This weeks tester’s are: Todd and Kelli Sugg from Oak Ridge, NC.
Todd and Kelli work out at Crossfit Oak Ridge. In their spare time they both enjoy playing softball and doing CF competitions. Todd and Kelli heard about Paleo Nick from Crossfit.com.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $110.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $90.00
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:
- 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 want to make a double batch of the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers, change the “1” below the Chili to a “2” and it will double the listed ingredients for you.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.12 Grocery List” and your quantities will be updated.
- Print out the grocery list from the first tab only.
- 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 the notes on each meal below. They are listed under each picture.
In cooking session one:
- Prepare your Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash, 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 Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers and a batch of Massie Mayo if you will be using it as a garnish. Enjoy this for your meal this evening. Properly store the remaining portions in your refrigerator for 5-7 days or freeze up to 6 months.
- Prepare the Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Freeze these in small portions (2-3 cookies each) and you will have a better chance of having them last more than a day or two.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Short Ribs. Refrigerate or freeze your portions and clean out the slow cooker. Prepare the 80 Clove Garlic Chicken (be sure to add some of the additional options for flavor listed in the recipe) and place into your slow cooker. Place on a foil lined sheet pan, and place in it your garage or leave it on the counter to cook for the next 6-10 hours.
- Prepare the Chorizo Mushroom Hash with Eggs. Eat this as your breakfast and properly store any leftovers.
- Prepare the Butternut Squash Lasagna. Portion out and properly store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
- Once the 80 Clove Garlic Chicken has finished cooking, portion this out and properly store. Enjoy a portion for dinner if you’d like.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- 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 PaleoNick.com!
Notes: Todd and Kelli really enjoyed the taste and texture of this dish. They also thought it was relatively easy and loved the slow cooker option on a busy work night.
Be sure to follow the recipe instructions and taste test this dish for any need to re-season before eating or portioning out, once you meat tenderness is achieved.
Todd and Kelli spent 20 minutes prepping their dish, 9 hours cooking on low, and made 8, 4 block portions.
Notes: The testers thought this recipe tasted great, was super easy and noted that they ate them way to quick. I don’t blame you! These babies are SO SCRUMPCOUS!!
Be sure to whip up a batch of Massie Mayo to use as a garnish on this dish. It may sound weird, but I promise you won’t be disappointed with the additional flavor and fat it adds to this recipe. If you want to cut the heat, you can always eliminate the jalapeno or just use a quarter of one. If you want to dial up the heat, be sure to add the optional Sriracha garnish to these babies. The other optional garnishes include maple syrup and cilantro. Why not walk on the wild side and give all of them a shot!?!
The testers spent 20 minutes prepping this recipe, 30 minutes cooking and yielded 4, 3 popper portions or 12 poppers total.
Notes: We suggest using the Enjoy Life Brand(link) chocolate chunks for this recipe. You can usually find these in the natural food section of your local grocery store, or at Whole Foods or Sprouts. May I also suggest using a portion scoop to in order to get evenly baked cookies. I have found that freezing the cookies in small bags of 2-3 each will help avoid eating them all at once. That way you can just pull a bag out of the freezer every couple of days for a little treat. Feel free to double or triple this recipe. You can do this by changing the “1” listed below the cookie heading on the second tab of the xcel spreadsheet to a “2” or “3.”
Todd and Kelli spent 5 minutes prepping their cookies, 16 minutes baking them and got 23 cookies from their batch.
Notes: Todd and Kelli didn’t really care for this dish. They didn’t like the texture of the chicken and they thought it was bland.
The recipe gives an array of extra options to add additional flavor to this dish and I would suggest adding one or more of them. These options include: fresh rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, and chipotle in adobo. If any of these options interest your taste buds, be sure to add them to your grocery list before hitting the store. You also want to be sure to achieve a nice sear on all sides of you chicken halves before adding them to your slow cooker.
Todd and Kelli spent 20 minutes prepping this recipe, cooked on low for 10 hours and yielded 8 portions.
Notes:The testers said this dish is “delicious and easy.” Any breakfast option with Chorizo and eggs and guacamole is always a winner in my book. For sure since my brother Jason introduced me to his new Chorizo recipe.
My only suggestions for this recipe would be to adjust the heat of the guacamole to your personal preference and changing the portion size if needed. Leave some seeds in with your minced jalapeno if you like the heat, or leave the pepper out all together, if heat isn’t your thing. If you are planning to make this recipe for more than 1 person, you will need to adjust this accordingly by changing the “1” below the recipe heading on the “Menu and Ingredients” tab of the grocery list spreadsheet to the appropriate number of portions wanted.
Todd and Kelli spent 15 minutes prepping this dish, 30 minutes cooking and got a single portion of hash.
Notes: Todd and Kelli liked how easy this dish was to prepare. They did have some issues cutting the squash into ¼” slices, but that just takes practice. I have made this dish at least 5 times and slicing the squash seems to get easier each time.
Massie Mayo is also a garnish option for this dish. It adds even more flavor to an already outstanding recipe if you ask me. This dish freezes and reheats amazingly. I like to make this and drop it off for anyone who has recently had a new baby, lost a loved one or just come home from the hospital. You can even just prep it and throw it uncooked into the freezer to cook at a later time. Oh and the aroma that envelopes your home when this is in the oven is heavenly!
This week’s testers spent 30 minutes prepping their lasagna, 90 minutes cooking it and yielded 8, 3 block portions.
Here is a collage from Todd and Kelli’s meals:
Thank you Todd for volunteering to test this plan for us! Your selections are top notch and mouth watering. I am glad to hear that Kelli and your dog Emmie were there to help out. We appreciate the time you took to do this for us all!!
Great job, guys! I think you are our first testers from North Carolina. As Katie said, your meal selections were top notch. Cookies, poppers, lasagna, those are all words I like to hear!
You have a beautiful family, I hope to meet you and to cook together someday. Keep your Culinary Ninja skills in practice and, as always…
“Keep It Paleo!”