This weeks tester’s are: Don and Mary Renfro from San Diego, CA. Don and Mary are repeat testers from 15.46 last year. They did another stand up job with this week’s selections.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $149.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $120.00
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 half batch of the, change the “1” below the Skewers to a “.5” and it will halve the listed ingredients for you.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.13 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 Chuckwagon Brisket Pot Roast, 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 marinade for the skewers and prep the meat chunks. We will cook these tomorrow. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
- Prepare the Asian Chicken Toss-Up with Creamy Ginger Vinaigrette. Enjoy this as your meal and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (You may not want to toss all of the veggies with dressing if you won’t be eating it all at once)
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Pot Roast. Refrigerate or freeze your portions and clean out the slow cooker. Prepare the Mexican Meatball Soup 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 10-12 hours.
- Prepare the Breakfast Gallimaufry. Eat this as your breakfast and properly store any leftovers.
- Prepare the Greek Freak Meat Skewers that have been marinating in the refrigerator. Portion out and properly store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
- Portion out the Mexican Meatball Soup once it has finished cooking and portion it out. Store these in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Sausage and Porcini Pizza. Enjoy this as your lunch or dinner. Properly store for up to a week.
- 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: Don and Mary thought this was an easy crockpot meal for the week and Don thought the flavor was good.
They complained that there was too much liquid for their slow cooker. Always be sure to place your slow cooker onto a sheet pan to avoid any mess that could be caused from overflow. Mary ended up adding garlic, chipotle and a little coffee for more flavor on her portions as she thought it was a little bland. They both thought maybe the mushrooms could be a good addition to this meal, being added half way through the cooking process.
Don and Mary spent 40 minutes prepping this meal, 10 hours cooking on low and were unsure on the portions, but noted “lots.”
Notes: “Loved the flavor of the marinade!” Don and Mary said. They both thought this was a really great recipe. “We give it a double yummy rating!”
They purchased their meat already cubed from the butcher and did the shrimp skewers on a different day by setting some of the marinade aside. They thought the assembling of the skewers was quite messy and would suggest doing it next to the sink for easy access for washing their hands without dripping all over. Be sure to marinade your meat for 30 minutes to 24 hours prior to cooking. The longer the better in my book, so mix up your marinade and mix with your meats on day 1 and cook them off on day 2 to add to the flavor. These wonderful sticks of protein pair well with the Greek Freak Cucumber Salad if you’re looking for more carbs and fats to help balance this meal.
The testers spent 45 minutes prepping this meal, 20 minutes or less cooking and didn’t measure their portions.
Notes: “Inexpensive, easy to make and great favor! This will be one of our go tos. Might need the dressing on hand all the time. Really yummy flavor. Has a little kick! We like the kick!” Don and Mary stated. ” We baked 6 chicken breasts. Ready to mix up more dressing and get more cabbage. Mary forgot to get the almonds and we missed them on the salad. So, next batch we will include the almonds. This will be one of our go to recipes in the future. We give it a triple yummy rating” Don says.
Don suggests “Maybe shredded carrots versus ABC.” This salad is pretty big, so if you’re not feeding 4 or more adults at once, I would suggest waiting to chop all of the lettuce and only dressing what you will be eating. This way it will be nice, fresh and crisp when eating again.
The testers spent 15 minutes prepping this meal, 15 or so minutes cooking the chicken and made 6-7 big salad portions.
Notes: “We both liked the meatballs. Mary did not care for that much squash/turnip texture in one recipe. We both felt there was too much liquid in the crock pot. We removed 4 cups, but there was still a lot. Most of the ingredients increase the water content as they cook down too. We think more meatballs for the amount of other stuff would be better too” Don stated.
This is a soup recipe, so be prepared for that consistency. The meatballs are pre-cooked in a skillet before being placed in the slow cooker. Be prepared for this when considering prep time. You can always cook them off the night before and store them in your refrigerator if you’d like.
Don and Mary spent about 1 hour prepping this dish, including browning the meatballs, 8 hours cooking in the slow cooker and yielded 10-12 portions of soup.
Notes: “We hadn’t really used Poblano peppers before making Paleo Nick’s recipes. We found another favorite in the Poblanos as they have good flavor and are not expensive or hard to find. Yes. Loved the Serrano peppers too. Added a little heat because the seeds are left in. We like the heat. May use twice as many serrano peppers next time” Don says. They gave it a 3 out of 5 rating.
“We ended up using more eggs. Sweet potatoes could have been more done. They seemed to take longer than other ingredients. Maybe throw them in first next time” he said.
Don and Mary spent 15 minutes prepping this meal, about 10 minutes cooking and made 3-4 medium sized portions.
Notes: “This is a great pizza. Good flavor. Next time we will use some different toppings. We will make this recipe over and over for that yummy pizza experience. Another Go-To recipe for us” the testers stated. They gave this a 4 out of 5 on the yummy scale.
Their crust took about 20 minutes to firm up vs. the 10 minutes listed in the recipe.
Don and Mary spent 10 minutes prepping this meal, 20-25 minutes cooking, and got one good sized pizza that was great for 2 people.
Here are some photos from Don and Mary’s experience:
Thank you Don and Mary for taking on this task once again. You guys did a great job with your pictures and feedback! I love having repeat testers!! Keep on “Keeping it Paleo” and we look forward to seeing your next selections.
Thank you, Don and Mary! I too love repeat testers. From the looks of your pictures, you are seasoned pros! There is a possibility that we’ll be coming to San Diego for Regionals, so we’ll have to get together and “Chef It Up!”.
I hope that you are enjoying your freshly stocked Paleo Bank Account. There is no better feeling that taking the stress of planning what you are going to eat off of your plate. You guys have done this in fine fashion and I appreciate you sharing the results. I look forward to meeting you soon. In the meantime…
“Keep It Paleo!”