This week’s tester is: Taylor Davis of Fort Worth, Texas.
Here is what Taylor had to say about herself:
“I currently live in Fort Worth, Texas and work as a Massage Therapist and CrossFit coach. I started doing CrossFit in 2009 and have been coaching for about 2 1/2 years and I love pretty much everything about it. I started dancing ballet right after I graduated high school (yes I took class with 8 year olds at 17… I was the tallest kid in class.) I have been dancing for 7 years and loved every minute of it. I’m really mostly in it for the tutu though.
“My family is awesome! I am the oldest of 6 kids, 4 boys and one sister. I think one of my hobbies is picking up new hobbies. Right now I’m re-learning to play the piano. I love being creative, for a short time I made all the costumes for my dance studio and occasionally like to fire up the sewing machine, sometimes I actually finish projects! ”
“I have one dog, he is my cooking buddy, I think he can smell meat cooking from anywhere in the house. He loves to sit under the stove when I cook, sometimes I “accidentally” drop food on the floor. I went go-kart racing a few weeks ago and have since considered dropping everything and becoming a race-car driver.”
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $219.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $185.00
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:
- 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 want to make a half batch of the Pastel de Papa, change the “1” below the Pastel to a “.5” and it will halve the listed ingredients for you.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.5 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 want you to scroll down to the notes on each meal below. They are listed under each picture.
In cooking session one:
- Prepare your Apple Raisin Country Ribs, 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.
- Prepare the Pastel de Papa. Enjoy this for your meal this evening and properly store any leftovers in our refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Apple Raisin Ribs. Refrigerate or freeze your portions. Clean out the slow cooker and add the Three Pepper Turkey Chili, set the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan and place it on your counter or in the garage to cook for the next 8-10 hours.
- Prepare the Beef and Veggie Ragout. Portion this out and properly store.
- Prepare the Chicken in Coconut Soup. 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.
- Potion out the Three Pepper Turkey Chili. Refrigerate or freeze.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Honey Walnut Shrimp with Broccolu. Enjoy this as a meal today. Portion out the leftovers and properly store.
- 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 PaleoNick.com!
Notes: “The Flavors were really good, the meat came out very tender Super Radical Rib Rub is awesome!” Taylor said.
“The apples and raisins fell apart. I would have liked it better if they had not cooked so long, next time I will wait till the end and see if they will stay together. It just needed a little more texture. Also, I would definitely trim the fat from the pork.”
Taylor spent 20 minutes prepping this dish with a 10 hour cook time. She got 8 portions from this meal.
Notes: “I was nervous about this one when I read the ingredients, but it ended up being my favorite recipe. The textures were good, and I love the ratio of “toppings” to ground beef in the meat mixture.”
“Next time I make this I will use probably two less sweet potatoes, I think one of the pans got a little more than the others, but I liked the one with less sweet potato” Taylor said.
She spent 30 minutes of prep time with a 1 hour cook time. She made 18 portions from this recipe.
Notes: “I loved the flavors in this, and will likely make it again.”
“I used to small of a dice on the veggies, I would have liked a little more texture ( I just got a little too happy with the Kitchenaid).”
She spent 15 minutes prepping, with an 8 hour cook time. Taylor got 12 portions of Chili.
Notes: “I loved this recipe! The texture was great and I love that it was easy to make and full of lots of veggies” Taylor reports.
She suggests using the largest pan you have. Her electric skillet was almost overflowing.
This recipe took Taylor 20 minutes to prep with a cook time of 20 minutes and yielded 12 portions.
Notes: “It was pretty to look at before eating and I love the mushroom and chicken combo. I actually cooked dinner with a friend recently and liked it so much that this what we cooked. Eating around the ginger and lemongrass was tricky but it was a culinary adventure.” Taylor stated.
Removing the lemon grass when eating is suggested. It’s mainly there to add flavor to the dish.
Taylor spend 10 minutes prepping this meal with a cook time of 15 minutes and got 4 portions.
Notes: “This was another one of my favorites, I loved pretty much everything about this. I am allergic to broccoli (of all the weird things) so I cooked some to take a picture of and subbed out my meals with brussels sprouts.”
“The shrimp I used were too small, I couldn’t find fresh caught so I used frozen, but next time I will get the bigger ones, the small ones are hard to cook and get a good sear on because they cooked so fast” she said.
Taylor spent 20 minutes prepping this dish, 30 minutes cooking, including the Brussel Sprouts, and made 5 portions.
Here are a few pictures from Taylor’s experience:
A big “Thank you” goes out to Taylor for her great investment of time in prepping these meals. It goes to show that spending a little time in the kitchen each week can make a huge impact on how you fuel your body. As a single women with a lot on your plate, I am sure this is a big relief when it comes to knowing what your eating each day. You did an amazing job of documenting your process and I appreciate your dedication to “Keeping it Paleo.”
Great job, Taylor! The picture of all of your food containers loaded onto the dining room table shows what the meal plans are all about. Whether you refrigerate or freeze the meals, we cannot argue that you are ready for the week to come!
Thank you for sharing your story as well. It sounds like you are a Culinary Ninja and an adventurer in one. I hope that you take up race car driving, and when you make the NASCAR circuit, that Paleo Nick is your lead sponsor. Keep up the good work, keep dancing, keep busting out the sewing machine, keep picking up new hobbies, and, through it all…
“Keep It Paleo!”