This week’s tester is: Glenda Renyolds from New Hampshire. This is the 4th time Glenda has tested a meal plan for us, but this time she took a different approach by offering it as a class at her local box. She had 3 ladies attend. They cooked 3 meals during the class and each participent made 1 dish at home. She enjoyed the exchange of information, tips and tricks about the menu choices and nutrition.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $265.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $220.00
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 Pineapple Chicken with Broccoli, change the “1” to below the appropriate heading to a “2” and it will double the ingredients.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.26 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 Beef Stew with Green Chiles & Yams, place it 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 Fajita Pie. Enjoy some for dinner. Portion out the remaining food and store in your refrigerator for the next week or freeze for up to 6 months. This is a great freezer meal.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Beef Stew. Refrigerate or freeze your portions and clean out the slow cooker. Prepare the Chuckwagon Brisket Pot Roast 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 8-12 hours.
- Prepare the Pineapple Chicken with Broccoli and the Cauliflower Fried Rice. Eat a serving for lunch today and portion out and properly store what is left. You will end up with more rice than chicken, so you may want to either double the chicken recipe or halve the rice recipe.
- Portion out the Pot Roast once it is done in the slow cooker. Refrigerate or freeze the portions. Clean it out and fill it up one more time with your Southwest chicken and place it on a foil lined sheet pan to cook overnight.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In cooking session three:
- Portion out your Southwest Chicken and properly store. This again, is a great freezer meal.
- Prepare your Mexican Meatballs with Calabacitas. Eat a portion if you’d like and properly store the remaining portions in either your refrigerator or freezer.
- 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: This dish was made by one of the class participants at home and she enjoyed the flavors.
When preparing this dish, we suggest you go with the hot green chiles for the added spice, but if you’re not into spice, go with the mild option instead.
The tester spent 45 minutes prepping this meal, cooked it overnight in her slow cooker and made around 10 portions.
Notes: “This is a favorite! Everyone involved in the class liked it,” Glenda shares.
Glenda chose to bake the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them. She said she prefers the consistency of the baked.
There are 2 recipes on the website for this dish. The SFH series which is what is linked to the above picture and heading uses a variety of spices, but has no video, but step-by-step instructions with pictures. There is also a CrossFit series recipe with a video that can be found here, which uses the Cheechako Taco seasoning mixture that can be purchased here. The recipes are almost identical, so take a look at both if you’d like.
Prep time for this dish for Glenda and her crew was about 75 minutes, with a cook time of 20-30 minutes on the mixture and about 40 minutes baking in the oven.
Notes: “Great flavor. Taste’s like Mom’s,” stated the tester who made this dish at home.
This recipe calls for the Beef Brisket to be seared on both sides before going into your slow cooker for BONUS FLAVOR.
Glenda also made this dish and home and decided to cook it in a very large cast iron/enamel pot in the oven. Either way you chose to do it, the results are mouth watering.
The testers spent 1 hour prepping this meal, including the sear time, 7-8 hours cooking it and made 12 portions.
Notes:The tester’s decided to make this dish along with the Cauliflower Fried Rice. They all agreed it was a great choice. While the volume of the rice is much larger than the chicken, either halving the rice recipe or doubling the chicken recipe can help solve that problem. The recipes are listed separately on the grocery list to do this with ease.
Glenda and her crew spent about 45 minutes prepping these dishes, with a cook time of 30 minutes and yielded 6 chicken portions with LOTS of fried rice.
Notes: “Loved the avocado garnish with this dish!” Cris stated.
She went with the chicken breast option instead of the whole chicken and was happy with the ease of portioning it out without picking through the bones. This option is a little more costly than the whole chicken, but to me, worth it when it comes to portioning.
The only complaint the ladies had on this dish was the mushiness of the sweet potatoes from the slow cooker. None the less, they said it is still a keeper.
You could always add the sweets half way through or lessen the cooking time a bit to eliminate this issue. I have had testers in the past who have used breast instead note that they thought the cooking time should be shortened to avoid dry chicken.
Prep time on this recipe was 45 minutes with an overnight cook time and 12 portions were yielded.
Notes: While this recipe takes awhile to prep and cook, the flavors are spot on and it is a great freezer option.
I made this a few months back and spent about 2 hours prepping and cooking. Help in the kitchen with veggie prep can be a real life saver.
You also have the option of baking your meatballs, but then you don’t get that nice carmelization on the outside. Be sure to dice your meatball veggies as small as possible. It makes it much easier to get the balls to stick together before cooking.
Glenda noted that the prep time on this recipe was LONG and it made a LOT.
Here a couple collages from their testing process:
Thank you Glenda for teaching others what you have found as valuable nutrition options! Sharing is caring and it shows that you care about what you eat.
I cannot put into words how awesome of a person Glenda is, but I can always write a poem, right? Here goes nothing…
North Dakota to Nicaragua to New Hampshire
Glenda is the greatest,
Today you find her latest.
Instead of a one-woman-show of cooking,
She invited her friends and we’re all now looking.
At the amazing food, they made on a whim,
And what’s more? They did it at the gym!
I met Glenda in Nicaragua where the weather’s hot
And stop being friends, we have not.
Through thick and thin in the New Hampshire snow,
And at the CrossFit Games for the fitness show.
She met us in Boston to portion and prep,
Not many words rhyme with prep.
But, that’s not the point, what I want to say,
Is that Glenda’s impacted my life in a positive way.
She’s got an amazing smile, but doesn’t hang around fools,
She once taught me that, “Teeth aren’t tools.”
You see, she’s a dentist, so she practices oral hygiene,
But she also likes to eat real clean.
So today, she threw together some recipes of Nick’s,
And what we have is Meal Plan Sixteen Twenty-Six!
Thank you, Glenda!
“Keep It Paleo!”