This weeks tester is: Kaitlin from Houston, Texas. Kaitlin is a wife, new mother and teaches a few Kinesiology classes at the local college. She is also involved at church and on weekends loves spending time with her hubby and snuggling with baby Clara.
Kaitlin and her husband have a garage gym set up in their home and enjoy doing their WOD’s there. Kaitlin said she also has a few girlfriends that come over and join her for her daily WOD’s while their babies nap and play together.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $170.50
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $146.00
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 Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers, change the “1” below the Poppers to a “2” and it will double the listed ingredients for you.
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 16.9 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, and two cooking sessions. 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:
- Three separate recipes for this meal plan use roasted yams/sweets. Go ahead and get the 5 needed for this week into the oven so they are ready to use when need them.
- Prepare your Southwest Chicken, place it in the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan, place it on the counter or your garage to cook throughout the day.
- Prepare the Breakfast Gallimaufry. Enjoy this for your meal this morning. Portion out any leftover meat mixture and properly store in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Prepare the Sweet Potato Laced Meatballs. Portion out and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
- Portion out the Southwest Chicken. Refrigerate or freeze your portions and clean out the slow cooker.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Place the Three Pepper Turkey Chili into the slow cooker, set it on a foil lined sheet pan and set on your counter or in the garage to cook for the next 8-10 hours.
- Prepare the Bacon Crusted Breakfast Pizza. Eat a portion and properly store any leftovers.
- Prepare the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers. Enjoy these once they are ready. Properly store any leftovers in your refrigerator.
- Portion out the Three Pepper Turkey Chili once it is finished and refrigerate or freeze.
- 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 great, and the veggies were so tasty!” Kaitlin said.
Kaitlin noted “I used chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken, and I would give that change two thumbs down. The chicken ended up being super dry. I think I may still use breasts next time, but I may cook them on the stove top & then add them to the crockpot veggies.”
She spent 30 minutes prepping this dish, 8 hours cooking in the slow cooker and yielded 8 portions.
Notes: Kaitlin says “This was one of my favorites! Delicious, easy to make, and light yet filling.”
I’m not much of an egg fan, so I ate my portion without them & my husband had his with. We both enjoyed this dish!” she stated. In this dish, you need to roast your sweet potatoes before adding them to the dish. I listed roasting all 5 needed for this weeks recipes as step 1 in the cooking sessions listed above. You will use 3 today and 2 tomorrow.
Kaitlin spent 10 minutes prepping this recipe, 90 minutes cooking, including the roasting of the sweets, and got 2 portions.
Notes: “These are delicious! I froze most and ate a few for snacks. They’re perfect to microwave for a quick breakfast, to have for dinner, and we’ve actually served them as appetizers to party guests before and always get raving reviews. #winner!” Kaitlin noted.
She also said “I’ve made these many times before, and I’ll note that I’ve tried 1) with bratwurst sausage and it wasn’t very good and 2) with 2 lbs sausage & 2 lbs of beef and it was too fatty for my taste. This recipe is truly perfect as written!”
Kaitlin spent 90 minutes prepping this meal, including the time it took to roast the sweet potatoes, 20 minutes cooking them and yielded 10 portions. (picture above is the meatballs paired with Beef and Veggie Ragout and Spaghetti Squash)
Notes:“Another outstanding recipe! This was absolutely delicious!” Kaitlin said.
“I didn’t have time to make this in the crockpot, so I quickly cooked the turkey in one pan and cooked the veggies in a different pot on the stove. I let the veggies simmer on low for about an hour to cook down, then added the turkey back in. Absolutely phenomenal!” she noted. This is a great option Kaitlin! Thanks for sharing it with us. If you don’t have a large crockpot, this is also a very good alternate cooking option. If you do go with the slow cooker and you don’t have an 8qt, you will want to reduce the amount of vegetables in this recipe by half in order for all of them to fit.
Kaitlin spent 20 minutes prepping this dish, 60 minutes cooking it on her stove top and made 12 portions.
Notes: “I usually do not enjoy eggs, but I know they are good for me. I eat bacon & eggs most morning, but I usually only really enjoy the bacon part! This ended up being one of the most tasty breakfast recipes I’ve found. Very easy, and so yummy!” Kaitlin shares.
She also says “I enjoy the ritual of cooking breakfast each morning, so I decided to make these in single serve portions and just make one each day. I appreciated that this recipe was so easy to scale.”
Kaitlin made 12-1 egg, 1 bacon portions, spending about 12 minutes of prep and cook time on each portion.
Notes:“These are so tasty! Truly one of my all time favorites” Kaitlin said.
“My only “dislike” is that they aren’t particularly filling, so it’s hard to really feel like this is a full meal. I think they are better as appetizers or snacks. Still, so delicious!” she notes. I would agree with her 100% and definately recommend double or tripling this recipe when preparing them for more than 2 people.
Kaitlin spent 25 minutes prepping, 15 minutes cooking and made about 3 portions.
Here are a few pictures from Kaitlin’s experience:
Thank you Kaitlin for the time and effort you put into preparing this weeks meal plan! As a new Momma, finding the time for this can surely be difficult. Your feedback is much appreciated.
Kaitlin! You are awesome! I love the food pictures, but love even more the picture below of you and your little sous chef. Nice shirt, by the way!
As Katie said above, being a new Momma is a task that will crowd the hours of your day, so your effort in testing this meal plan means all the more. Keep up the good work, keep Cara on the straight and narrow and do your best to…
“Keep It Paleo!”