with fat and salt, far too much for me.
So after my usual Thursday night Costco shopping run, I normally have only a frozen fat-free yogurt and a Costco food court salad — with some major alterations.
I recently came across a post talking about how unhealthy that Costco food court salad is. “This jacked-up salad has more calories, total fat, cholesterol and sodium than either the Kirkland Signature All Beef Hot Dog or Polish Sausage,” writes the Tasty Island blog.
The fat is in the dressing, of course, and the cheese and croutons that come with the salad. If you eat all that, the salad has 40 grams of fat and 2,680 mgs of sodium, about two days worth of salt for me, or for you if you’re dealing with blood pressure or heart issues.
“As for the salad, substitute the OEM Caesar dressing for an Extra Virgin Olive Oil-based vinaigrette dressing and take out some of the parmesan cheese and croutons, and it obviously will be far better for you than the hot dog. But who’s going to do that at the convenience of Costco’s Food court? Not me, that’s for sure,” writes the Tasty Island.
Well, that’s exactly what I do routinely. First, I never get the croutons. The counter help will offer them to you in a small bag. I simply say hold the croutons, they are fat bombs I don’t need.
I next deconstruct the salad, tossing the generous cup of Caesar dressing and picking off almost all the grated cheese, leaving a tiny bit for taste. I then add my own oil and vinegar (pity Costco doesn’t offer oil and vinegar in its food courts).
Doing all that cuts the calories in the salad to about 194.8 and the sodium to 176.4, according to Sparkspeople. I hope that’s accurate.
I still worry a bit about how much salt is on the chicken. but all in all, the salad is much healthier once you strip the junk out, and it’s filling because it is Costco-sized, after all.