This weeks tester’s are: David and Katie Hernadez of Dallas, Texas.These two also tested 15.9 and 15.39 for us last year. Repeat testers are my FAVORITE!

David and Katie did a great job of choosing 6 tasty recipes for you this week including two hearty protein and carb dishes, a seafood dish, two vegetable side dishes and a pizza option.


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $110.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s):  $95.00

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 Mussels, change the “1” below the Mussels to a “2” and it will double the listed ingredients for you.
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.4 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 Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash, 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 Mussels and Maple Mushroom Medley. Enjoy this for your meal this evening and properly store any leftovers.
  3. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the Short Ribs. Refrigerate or freeze your portions. Clean out the slow cooker.
  2. Prepare the Zucchini Entomatada. Portion this out and properly store.
  3. Prepare the Chipotle Bison Chili. Eat a portion. 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.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Prepare the Sausage and Porcini Pizza. Enjoy this as a meal today while you…
  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!

Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash

Notes: David said “We scaled back the rib amount thinking it was too much but we really should have gone all in on this one. This was Katie’s favorite rib recipe so far! The squash make this feel like a very fall dish too.”

Mussels with White Wine

Notes: “These were delicious and really fun to make! I just feel fancy eating Mussels in my own home” David says. This recipe gives you the option of using 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat. If you happen to keep a jar in your cupboard like me, go ahead and give it a try.

Maple Mushroom Medley

Notes: “I was a little skeptical with the sweet factor here but this was one of my favorite things on this meal plan. Plus it kept well for a couple days” David states. This recipe also has the option of adding 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat. Use it if you have it.

Zucchini Entomatada

Notes: “This was a great side, we ate this with some grilled chicken and the mushrooms. I need to work on improving my bias cut techniques. We enjoyed these over some eggs for breakfast as well” David says.

Be sure to watch the video before putting this dish together to get the right idea on how to slice and assemble.

Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash

Notes: “Such a good winter meal! I should not have been scared to put bigger chunks of butternut squash in though.”

You can always substitute the Bison for any ground meat on this recipe.

Sausage and Porcini Pizza

Notes: David states “This was not my cup of tea. Maybe because I love pizza so much?? Anyways, the toppings and sauce were fantastic but the crust…. I just couldn’t get my tastebuds wrapped around the dough in this recipe.”

While coming up with a good crust substitute in the Paleo world isn’t easy, give this a try and see what you think. Feel free to use any random ingredients in your refrigerator on this one. If you want to try go this route, be sure to make changes to your grocery list.

Here are a few pictures from David and Katie’s experience:

Chipotle Bison Chili in the works
Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs ready to cook in the crock pot
Maple Mushroom Medley
Zucchini Entomatada
Pizza ready to eat!

Thank you David and Katie for stepping up to the plate and knocking these recipes out of the park! Your dedication to healthy eating is apparent when you are willing to test for us again and again. We are happy to call you a part of the Paleo Meal Plan family 🙂

From Nick:

Thanks, David and Katie! Great job with the meal selection. I like the pictures too, but someone forgot to wipe the rim of the plate in the Mushroom Medley photo… I appreciate you guys taking time to help us out. I was intrigued that you choose the Mussel dish as we don’t see people select that one very often.

I look forward to working with you guys at The CrossFit Games this summer. And, I look forward to my Brooks Shoes in the mail every day, but I haven’t seen them yet… 😉

Have a great week guys! Prep out your meals and always have a plan to…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Look at these love birds

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