This weeks tester is: Brandon and Amy from Minneapolis, MN. This is what Brandon had to say:

“We live in Minneapolis, MN and love spending time together in the kitchen dishing up new and creative meals. It’s not uncommon to have The Food Network playing in the background while we’re working on a new project or just settling down for the night. Cooking is just one of many activities we enjoy together.”

“We are members at Crossfit Uffda in Eden Prairie, MN under the skillful eye and direction of Coach Jason Massie. He is the one who introduced us to the Paleo Nick website and after only a few meals we were hooked. We’ve been meal prepping for a long time now, experimenting with different Paleo books, and tweaking our favorite recipes. One thing we love about Paleo Nick’s recipes aside from the great flavors is the shopping list. It’s very useful to be able to just print out what you need instead of creating your own list.”

“We spend much of our time hanging out with our dog, Harley (Miniature Pinscher) and cat Alex (Russian Blue) and planning our next vacation. We are both very adventurous eaters and have enjoyed eating our way through Singapore & Mexico in the last few years. Who knows where will be next.”

Here are some pictures from Brandon and Amy’s experience:

Groceries for 15.48
Picture perfect Tuna Poke
Greek Freak Cucumber Salad
Brandon having a hard time waiting for the chicken fingers to cook
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers with Cuc Salad on the side
French Toast set-up
Three Pepper Turkey Chili ready to eat

Thank you so much Brandon and Amy for making these wonderful selections! You guys did an amazing job of preparing these meals and documenting your journey. I’m sorry about the “Paleo bread” experience! I think we all know there’s a reason why bread, of any kind, can not be considered Paleo 🙂

From Nick:

Thank you guys so much for your awesome work! I love the pictures and the selection of meals that you chose. I’ll have to come meet Emmett soon, so we can get together and “Chef it up!” together.

Furthermore, I hope that you’ll join me on my Culinary Adventure to Nicaragua next May. We are finalizing the details on the trip now, so be sure to stay tuned.

Have a Merry Christmas and thanks again!!!

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Great pic, but a photo with the pets may have been better


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $175.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $158.00

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 half batch of the Cucumber Salad,  change the “1” below the Salad to a “.5” and it will half the listed ingredients for you.
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 15.48 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 Beef Bourguignon 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 Nick’s Ahi Poke. Eat a portion and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  3. Prepare the Greek Freak Cucumber Salad. Store this in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the Beef Bourguignon and refrigerate up to one week or freeze for up to six months. Clean out your slow cooker and load it up with the Three Pepper Turkey Chili. Place the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan and place it on the counter to cook during the day.
  2. Prepare the Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers. Eat a portion and properly store the leftovers. The cucumber salad would pair nicely with this dish.
  3. Once the Chili is done in the slow cooker, portion out and freeze for up to six months or refrigerate for up to one week.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and polish that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Prepare the Bacon Berry French Toast with Coconut Cream. Eat this for breakfast this fine day.
  2. 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!

Beef Bourguignon

Notes: “The wine in this recipe really had us curious as to how this was going to turn out. The flavor turned out to be better than I expected. There is a slight bitterness that the wine brings to the table that works really well with the other spices and natural flavors of the beef and veggies. It was an interesting flavor but a pleasant surprise.”

You have some options on this recipe for the wine, so please read the notes listed at the end it in the recipe compilation before heading to the grocery store.

Nick’s Ahi Poke

Notes: “We are huge fans of Tuna Poke. In fact, we shared some Poke on our second date and always order it when we go back. That being said we don’t have a need to order it anymore because this Ahi Poke recipe was Amazing! The only thing we would change about it would be to cut the tuna into smaller chunks. The seaweed wraps work well but will get soggy quite fast so be sure to eat it quickly. That shouldn’t be a problem” Brandon said.

Greek Freak Cucumber Salad

Notes: “This is definitely one of those recipes you should cut in half unless you have a large family. I think Amy and I were eating this salad for two weeks straight. Luckily that wasn’t a problem because we really enjoyed this Greek Cucumber salad. For the two of us it works out well having left overs because it makes our meal prep super easy. A side like this can be paired with all kinds of different meals.”

Three Pepper Turkey Chili

Notes: “Man I felt like I was chopping veggies for hours on this one. One very good thing to note is that in the video Nick says that he likes to let this one go overnight. That sounds great in theory and may work for some people but not for us in this particular case. After chopping up all of the prescribed veggies I couldn’t even fit them all in the slow cooker. I had to leave some of the veggies out even though our slow cooker is the proper size for the recipe. Then I came back after a kick ass class workout at Crossfit Uffda to find my slow cooker about 2 minutes away from the juices overflowing and causing a tasty & spicy mess for my animals to enjoy. Before all was said and done I had to perform preventive maintenance on the juice situation 3 times during the required cook time. It was a small price to pay for the flavor that this recipe packs. I took this chili to work for lunch for a week straight and loved it every time. Once I would heat it up the smell would float through my work space bringing in co-workers to ask what I’m eating. We will definitely make this one again, but I may alter the quantities of the ingredients to better fit our little family” states Brandon.

I would have to agree with him on this one. I made this recipe a month or so ago and had to split it into 2 slow cookers to make all the ingredients work. Luckily my mom lives right down the street and had one also.

Be sure to place your slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan as stated in the instructions to avoid a juice disaster!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers

Notes: “Being Van Damme, Bacon, & Chicken fans we were pretty sure that this recipe was going to be a sure thing and it definitely delivered. Most of the recipes I would suggest to cut in half unless you have a large family. However, if you’re as big a fan of these Chicken fingers as we are then you are going to want some left overs. The chipotle dipping sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy when mixed with savory bacon. D-Lish!

Paleo Bacon Berry French Toast with Coconut Cream

Notes: This recipe was made by Nick when he was sent a loaf of Paleo bread to sample. This is what Brandon had to say about the recipe:

“Let me start by saying that I love French Toast and coconut. Hate is a strong word that I don’t use very often but I absolutely Hate Paleo Bread. Hate Hate Hate Paleo Bread. There is nothing good about it. The flavor sucks, the texture is what I would imagine chewing on tree moss would feel like, and you can’t even toast it. I’m pretty sure Amy put one piece in our toaster three separate times and all it did was smell up our kitchen with a puky paleo bread fragrance. I’d say the rest of the ingredients were great except that the Coconut cream doesn’t really fluff too well. I would urge people to reconsider trying this recipe based on the bread alone. I think Nick did as good as anyone could trying to tackle this project. Unfortunately, underneath all those tasty products lies a disgusting piece of Paleo Bread that you force feed yourself as a consequence for having gone through the effort of making the dang recipe to begin with. Steer clear of this one.”

You may just want to use to recipe as a cheat meal and try it with real bread.

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