This weeks tester is Glenda Reynolds, along with her husband, Charlie, and Mom, from New Hamphire. Glenda tested 15.23 for us and I also had the pleasure of spending time with her at last years Crossfit Games while working the Paleo Nick’s food booth and the kitchen tent for a week. She was kind enough to share her hotel room with me and few other “homeless” volunteers. I am forever grateful for her kindness.

Her schedule for the meals were as follows:

“I shopped on Saturday morning. I started prepping for Pastel de Papa, Beef Bourignon and the Cobb salad. I have only one crock pot so I cooked the BB in the oven in a new pot. We had the Cobb salad for dinner that night.”

“On Sunday I made the Pork Chili California and got it going in the crock pot. While Chili’s cooking, I assembled the Pastel de Papa and got it into the oven.   Then, made the Chicken Wings. We prepped and ate the Steak fajitas for dinner. I was in the kitchen on Saturday from 3-7p. On Sunday in the kitchen from about noon-7.”

“Loved the fact that my freezer is stocked again with food that is delicious!!”


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $250.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $205.00 

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 double batch of the Caveman Cobb Salad, change the “1” below the Salad to a “2” and it will double the listed ingredients for you.
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.3 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 the notes on each meal below. They are listed under each picture.

In cooking session one:

  1. Prepare your Pork Chili California, 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.
  2. Prepare the Chicken Wings with Pineapple and Poblanos. Portion out and properly store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.
  3. Prepare the Caveman Cobb with Honey Pepper Vinaigrette. Enjoy this for your meal this evening and properly store any leftovers.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the Pork Chili Caliornia. Refrigerate or freeze your portions. Clean out the slow cooker and load it up with the Beef Bourguignon. Place in your garage or on your counter, on a foil lined sheet pan, and cook during the day or overnight.
  2. Prepare the Pastel de Papa. Eat a portion and portion out the remaining and properly store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to six months. This meal freezes very well.
  3. Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Portion out the Beef Bourguignon and clean out your slow cooker. Properly store your meals in the refrigerator for up to one week or freezer for up to six months.
  2. Prepare the Carrot and Poblano Steak Fajitas. Grab yourself a plate and enjoy. Portion out any leftovers and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
  3. 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!

Pork Chile California

Notes: “The cooked vegetables and garnish really make the dish!” Glenda says. “The pork I purchased was very fatty. Removed excess fat. I supplemented quantity with pulled pork I had in the freezer from our fall pig roast. Worked out well.”

Glenda got 8 portions from this meal.

Chicken Wings with Pineapple and Poblanos

Notes: ” This was a new recipe for me. Skeptical, but trusted Nick’s flavors. It is great! Love the flavors. When I was preparing I was concerned about the moisture content that was resulting as the wings were cooking. Just be patient and follow recipe. They come out beautiful and even though the veggies look very dark they do not have a burnt taste” states Glenda. This is a great dish to make for an upcoming Super Bowl Party.

Caveman Cobb with Honey Pepper Vinaigrette

Notes: Glenda made a few substitutions for this recipe and they are as follows: ” I used spinach, arugula, and watercress for greens. I used left over Prime Rib from New Year’s. When veggies are prepped ahead of time; this is a great way to increase greens into daily meals. This was a great salad and Vinaigrette.”

Beef Bourguignon

Notes: “I used a roast and cut into pieces rather than using stew meat. Used a full bottle of Pinot Noir and added stock to cover vegetables. I made this in the oven rather than crock pot…so I: cooked bacon to render fat, browned meat removed meat from pot and then cooked onion and garlic in the pot added wine to de-glaze the pot, added meat back to pot, put in veggies, and liquid to cover. 350 degrees for 3 hours.”

Glenda got 8 portions from this meal.

Pastel De Papa

Notes: ” My favorite dish. I have made slight modifications in the past but never really measured up to the original recipe. This is my favorite dish.  I did roast the sweet potatoes rather than boil them. I would stay true to the cooking time for the meat. The time helps to evaporate the moisture in the meat. This helps make a meat mixture that is not “runny”. It has more body to it. I cooked the assembled meal until I got browning of the sweet potato edges…about 50 min” Glenda said.

She got 18 portions from this meal.

Cameraman Poblano Steak Fajitas

Notes: “This is a new recipe for me. I was concerned because I am used to seeing a spice mixture with a fair amount of salt to flavor the meat. Now I know that is not needed. It was great! I followed recipe exactly”

Glenda stated. he also got 8 portions from this meal.

Here are a few pictures from her experience:

Groceries for 16.3 loaded in “green” bus tubs
Chicken Wings with Pineapple and Poblanos
Pork Chili California portioned out and ready to freeze
Fajita veggies in the works
Fajita’s ready to eat
Portioned out Pastel de Papa
Glenda’s Paleo Bank Account all stocked up

Glenda did an amazing job once again! She stocked her freezer in just over 11 hours with 50 portioned out meals. Now that’s impressive! With the help of Charlie and Mom, the food prepping was a breeze according to Glenda. Thank you Glenda for being an outstanding tester!!

From Nick:

Thank you, once again, Glenda! From the first time we met to my trip to New Hampshire to cook with you, to The CrossFit Games, to my recent trip to Boston where you came to help with the cooking seminar, your generosity, your willingness to support my work, and your smile have been next to none! Not to mention the multiple meal plans that you’ve tested for us…

I hope that you and Charlie are well and that this winter is treating you kinder than the last. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy life to knock out today’s meal plan and to share your findings with us. Keep up the good work, keep polishing teeth, and, by all means,…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Glenda throwing down in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua circa 2014

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