Rachel Keele from Michigan is back at it again. She takes pride in her cooking and it shows in her photos and the platting of her meals. One year ago, Rachel suffered from an unexpected stroke and since then has tested meal plan after meal plan for us. Each one she tests tops the last and I always look forward to receiving her photos and feedback.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $135.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $108.00
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 want to make a double batch of the Thai Ginger Basil Chicken 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 17.14 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 make sure to scroll down to the notes on each meal below. They are listed beneath each picture.
In cooking session one:
- Prepare the Beef Stew with Green Chiles and Yams, place it into 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 for 6-12 hours overnight.
- Prepare the Cheechako Turkey Tacos. Enjoy this as your dinner tonight. 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 Beef Stew and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. This one freezes and reheats very well.
- Prepare the Thai Ginger Basil Chicken. Enjoy this meal for lunch today or portion out and store in your Paleo Bank Account.
- Prepare Zucchini Entomatada and get it in the oven.
- While the previous dish is cooking, prepare your Moroccan 5 1/2 Spiced Salmon. Enjoy these two dishes together and properly store any leftovers in your refrigerator for the next five to seven days.
- Prepare the “not so Paleo” Tarte Tatin and enjoy at your convenience. These can be portioned out and froze for another day also.
- 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 was so simple and the prep was quick since everything was a large chop. And it was so good and hearty! I was skeptical of how much flavor it would have, but it was so good! And inexpensive to make too,” Rachel exclaimed!
Rachel cut her recipe in half and went with mild chiles instead of hot as listed in the ingredients. She spent $13 dollars on the ingredients she needed for this recipe, already having the seasoning and olive oil on hand.
She spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal, seven hours slow cooking it, and yielded 6-8 portions from her half batch.
Notes: “This was SOOOO easy, and I actually REALLY liked the tacos in the purple cabbage. It was so pretty and tasty too,” the tester proclaimed!
Rachel spent about $16 on this meal, again, already having the seasoning and olive oil on hand. If you don’t have a bottle of the Cheechako Tako seasoning in your cupboard yet, you can order one by clicking here. Trust me, you will use this on more than just taco meat!
Rachel spent ten minutes prepping this recipe, ten minutes cooking it, and made four portions.
Notes: “This was incredibly fast. I should have known that from reading the recipe, but it was even faster than I thought! Very simple and flavorful,” Rachel shared.
She had a hard time finding the Thai chiles, so she used a serrano pepper instead for heat. You can usually find the Thai chiles needed for this recipe at your local Asian market or sometimes, Whole Foods. They do pack a pretty strong punch though, so if heat isn’t your thing, you can either remove them from the dish before consuming, or skip them all together.
Rachel spent ten minutes prepping this meal, six minutes cooking it, and yielded one good sized portion.
Notes: “Very simple and attractive, the perfect side dish,” Rachel noted.
This recipe is so simple! A great way to add some carbs to a protein heavy dish. I am sure that if you season this with some of the PALEO GRIND Veggie Victory, your taste buds will be praising your name. Rachel made a half batch and only spent $5 for the tomatoes and zucchini, already having the tomato sauce and seasonings on hand.
She spent fifteen minutes prepping this dish, twenty-five minutes baking it, and yielded four portions making a half batch.
Notes: “This was SOOO good. I was not familiar with Moroccan flavors, but I need to try more now! And I don’t always like salmon either, but the cooking method made it come out perfect,” Rachel shared.
“I made 1/3 of the recipe. I also wasn’t sure what to do with the coriander seed and ginger. Once it was removed from the pan, it didn’t come up again in the recipe, so I just sprinkled it over the salmon at the end,” the tester noted. She spent $28 on this recipe and only made a 1/3 portion, so this one can be spendy depending on your Alaskan Salmon prices and availability. She had the oil, onions and spices all on hand.
I just watched the video myself, after reading through the preparation instructions and yes, there is a missing step from the video that didn’t make it into the written recipe. But not to fret, I have added it now. Nice catch Rachel 🙂 Nick also notes in the video that you can purchase the spices needed in this recipe from the bulk section at your local Whole Foods or Sprout’s in much smaller amounts and jar them yourself for much cheaper than buying a whole bottle of each one.
Rachel spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal, five to six minutes cooking it and made two portions, only doing a 1/3 of what the recipe calls for.
Notes: “This recipe required a lot of chopping, but was pretty easy and VERY tasty,” Rachel said. Even though her use of a grill pan instead of a cast-iron skillet and using half the amount of apples called for equaled a mushy apple sauce consistency. She admitted she didn’t watch the video first (which is always highly suggested!!!!) which lead to a somewhat failed, yet still very yummy result.
When Rachel hit the grocery store, the Granny Smith apples suggested in the recipe were rather expensive, which lead the the heafty $25 price tag that came along with this dish. This recipe IS NOT PALEO, but is a fancy looking dessert that is sure to impress anyone you serve it to. It also calls for vanilla ice cream, freshly whipped cream and mint tips as added garnishes to enhance the already wonderful tastes of apples, sugar and butter. Allow yourself a cheat meal with this recipe, I promise, you won’t regret it.
The tester spent twenty-five minutes prepping this dessert dish, forty-five minutes baking it and made it into ten portions.
Take a look at the spectacular photos Rachel submitted for this meal plan:
Rachel, once again you have done an AMAZING job with your recipe choices and photos! Thank you for your continuing efforts to highlight new and simple recipes with each meal plan you choose to test. I look forward to seeing your results each time you participate and your feedback is always superb. Also, the way you break down the cost on each meal you make is such a nice touch. Keep up the great work “keeping it Paleo” in your own kitchen.