This week’s tester is: Ashley Dawley and family from Yuma, AZ.Ashley tested 16.32 for us back in August, and we’re excited to have her back for round two. This stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, work out, and plan parties, and she recently became a fitness nutrition coach. Ashley found Paleo Nick through Pinterest and has been cooking his food and using the meal plans ever since. She lost 20 pounds in eight months by cleaning up her nutrition and enjoying recipes from right here on this website.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $124.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $108.00
Your final tally will depend on your geographic location and how much you rely on bulk purchases. As an example, you can get one quart of extra light olive oil at Kroger for $19.99 or you can get four 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 customizable 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 already have a batch of Massie Mayo in your refrigerator – change the heading from “1” to “0” and it will remove the ingredient for you. Or you want to make a double batch of the Greek Freak Salad with Halibut – just change the “1” to a “2” and it will increase the ingredients for this recipe. Make sense?
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.47 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 make sure to scroll down to the notes on each meal below. They are listed beneath each picture.
In cooking session one:
- Prepare the Spaghetti Bolognese, place it in the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on a foil-lined sheet pan, and leave it on your counter or in your garage to cook overnight.
- Prepare the Tuscan Grilled Pork Chop. Enjoy a portion of this as your dinner. Properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for five to seven days.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Spaghetti Bolognese and refrigerate or freeze for up to six months. Clean out the slow cooker and load it up with the 80 Clove Garlic Chicken after you sear your chicken pieces. Set the slow cooker on a foil-lined sheet pan and place on the counter or in the garage to cook for the next six to ten hours.
- Prepare the Greek Freak Salad with Halibut. Eat a portion for lunch. Portion out and properly store any remaining servings.
- Prepare the Chicken Tortilla Soup. Portion out and store in the refrigerator for five to seven days or freeze for up to six months.
- Portion out the Garlic Chicken once it’s done and store appropriately.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare Lime Seared Skirt Steak with Avo Pico. Eat this meal for lunch or dinner today and properly store any leftovers.
- Sit back and take it all in. Your Paleo Bank Account is stocked and you’ve become a Culinary Ninja ready to tackle life with energy, clarity, and confidence. Be sure to tell your friends about PaleoNick.com!
Notes: “Love! we absolutely love spaghetti squash in our house, but I’ve never thought to put it in the crock pot. New favorite for us for sure,” Ashley said.
“I’m not a huge mushroom eater, it’s a texture thing for me, but I love to cook with them because they give great flavor. I picked mine out, but everyone else enjoyed them,” she noted.
For this recipe, you are instructed to pre-cook the spaghetti squash. This will take about 30-45 minutes. You don’t want to completely cook the squash or it will become mush in the slow cooker. I also suggest taste testing around the eight or nine-hour mark or cooking on low if you need the whole twelve hours time slot.
Ashley spent thirty minutes prepping this meal, eight hours cooking on low and ended up with eleven portions.
Notes: “My pork chops ended up being very big, so I cut each one in half, and they still weighed four ounces each. I’ve never made parsnips before and I was very surprised at how good they were! The entire recipe was great, everything tied together so well,” Ashley said.
Ashley noted that she added a little extra coconut milk into her parsnips to get the consistency she desired. The tomato salad pictured with this recipe is my favorite part of this meal. To achieve the grill lines, use a cast iron grill pan over high heat until it reaches 350F. If you don’t have a grill pan, any other pan works, just without the lines.
Ashley spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal, twenty minutes cooking it, and yielded six portions.
Notes: “First off, I am a garlic LOVER, so this recipe was a hit! The chicken just exploded with garlic flavor when it was done,” Ashley exclaimed.
Next time she said she would try making it with chicken breasts instead to avoid the extra time of cleaning out the bones. While the whole chicken does add more flavor to the recipe, you always have the option of using breast meat instead – just remember to reduce your cooking time by a few hours. This recipe also lists several options for additional seasonings. Be sure to check it out before heading to the grocery store.
She spent ten minutes prepping this recipe, eight hours slow cooking on low, and made eight BIG portions.
Notes: “All of the veggies were great! There is nothing better than having a big green salad with tons of chunky raw veggies on top. The olives and capers gave it just the right touch for the salt needed, and of course halibut is the perfect light fish for a salad,” Ashley said.
Ashley noted that she would double the portion next time. It is just one large salad with 7.5oz of fish, so if you are making this salad into a family meal, you will want to double or triple the ingredient amounts on the customizable grocery list we provide for you.
She spent fifteen minutes prepping her salad, six minutes cooking the fish, and ended up with three good portions.
Notes: “Everything about this I liked!!! The smokiness of the chipotles bring such great flavor to the soup even though i was skeptical at first thinking, ‘Ew, really, chipotles in tortilla soup?? What?’ I love tortilla soup! YUM, YUM, YUM!” Ashley said.
“I like to use raw corn tortilla dough to make fresh tortillas! I don’t think you can go wrong with tortilla soup with fresh chips and avocado and cilantro to cool everything down,” she shares.
You can always skip the tortilla strips when making this soup, but then you will just have to call it chicken soup.
She spent fifteen minutes prepping the soup ingredients, forty-five minutes cooking it, and yielded eight portions.
Notes: “Living in a border town, I am mildly obsessed with this recipe. I eat this WAY too often! The avocado pico was amazing and my friend, who doesn’t like avocados, even said it was good! Who doesn’t like avocados? Weirdo! LOL,” Ashleyshared.
The only thing Ashley did differently with this recipe was add more jalapeno to increase the heat in her pico. This recipe is THE BOMB, so just try it!
She spent ten minutes prepping, eight minutes cooking, and made six portions.
Here are the pictures from Ashley’s meals:
Hey Ashley, thanks again for being such an awesome tester and showing us how easy it can be to prepare a week’s plus worth of meals for your family! I’m happy to hear that you have accomplished so much this year in the world of nutrition. Keep it up – and congratulations on the upcoming wedding!
Great job, Ashley! I appreciate you stepping up once again to put together this awesome plan. I don’t know if we’ve seen the Greek Freak Salad on a meal plan yet. I forget about a lot of the recipes we’ve posted over the years and your selections were a nice mix of old and new.
Congrats on becoming a nutrition coach and good job on your weight loss! I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. 🙂
“Keep It Paleo!”