This week’s tester’s are: Paige Burnett and her boyfriend Stephen from Madison, WI. Paige is currently a graduate student studying social work. She works out at CrossFit Big Danein Wisconsin. She enjoys cooking, watching movies, and being outdoors in her spare time.
She found PaleoNick while searching for Paleo recipes on Pinterest. Paige has also tried out our Ice Age Mealsand notes that they are “super yummy and convenient!” Paige says that she feels ten times better when she is eating Paleo and that it’s really enhanced her performance in the gym.
While Stephen helped with most of the recipe prep, she did most of the cooking in the kitchen. They really enjoyed the Sunday tradition of meal prepping, but Stephen knew to keep his distance in the kitchen – Paige admits she is a bit controlling when it comes to cooking.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $190.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $163.00
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 mean you’re buying 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 no good with Excel, I’ve set it up in a foolproof way that even “The Jo!” could handle. Just 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 nachos – 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 16.48 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 Super Radical Ribs and Sweets, 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 Caveman Cobb Salad with Honey Pepper Vinaigratte. Enjoy a portion of this as your dinner. Properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for three to five days.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Ribs and Sweets and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. Clean out the slow cooker and load it up with the Cabbage Wraps after you prepare the meat and make the wraps. 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 hours.
- Prepare the Pecan Chicken Salad and Massie Mayo. Portion this out and store in the refrigerator for quick and easy meals this next week.
- Prepare the Sweet Potato, Shrimp and Chicken Soup. Portion out and store in the refrigerator for five to seven days or freeze for up to six months.
- Portion out the Cabbage Wraps once they are done and store in the refrigerator overnight to cool.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare Paleo Nachos Part Duex. 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: “Simple prep. The meat fell off the bone. Great taste and flavor!” Paige shared.
This recipe is so super simple and so super tasty! Using the Super Radical Rib Rub makes most meats delightfully seasoned and this slow cooker recipe proves that once again. There is a recipe for the rub included in this week’s plan. If you don’t need to make it, you can change the “1” to a “0” under the heading on the “menu and ingredients” tab on spreadsheet and it will delete the ingredients for you.
Paige spent twenty minutes prepping this recipe, ten hours slow cooking it, and made six portions. She did spent $40 on her meal as the cost of her ribs was rather high.
Notes: Paige noted that this recipe was simple to prep and cook. She didn’t care for the beets, as a lot of my testers seem to note, and she thought that this salad could use a little more crunch – maybe by adding some crumbled bacon on top. Great suggestion, Paige! Everything is better with bacon!
The honey pepper vinaigrette recipe that goes along with this salad is a winner in my kitchen. You can add it to any salad, any day of the week and be satisfied with the outcome. Be sure to get a bottle in your refrigerator and see if you agree.
Paige spent ten minutes prepping her salad, twenty minutes cooking it and made ten portions. She spent $25 on this meal.
Notes: Paige thought the taste was really good, but would have ended up with more meat mixture than she did cabbage leaves while prepping this dish. I made this recipe for a meal plan last year and found myself in the same predicament. I had to go to the store for another cabbage to use it all. I did note on the grocery listto look for the largest cabbage you could find or get two smaller ones if they’re not large enough. A volleyball-sized cabbage would do the trick in supplying enough leaves for the meat mixture, but a small soccer ball size would not suffice. You mainly use the largest leaves on the outside of the cabbage and not the inside portions, as they are much smaller. She also noted that the wraps fell apart in the slow cooker and became mushy. You may want to start checking them around the four to five-hour mark to avoid this problem. Paige also added rice to her wraps and did not garnish them with honey.
You will need to blanch and shock your scallion ties and cabbage leaves for this recipe. If you’ve never done that before, see here for a helpful demonstration.
Paige spent ten minutes prepping this dish, six hours slow cooking it and yielded ten portions. She spent $30 on this dish. (It took me a lot longer to prep these wraps!)
Notes: Paige loved this chicken salad and would suggest eating them in a lettuce cup or adding walnuts. She made ten portions and spent $30 on this recipe.
If you have not yet made this recipe, you are missing out, let me tell you. The crunch of the celery, grapes and nuts, with the sweet tang of the honey, mayo and vinegar – yum! You won’t be able to stop eating this meal straight out of your refrigerator until it’s gone. Be sure to mix up a batch of Massie Mayo if you don’t already have some in your refrigerator. The recipe and ingredients are included with the week’s plan.
Notes :Paige thought this recipe tasted good, was easy to prep and cook and had tons of protein, which made it quite filling. She cooked her chicken separately from her soup and added it in.
She spent twenty minutes prepping her soup, twenty minutes cooking it and made eight large portions, costing her a total of $40.
Notes: Paige shared that this recipe was easy to prep and tasted great! She didn’t think it worked super well for meal prep though, because the chips didn’t stay crisp after being refrigerated. I would suggest eating this meal all at once, or grabbing some store-bought plantain chips to go along with the leftover meat mixture.
Paige spent about ten minutes prepping her nachos, forty-five minutes cooking the meat mixture and plantain chips and it yielded about five portions. She spent $25 on this meal.
Here are the pictures from Paige and Stephen’s meals:
Thank you for all your hard work, Paige and Stephen. I love that you are the second tester in a row that found us through Pinterest. You made some great meals and provided everyone with some good feedback about each one. You even broke down the cost of each meal – awesome!
Paige and Stephen! Cheeseheads represent!
Thank you so much for testing this week’s meal plan. Most cooks are control freaks! You don’t want to infringe on their territory, unless you’re washing dishes. I’ve lightened up a little bit with age, but am still challenged with someone trying to stir my pot!
I’m glad you found us and hope that you will test for us again in the new year. Keep up the good work, stay on track at the gym and do your best to…
“Keep It Paleo!”