This week’s tester is: Ashley Dawley and family from Yuma, AZ. Ashley volunteered to help me in a pinch when another volunteer fell through on finishing their recipes. She provided us all with great photos and feedback once again. Ashley has also tested 16.32 and 16.47 this year. Thanks, Ashley!
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $127.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $105.00
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 Chorizo Hash – 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 16.49 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 Apple Raisin Country Style Ribs, 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 Jalapeno Mango Pork Tenderloin. 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 Apple Raisin Country Style Ribs 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 Beef Bourguinon. 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 Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac. Eat this as your breakfast today and portion this out and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Prepare the Butternut Squash Lasagna. Portion out and store in the refrigerator for five to seven days or freeze for up to six months.
- Portion out the Beef Bourguinon once it is done and store in the refrigerator overnight to cool.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare SFH Banana Choco-damia Chiller and enjoy this for breakfast.
- Prepare the Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash. Enjoy a portion for lunch today and portion out the remaining chili. Store in your refrigerator or freezer.
- 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: “This was great! I would have never thought to cook with raisins, but it gave this dish a nice sweet flavor,” Ashley shared.
The only change Ashley would make to this recipe is using a little less onion next time around.
She spent twenty-seven minutes prepping this meal, eleven hours slow cooking it and yielded six portions.
Notes: “Love the flavors in this recipe! The mango was a hit with my kids and they even asked for seconds,” Ashley noted. She wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe and will be making it again for sure.
She spent twenty minutes prepping, ten minutes cooking, and made six portions from this recipe.
Notes: “This was SO GOOD! I’ve never made chorizo before (but I have eaten it) and I can honestly say that I would make this all the time now. The guacamole really cooled down the heat from the chorizo and balanced everything out,” Ashley proclaimed.
Ashley also noted that they made this meal for dinner at their house. I love making breakfast for dinner! I always remember my Dad doing that when I was a kid. It’s fun switching things up every once in awhile.
Ashley spent ten minutes prepping, fifteen minutes cooking, and made around eight portions.
Notes: “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Another winner for me and my family. I have made lasagna with zucchini before, but never squash. I think we ate the whole pan between dinner and the next day. Another kid approved recipe in my house,” Ashley shared.
She notes that she will add a little more tomato product next time, because she likes her lasagna a little saucier.
If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, what are you waiting for? It’s one of our top-selling Ice Age Meals – and for good reason. It is very tasty and super filling! It also freezes beautifully. I like to make a pan of this for anyone I know who has recently had a baby or come home from the hospital. Be sure to add a little Massie Mayo garnish to this meal to amp up the flavor even more and add a little more fat. I know, I know, it sounds strange, but you will not be disappointed, trust me.
She spent forty-five minutes prepping, ninety minutes cooking, and made nine portions from this recipe.
Notes: “I usually have a protein shake for breakfast in the morning and I have never thought to add nuts before. It gave the drink a nice texture and a little crunch,” Ashley noted.
You can use any type of protein powder you may have on hand.
Notes: “This was delicious! I have no complaints and will be making this again soon. We are chili fans as soon as it cools down outside and the squash added a nice touch to this recipe. The chipotle powder gave it a nice smokey kick also,” Ashley exclaimed.
Ashley started this recipe in a pot on the stove, but finished it in the slow cooker because she had things to do outside of the house. You always have the option of using any ground meat of your choice instead of the bison, if bison isn’t your cup of tea. And remember, always be sure to set your slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan on the counter to avoid a large mess if your chili juice overflows at all. Quick note – this is yet another Ice Age Meal that you can buy and have waiting in the freezer.
Ashley spent twenty-five minutes prepping her chili, a total of eight hours cooking it, and yielded twelve delicious portions.
Here are the pictures from Ashley’s meals:
Ashley! You are a meal plan life saver! Thank you so much for offering to take this plan on with such short notice. I really, really appreciate it. You did a great job once again and I look forward to having you on the roster for testing again next year.
3:10 to Yuma!!! Thank you, once again, Ashley! You did a great job and your pics are top notch. Easy stuff, right? Your prowess as a Culinary Ninja is progressing perfectly. I hope that you and your family have an amazing Christmas and I look forward to meeting you some day.