This week’s theme is: “Cook For Those You Love”
I am currently in Tennessee at Power Monkey Camp 3.0 and above the window through which we serve the food, there is a sign that says: “Love People. Cook them tasty food.”
I’ve always been a lover of people and I enjoy cooking tasty food, so, this advice goes hand in hand for me. I chose this week’s theme because two people I love dearly, my mom (Paleo Pam) and sister (Katie), were the meal plan testers. Katie is working on taking over the meal plan post completely and she is doing an awesome job. You can always pick up food for others, but, if you really want to feed their soul, you’ll have to cook for them…
Here’s what Katie has to say this week:
This weeks testers are Pam Massie, and me! We are Nick’s mom and sister and we come to you live from Henderson, NV. I work out at Sin City South CrossFit and in our garage gym we have set up here at home. Nick got my husband and I into Crossfit back in 2009. My husband Dale has been hooked ever since, but I only recently joined the gym. Now if I can just get an unassisted pull-up I will be a happy lady. Maybe these meals will help.
Here are a few photos of our meal preparation:
We tried to choose a few new recipes for the meal plan this week and I hope you all enjoy our selections. It does take commitment and preparation to accomplish these meal plans, but now that I have completed one I will definitely be doing more in the near future. Thank you Nick for making this process so easy to tackle!
Cook for those you love. Simple advice, right? There’s nothing like coming home to the aroma of a home cooked meal. Yesterday, we put 10 pans of Pastel de Papa in the oven at camp. Then, I went up to the gym for a workout. When I came back down to check on it, I walked in the dining hall and boom! I was hit with an amazing aroma that I don’t experience when I stay in the kitchen. My boy, The Other Paleo Nick, had just walked out, so I opened the door and stuck my head out and said haughtily, “Hey Nick, it smells pretty good in here, no?” He looked back, smiled and nodded his head. His smile was extra big because he knew we had cooked for those we love…
“Keep It Paleo!”
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger’s): $155.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $132.00
(We shopped at 3 different grocery stores for this weeks ingredients. We purchased the majority of the produce and the ground chicken at Sprout’s, spending $25. The canned goods, fish sauce, shrimp and ground turkey we shopped for at Smith’s, spending $63. And I had to go to an Asian grocer for the lime leaves, thai chilis and lemongrass, spending an additional $10. We had most of the dry ingredients and the steak for the mushrooms and fajitas on hand, so I went ahead and added an additional $40 to the cost breakdown for these items.)
The amount you will spend will depend on your geographic location and how much you rely on bulk purchases. As an example, you can get 1 quart of extra light olive oil at Kroger for $19.99 or you can get 4 quarts at Costco for $16.50. You follow? Meat and produce will also be less at the warehouse stores, but might require you purchase more than you’ll need for this plan.
Customize Your Plan and Shop It Up!
I have created a customize-able grocery list in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Even if you’re not good with Excel, I’ve set it up in a foolproof way that even “The Jo!” could handle. Follow these instructions:
- Open the document and click on the tab at the bottom that says “Menu item & Ingredient Brkdown”.
- At the top, you’ll see the number “1” in bold just below each menu item. You can change this number to correspond with the number of portions that you’d like to make. Say you really like muffins and want 3 dozen, you’d change the “1” below Bacon Berry Muffins to a “3” and the grocery quantities will be updated.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 15.9 Grocery List” and your quantities will be updated.
- Print out the grocery list.
- Compare what you need to what you have on hand and finalize your list. Then, head to the grocery store and make your purchases swiftly and efficiently.
I want you to knock this out in one shopping session, two cooking sessions, and one short finishing session. I’ll explain these now, but want you to scroll down to read my notes on each meal below. They are listed under each picture.
In cooking session one:
- Prepare your Cabbage Wraps, place it in the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan, and place it in your garage to cook overnight.
- Prepare the Thai Chicken Meatza as your first meal and enjoy. Package up any leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Prep your ingredients for the Thai Turkey Throwdownand put them in the refrigerator for tomorrow.
- Clean up the kitchen.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out your Cabbage Wraps and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
- Grab your prepped ingredients for the Thai Turkey Throwdown and finish it off with the outlined preparation instructions. Eat a portion for today’s meal and container up the left overs. You will most likely want to freeze some of these portions since there is so much.
- Prep the ingredients you will need for the Fajitas. We will finish the last 3 recipes tomorrow, as they all go very well together.
- Clean up the kitchen.
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Avo-Mango Shrimp Coctel and Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer and enjoy.
- Prepare your Steak Fajitas. Container up any leftovers from these 3 recipes and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. I wouldn’t recommend freezing the mushrooms or shrimp coctel.
- Sit back and take it all in. You just made a beautiful deposit in the Paleo Bank Account and you should be proud of yourself. Be sure to tell your friends about PaleoNick.com!
Scallion Thai’d Chiang Mai Cabbage Wraps
Notes: This is a new recipe on the site and the meal plan. The prep for these meal is a bit labor intensive, but all in all, goes very smoothly. I did have trouble getting 10 large cabbage leaves from one head of cabbage, so I ended up running back to the store for a second head to finish off all the meat mixture. I cooked this recipe on low for 10 hours instead of the recommended 6 hours on high.
Notes: WOW is all I can say about this simple recipe! I was very impressed with all the flavors and the crunch of the salad toppings. You definitely won’t be disappointed with this tasty creation. I recommend topping the pieces as you eat them to keep the freshness and crunch to the salad topping.
Notes: It was my first time attempting this well loved recipe, and I was in awe. It was AMAZING in my book and I will be making it again for sure! The recipe is rather large (5 pounds of ground turkey), and is made in 2 large saute pans. If you’d like to make it in a smaller batch, just change the 1 to .5 on the spread sheet tab of the grocery list and it will adjust all the ingredients for you.
Notes: This version of shrimp cocktail was SO GOOD! I can’t wait to make it for Cinco de Mayo and any BBQ we attend in the coming months. I bought large pre-cooked shrimp and cut into smaller pieces and did a whole mango instead of the half that the recipe called for.
Notes: We all really enjoyed these tasty Fajitas. I loved the addition of the carrots to the classic recipe. I used round steak instead of the called for NY Strip because I already had it in my freezer at home.
Carnes Asada Stuffed Mushrooms
Notes: These mushrooms were like little bites of heaven in my book. I will be adding them to my repeat recipes and sure to bust them out next time we have friends over for dinner. I could have eaten them all myself so next time I make them I will be sure to double or triple the recipe.