This weeks tester is: Arantxa Kovis. This is what she had to say about herself:

“My name is Arantxa Kovis and I have the pleasure of working here at PaleoNick’s!

My current home is in Reno with my boyfriend -and live in food tester- Kyle. I live just five short minutes from the Paleo Test Kitchen which makes for an easy commute. I enjoy cooking very much and I was very lucky as a child to have a wonderful mother who introduced me to clean food at a young age.

“When I’m not working, I’m traveling. I spent three years living abroad and I continue to leave once a year for at least a month to explore somewhere new! My next adventure is India/China where hopefully I can pick up some tips on how to make an authentic curry!”

“I’ve recently got into CrossFit and I’m happy to call CrossFit Regulus my Box! It’s been a great experience to get in shape and eating Paleo has helped out immensely. When I’m not eating Paleo I am usually eating Mexican! I’m a true believer that tacos are God’s gift to Earth.”

“I had a great time preparing these meals. I followed the recipes pretty darn closely and got great results. My advice is to follow your instinct and make it your own. If you don’t like the direction that the recipe is going you can always tailor it to your tastebuds. Add flavors you like and don’t be afraid to take the risk. If it doesn’t turn out, there is always next time!”

Here are a few pictures from her experience:

Groceries for 15.47
Loading up the slow cooker with Beef and Butternut Braise
Asian Chicken Salad in the works
Poppers fresh from the oven
Pork Chops searing and apples and onions in the sauce pan

Thank you Arantxa for all your hard work in putting this plan together. Not only do you work hard for Nick in the Paleo kitchen, you take the work home and produce amazing meals. We appreciate you and all your efforts!

I had the pleasure of meeting and spending a week with Arantxa during the Crossfit Games this past July. I am glad Nick has found such a great person to help him stay organized and keep his business running smoothly. I am thankful to say I can call you my friend Aranxta!

From Nick:

Thank you, Arantxa. I love your detailed bio and your pictures, especially the one with Paleo Kyle below. Thanks for being a part of my team on a daily basis and for volunteering to test this week’s meal plan. It is a pleasure to work with you and I hope that you have an amazing Thanksgiving weekend!!!

Please give Kyle my best and when he reaches for the cookie jar, remind him to…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Arantxa with her main squeeze, Paleo Kyle


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $201.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $160.00

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:

  1. Open the document and click on the tab at the bottom that says “Menu item & Ingredient Brkdown”.
  2. 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 want to make a double batch of the Jalapeno Poppers,  change the “1” below the Poppers to a “2” and it will double the listed ingredients for you.
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 15.47 Grocery List” and your quantities will be updated.
  4. Print out the grocery list from the first tab only.
  5. 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.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

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:

  1. Prepare your Super Radical Chicken and Potatoes and place in your slow cooker, set the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan, and place it in the garage to cook overnight.
  2. Prepare the World’s Greatest Asian Chicken Salad. Eat a portion and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  3. Prep the veggies for your Beef and Butternut Braise. This will go into the slow cooker in the morning.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the Chicken and Potatoes and refrigerate up to one week or freeze for up to six months. Clean out your slow cooker and load it up with the Beef and Butternut Braise. Place the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan and place it on your counter to cook during the day.
  2. Prepare the Pan Seared Pork Chops with Apples and Onions. Eat a portion and properly store the leftovers.
  3. Once the Chicken and Potatoes are done in the slow cooker, portion out and freeze for up to six months or refrigerate for up to one week.
  4. Clean out the slow cooker once again and load it up with the Tomatillo and Pork Green Chili. Place the slow cooker on the same foil lined sheet pan and place it in your garage to cook overnight.
  5. Clean up the kitchen and polish that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Portion out the Tomatillo Pork Green Chile. If you’d like, cook the eggs and enjoy this dish for breakfast. Portion out the leftovers and store properly.
  2. Prepare the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers and the Massie Mayo if you will be using it as a garnish. Eat these up right away. They are best fresh!
  3. Sit back and take it all in. Your Paleo Bank Account is stocked and  now you are a Culinary Ninja who is ready to tackle life with energy, clarity, and confidence. Be sure to tell your friends about!

Super Radical Chicken and Potatoes

Notes: This recipe calls for two whole chickens and red potatoes. You can always substitute chicken breasts or thighs if you don’t want to deal with quartering the whole chickens. And you always have the option of using any potato of your choice. You can also find the recipe for the Super Radical Rib Rub here, or you can order a bottle here. If you plan to make your own, you will need to add the ingredients to your grocery list.

World’s Greatest Asian Chicken Salad

Notes: This quick and easy salad recipe is loaded with veggies and tons of flavor.

Beef and Butternut Braise

Notes: This slow cooker recipe is so easy to throw together. You only have to chop four different veggies, mix all the ingredients together and load it into your slow cooker.

Tomatillo Pork Green Chile

Notes: This recipe is a epic breakfast alternative! Top it with eggs and avocado and enjoy. Your taste buds will thank you.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Notes: These pan seared pork chops are sure to please. Add the Braised Red Cabbage (recipe found in article linked to picture above) and you have a meal that will knock your socks off. You will need to add the ingredients for the cabbage to your grocery list if you plan to make it also.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers

Notes:  These little bites of wonderfulness are a great twist on the traditional jalapeno popper. Be sure to mix up a batch of Massie Mayo if you don’t already have some stocked in your refrigerator. There are a list of optional garnishes for this recipe which include, Massie Mayo, Sriracha, Maple Syrup and Cilantro.

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