This week’s tester is: Joshua Flores from Barcelona, Spain. Joshua is a student studying Chemistry and a does nursing care part-time. Joshua practices CrossFit in a garage gym in Barcelona.

Here is what he had to say about his experience with

“After getting my Level 1 cert, I wanted to expand my knowledge more in nutrition. As I searched google for more information and found an article I saw the name Paleo Nick that referred to a video of the recipe. I pass hours watching his videos and trying to imitate the recipes. Then came Instagram, I started to follow him and saw that he was looking for Meal Plan Tester’s and the rest is history.”


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $87.00Euro/$100.00USD
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $85.00USD

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 “Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers or Shrimp and Jalapeno Poppers”, change the “1” below the heading to a “2” and it will halve the listed ingredients for you.
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.37 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 the Beef Brisket with Raisin Sauce, 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.
  2. Prepare the Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper. Enjoy these as a snack while you prepare the next meal. Portion out any remaining servings and properly store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  3. Prepare the Butternut Squash Lasagna. Enjoy a piece as your dinner tonight.  Portion out and properly store the remaining food. This is a great freezer meal!
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the Beef Brisket and blitz the raisin sauce. Refrigerate or freeze the portions as you’d like. Clean out the slow cooker. Prepare the Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash and get it into the slow cooker. Place it on a foil lined sheet pan, and set it in your garage or leave it on the counter to cook for the next 10-12 hours.
  2. Prepare the Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers and Massie Mayo (if you’ll be making the chipotle honey mayo garnish). Enjoy this meal as your dinner and properly store any remaining fingers.
  3. Portion out the Short Ribs once they has finished cooking. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze up to six months. Clean out your slow cooker.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Prepare the Sesame Chicken. Enjoy this meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner today. Properly store any leftover portion for 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
  2. 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!

Beef Brisket with Raisin Sauce

Notes: Joshua enjoyed this meal, and LOVED the sauce, but claims he’s not a huge fan of the raisins. He thought he would try a different ingredient when preparing this meal again.

Be sure to follow the recipe and sear your brisket for the greatest flavor potential.

Joshua spent 20 minutes prepping this meal and 4 hours slow cooking it.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers

Notes: Joshua noted that he liked the crispiness of the bacon after removing these from his oven. “It was a delightful touch,” he said.

These bite sized poppers are a great option for any fall gathering! Be sure to add the Massie Mayo as a garnish for that extra touch of yumminess. The recipe and ingredients are included in this weeks grocery list. I would suggest watching the video to ensure the proper procedure for the mayo. There are also a few other optional garnishes in this recipe. Be sure to check it out and decide what you’d like to try before heading to the store to stock up on ingredients.

Josh spent 20 minutes prepping this dish, 1 hour and 30 minutes cooking and made 17 poppers.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Notes: Joshua shared that he really enjoyed the ground beef/ sausage mixture of this recipe. I just made this dish for some friends and they said the same thing.

Again, adding a garnish of Massie Mayo to this plated meal adds a wonderful flavor that is completely unexpected. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I can’t eat it without at this point. This recipe freezes so well and is also an option in out Ice Age Meals.

Joshua spent 20 minutes prepping his lasagna, 2 hours cooking it,including the meat mixture and yielded 7 portions.

Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash

Notes: Joshua thought the sauce in this recipe was INCREDIBLE!

He would try it with bone-on ribs also, thinking the enhance the taste even more.

The tester spent 20 minutes prepping this meal, 8 hours slow cooking it and made 6 portions.

“Kickin’ Like Van Damme” Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers

Notes: “Simple and delicious,” Joshua said. You really can’t go wrong with these tasty chicken fingers. You always have the option of leaving out the jalapeno slices if you’d like to serve these to children or heat sensitive adults.

Joshua had difficulty preparing the Massie Mayo garnish for this dish. I have made it several times now and recommend investing in a food processor if you don’t already have one. It makes for the easiest preparation of the mayo. Also, you must NOT use EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, it won’t come together. I use pure olive oil, but you can also find light olive oil for a little less fat.

Joshua spent 20 minutes prepping his fingers, 45 minutes cooking them and made 8 portions.

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

Notes: You can’t go wrong with this quick and easy Asian inspired meal. Paired with the steamed broccoli, you have a nicely balanced plate of food. The sauce has just enough flavor to peak the interest of your taste buds without overpowering the chicken pieces. And it looks so pretty too!

Joshua spent 15 minutes prepping this meal, 30 minutes cooking it, and made 2 portions.

Here are the pictures from Joshua’s meals:

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Jalapeno Poppers
Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash
Sesame Chicken with Broccoli
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Beef Brisket with Raisin Sauce
Kickin’ Like Van Damme Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers

“Gracias” Joshua for all your hard work and AMAZING photo feedback with this meal plan! You went above and beyond what was expected of you. I had so many photos to choose from that it was hard to only pick a few of each recipe. I appreciate your efforts, despite the language barrier (Joshua’s main language is Spanish) we encountered while communicating. You did such a great job!!

From Nick:

Joshua! Thank you so much for your amazing work. I love hearing stories of people jumping on the Paleo wagon from around the world. I’m glad you found my site and grateful for your talent. I know that Katie enjoyed working with you and especially enjoyed your pictures. The meals you chose were top notch, I couldn’t have prepped them any better myself. I am a lifelong student of Spanish, so I hope to visit you someday and throw down in that awesome slow cooker of yours. Until that day, do your best to…

Joshua! Muchas gracias por tu trabajo excepcional. Me encanta oir historias de gente juntandose en el Tren Paleo desde todas partes del mundo. Estoy contento que encontraste mi sitio y agradecido por tu talento. Katie disfruto trabajar contigo y le encantaron tus fotos. Los platos que seleccionaste fueron de primer nivel, yo no los hubiera preparado mejor. He estudiado Castellano toda mi vida, por eso espero visitarte un dia para echar unos sartenes sobre el fuego y probar el “Crock Pot” excelente tuyo. Hasta que ocurre eso, que…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Joshua and his best Paleo Nick impression

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