This week’s tester’s are: myself, Katie Spieker and Pam Massie from Henderson, NV, and Amy Hughes from Upland, CA.We all worked together to get some great feedback on the chosen recipes that the original tester did not have the chance to complete.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $162.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $140.00
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’d like to make a double portion of the Maple Mushroom Medley or the Sweet Chorizo Hash, just change the “1” below each heading to a “2” and it will double the ingredients for you.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.24 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 the spaghetti squash for the Slow Spaghetti Bolognese, once it has roasted, place it with the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan, and place it on your counter or in your garage to cook overnight.
- Prepare the Pineapple Chicken with Broccoli. Enjoy this as your meal and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze up to 6 months.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Spaghetti Bolognese. Clean out the slow cooker. Sear off the Brisket for the Beef Brisket with Raisin Sauce and place all the ingredients into the slow cooker. Place it on a foil lined sheet pan and set it on the kitchen counter or in your garage to cook for the next 7-12 hours.
- Prepare the Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac. Eat this for your breakfast and portion out any leftovers to store in your fridge for up to 5 days.
- Prepare the Maple Mushroom Medley. Eat a portion as a snack and properly store the remaining portions in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Portion out the Beef Brisket and make the Raisin Sauce. Properly store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months. Clean out your slow cooker.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Leg O’Lamb. Put into your slow cooker once again, set on a foil lined cookie sheet and place the slow cooker on your counter or in the garage to cook for the next 7-12 hours.
- Once the Lamb is finished, eat a portion for dinner, paired with the Maple Mushroom Medley you have leftover from yesterday. Portion out and properly store the remaining lamb. Store in your refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.
- 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: I tested this meal this week and let me tell you, I will be making this again and again. What a great alternative to spaghetti with meat sauce! My kids gobbled it up. I love finding healthy meals my kids also enjoy.
The recipe calls for the spaghetti squash to be precooked, so roast it ahead of time if you think of it. I roasted mine in a 350F oven for 45 minutes and made the Sweet Chorizo Hash for breakfast while it was cooking. Be sure to remove the seeds, and drizzle with a little olive oil before roasting. Placing it on a foil lined sheet pan makes for quick clean-up also.
I spent 1 hour prepping this meal, including roasting the squash, 8 hour cooking it, 6 on high and 2 on low, and yielded about 12 portions. I placed 2 portions per container so I could feed myself and my kids with each batch. My husband had no problem eating a 2 portion container for each meal.
Notes: Amy Hughes tested this recipe for me this week. Here’s what she had to say about it: “This was super quick, easy to make and healthy too. I will make it again.”
She used to Coconut Aminos instead of the Tamari, because that is what she already had on hand. She also substituted Siracha for the Sambal, again, because she already had it. We want to encourage you to take steps like this when cooking. If you already have something similar to a listed ingredient in your pantry, by all means, USE IT. Again, this recipe calls for precooked chicken breast. Throw the chicken in the oven while you are prepping your veggies and it will cut down on the cook time.
Amy spent 10 minutes prepping this dish, 25-30 minutes roasting the chicken, another 15-20 minutes throwing the dish together and made 6 servings.
Notes:Paleo Pam (aka my and Nicks’ Mom) was the tester for this recipe this week. She stated as follows: “We enjoyed this meal very much! The raisin sauce was delectable!”
She went with a chuck roast instead of the brisket and said that she would add a bit more salt next time. There was 1 1/2 quarts of sauce remaining that she will freeze and use on other beef dishes.
Pam spent about an hour prepping this dish, including searing off the meat, 5-6 hours cooking and made 8 portions.
Notes: I also tested this meal this week. My husband Dale makes this on a regular basis, or at least some version of it, so I was eager to give it a good old culinary ninja try. It was very simple and tasted fabulous! The sweet from the potatoes with the kick of the guac mixed with the yoke from the eggs was a great combination. I ended up only eating half of my portion for breakfast, because I was headed to the gym shortly after and being 8 1/2 months pregnant, knew the spice from my guac was going to haunt me during my workout.
I used a whole jalapeno in the guac recipe instead of the half called for, because Dale really enjoys the extra kick. He also added a tablespoon of chopped hatch green chiles to his portion for even more punch. I also decided to skip the scallion garnish, but followed the recipe besides those minor changes.
I spent about 20 minutes prepping the sweets, onions and guac, 20 minutes cooking and yielded 4 portions from this recipe. I would say the size of your sweet potato makes the real difference in the amount of food you get on this meal. There was plenty of leftover guac, which I didn’t mind one bit.
Notes: I also tested this side dish this week. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but was I pleasantly surprised. The maple syrup with the garlic and onion gives it a sweet and savory taste that made my mouth want to sing. I ate a portion as a snack all by themselves, but I think this would be a great option to pair with the Leg O’Lamb recipe below.
The only change I made on this recipe, was omitting the cilantro. Not by choice, might I add, I just thought I had some in my veggie drawer, but I was mistaken. I will be sure to get some for my next batch. This recipe was a part of Nick’s Holiday Series for CrossFit a couple years back and I agree that it is a perfect Holiday dish. Whether it be Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas, this dish will pair well with any protein option you may choose.
I spent about 10 minutes prepping this dish (washing the mushrooms was the longest part), 20 minutes cooking and made 4 small portions.
Notes: This is the only recipe that didn’t get tested this week. I went back and found the tester who chose this recipe last year and it was our good friend Stacy from Oman in 15.21. I had the pleasure of working with Stacy at last years CrossFit games.
This recipe gives you two different options on how to prepare your leg o’lamb in a slow cooker. Please review the recipe before heading to the grocery store to decide which option you would like to attempt and adjust your grocery list accordingly. The grocery list currently list all ingredients for both options. If you have time, you may want to try both recipes, as they both sound delectable to me.
Both recipes would pair well with the Maple Mushroom Medley listed above or the Balsamic Braised Red Cabbage is another great option.
Here are some of the pictures from our recipes:
Great job, ladies! Thank you for pulling together to prep the meals for this week’s plan. If it weren’t for you three, I wouldn’t be here. Especially you, Mom! The pictures are great and the food looks tasty. I especially like the picture of Taterbug below.
As for the rest of you, be careful to watch your diet as summer approaches. Father’s Day, BBQ’s, 4th of July, Summer Solstice, CrossFit Games, etc… are all great reasons to indulge, but if you indulge at all of them, are you really going to achieve your fitness goals? I’m here to help and plan to lead the charge by…
“Keeping It Paleo!”