This weeks tester is Amapola Suzuki and family from Santa Cruz, CA. Amapola is an ICU nurse and her husband is a Firefighter. They have two teenage boys also, who are very involved in sports. It’s safe to say they’re day-to-day life is action packed!
Amapola works out at Crossfit Amundson. When she’s not in the gym or working, she and her family love spending time at the beach together. She also enjoys baking desserts.
Here’s what she had to say:
“I love the simplicity of the dishes we have found on PaleoNick.com. Thank you for including us with testing this meal plan. We appreciate the easy and healthy meals we find on this site. The meals are perfect for my boys who demand so many calories from their sports, i.e. water polo, swimming and Judo. These meals are perfect for them. My husband got his fire department to start eating Paleo, so hopefully, if we test again, we can get his crew to make a dish.”
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $138.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $122.00
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 double batch of the Thai Chicken Curry over Sweet Potatoes, change the “1” below the Thai Chicken to a “2” and it will halve the listed ingredients for you.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.7 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 Stew with Green Chiles & Yams , 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 Massie Mayo and Paleo Pecan Chicken Salad. Enjoy this for your meal this evening and properly store any leftovers in our refrigerator for up to one week.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Beef Stew. Refrigerate or freeze your portions. Clean out the slow cooker.
- Prepare the Chunky Chipotle Chili Colorado. Eat a portion and properly store any leftovers.
- Prepare the Thai Ginger Basil Chicken. Portion out and properly store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.
- Prepare the Coco Choco Ice Cream with Bananas and Mango. Portion out into individual servings and place this in the freezer to set. Enjoy a portion once it is frozen to reward yourself for a great day in the kitchen.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Chicken Curry over Sweet Potatoes. 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: “Simple and fast to make! Love that!” Amapola stated.
She noted that she thought this dish was a little to salty. The tomato sauce she bought also had salt in it. She reduced the amount to 1.5 teaspoons when making this dish a second time. I would suggest purchasing salt free or low salt sauces whenever possible. She also had the issue of her crock pot overflowing and had to remove some of the sauce. In any crock pot recipe, we always recommend placing your slow cooker onto a foil lined sheet pan so that if this issue ever arises, you don’t have a huge mess on your counter top.
Amapola spent 20 minutes prepping this meal with a cook time of 10 hours and yielded approximately 15 – 1 cup servings.
Notes: “This dish was outstanding! The taste was so good.”
Amapola made a couple batches of the Massie Mayo. She used a hand mixer the second time around and had better luck this way than she did with her blender. The recipe call for you to use a food processor, but either a blender or hand mixer should do the trick. She has a nut allergy in her family, so omitted the pecans and lowered the amount of celery because it’s not her favorite ingredient.
Amapola spent 30-40 minutes on prepping this meal, including the mayo, 20 mintues cooking the chicken and putting the salad together and yielded 10 – 1/2 cup servings.
Notes: Amapola had a hard time finding the Nopal cactus for this receipe, so went with the jarred option. She also decided to add an extra jalapeno to kick up the heat. She thought this recipe was “easy to make and tastes great!”
It took her 25 minutes to prep, 25 minutes to cook and made 8 servings.
Notes: “Simple and basic” was her comments on this recipe. “I love that these recipes are so easy to make” she said.
Amapola made this recipe twice. She used grilled chicken on the second go round to add a little more color to the chicken, thinking that the first batch was a little to pale looking. Great option!
She spent 30 minutes prepping, 30 minutes cooking and yielded 4 servings from her meal.
Notes: “Healthy and delicious!” Amapola said.
She was unable to find mangoes at her local store, so went with frozen mango chunks instead, using 3 cups worth in her batch. She also made one serving without the chocolate and thought it was just as yummy as it was with the chocolate. I know when Nick initially made this recipe for the video he used the smaller sized Manila mangoes. You can totally use the larger sized mangoes you normally see the vegetable section of the grocery store, you may just need 4-5 instead of 8, as the recipe calls for.
Amapola spent 15 minutes prepping this dish, froze it for one hour+ and got 7 scoops of ice cream.
Here are a few pictures from her experience:
Thank Amapola for the time you spent putting these meals together. Your photo collages are spectacular!
Nice work, Amapola! I remember meeting you at the Santa Cruz Affiliate Cup back in October. I saw your husband killed it at the Nor Cal Masters as well. Thank you for taking time to test 16.7 for us. You did a great job with feedback, picture collages, and meal selection. I hope to see you on the tester roster again soon. I’ll be back in SC in a few weeks, so be sure to watch for the details on that. I think we’ll have a food truck at CrossFit West on March 5th…
Keep up the good work, give your family my best, and…
“Keep It Paleo!”