This weeks tester is: Amy Scott and family from Discovery Bay, CA. Amy chose some great recipes for us this week including 2 hearty slow cooker meals, 2 Asain inspired dishes, a quick and easy mexican steak dish and a flavor packed lasagna.
Amy does her daily WOD at Delta CrossFit in Brentwood, CA. In her spare time she enjoys watching her kids play sports.
She said she really enjoyed testing these meals for us, but as a family with kids, would choose to spread the meals out a little more next time. She also stated that the shopping list was SO helpful!
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $168.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $145.00
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 Super Radical Chicken and Potatoes, change the “1” below the Chicken to a “.5” and it will halve the listed ingredients for you.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.6 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 Beef and Butternut Braise, 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 Butternut Squash Lasagna. 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 Beef and Butternut Braise. Refrigerate or freeze your portions. Clean out the slow cooker and add the Super Radical Chicken and Potatoes, 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 Lime Seared Skirt Steak with Avocado Pico. Eat a portion and properly store any leftovers.
- Prepare the Pineapple Chicken with Broccoli. Portion out and properly store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.
- If you cooked your Chicken and Potatoes during the day, portion out now. Refrigerate or freeze.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Sesame Orange Peel Chicken. 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:This hearty crock pot meal is a great “feel good, comfort food” recipe. You also have the option of roasting it in your oven for 8 hours at 290°F. Which ever way you choose to make it, you are sure to be happy with the outcome.
Amy said ” Loved the flavor of this stew-like dish! It was super easy to make.”
She spent 20 minutes prepping, 8 hours cooking and made 8 portions.
Notes: This lasagna is one of my absolute favorite recipes currently on the site. The butternut squash, as a noodle replacement adds so much more to the traditional style and gives you a whole new flavor combination. I would totally recommend the Massie Mayo garnish for this recipe. It adds just the right amount of zing to the dish along with a good fat balance if you are trying to stay in the “Zone.”
Amy stated “This is my favorite new dish!! Bursting with flavor, my kids loved it too, so we didn’t have any leftovers.”
Amy spent 30 minutes prepping this meal, 90 minutes cooking it and got 8 portions.
Notes: This dish is another hearty crock pot recipe, sure to warm the soul. The recipe calls for red waxy potatoes, but sweet potatoes or yams can always be substituted. You also have the option of using boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs instead of the quartered whole chickens. Most testers have complained about the amount of time it takes to separate the bones and other unwanted chicken parts when using the whole, quartered chicken option. There are no fat blocks in this dish, so if you are trying to stay in the “Zone”, garnishing it with some Massie Mayo is always an option, or top with any leftover avocado pico, which is included in the recipe below.
Amy said her chicken turned out dry and she didn’t have enough potatoes compared to the chicken portion. She says she will try it again with chicken thighs.
She spent 25 minutes prepping, 7 hours cooking and made 8 portions.
Notes: Steak and Avocado Pico is the perfect, quick meal to throw together any day for lunch or dinner. You could even add an egg or two and make this into a breakfast dish. If you are cooking for more than 1, you may want to double or triple this recipe. You can do that by changing the “1” below the recipe heading on the second tab of the grocery list spreadsheet.
“This dish was super easy. We loved the avo-pico paired with the lime steak. Another family favorite” Amy said. She doubled the steak portion in this recipe in order to feed her family.
Amy spent 25 minutes prepping this recipe, 10-12 minutes cooking and made 5 portions due to doubling the steak amount.
Notes: This perfectly balanced, Asian inspired meal, is loaded with veggies and flavor sure to please the tastebuds.The recipe calls for you to use roasted chicken breast, so be sure to get it in the oven at 350°F before starting to prep the veggies for this dish. It also calls for the veggies to be cooked in coconut oil, but don’t feel like you have to purchase it just for this recipe. Olive oil will work just fine.
Amy chose to serve this dish with cauli-fried rice and really enjoyed the flavor. She said she would cut the heat next time, but her friend loved the amount of heat.
She spent 25 minutes prepping, 45 minutes cooking, including roasting the chicken and made 5 portions.
Notes: Another great Asian inspired recipe, this recipe is just delicious in my book. Some of the testers whom have tried this recipe haven’t been big fans of the orange peel texture. You could always try using orange zest and a squeeze of fresh orange juice instead. Be sure to share this one with family or friends, or maybe a someone you are hoping to become friends with, it should seal the deal 🙂
Amy also thought this dish had good flavor and was super east to make. She substituted honey for the maple syrup and didn’t eat the orange peels because she thought they were bitter. She said she would try orange zest next time she prepares it.
Amy spent 25-30 minutes prepping this meal, 15 minutes cooking and made 5 portions.
Here are a few pictures from Amy’s experience:
Thank Amy for the time and effort put into this weeks meal plan! It looks like you now have a fridge stocked with meals to help keep you and your family on track with your eating for at least a week. Being a mother myself, it’s encouraging to see other mom’s including these healthy options into their family meals. Go Momma!
Amy! Nice work! The picture at the end of the full fridge is really what it’s all about :).
Thank you for volunteering your time to test this week’s plan, you did an amazing job and I appreciate you.
“Keep It Paleo!”