This week’s tester’s are: Janie and Jayson and their fur family from Hopkins, MN. Janie is a patent examiner for the USPTO and Jayson works for a local healthcare system as s physician recruiter.
These two lovely people heard about Paleo Nick while working out at CrossFit Uffda in Eden Praire, MN which is owned and run by Nick’s brother Jason Massie. Janie even had the pleasure of doing a WOD with Nick last year when he was in MN visiting family.
Janie is a Type 1 diabetic, so choosing to go Paleo has been a great way to keep her blood sugar levels stable. While she did 90% of the prep and cooking for this meal plan, she did get some help from Jayson with the grocery shopping and some of the prep.
“Overall, the meals were fairly easy and straightforward to prepare. I plan to make all of them again, but will probably do a smaller portion of the chili recipe. I also need to work on my frying skills, because my plantain chips were either burnt or soft, but they still tasted good,” Janie shared. “Everything we served to our friends was a big hit!”
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $136.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $103.00
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 Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs 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 17.16 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 Apple Raisin Country Style Ribs, 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 6-10 hours overnight.
- Prepare the Dilly Chili Roasted Alaskan Salmon. 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 Apple Raisin Ribs and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. This one freezes and reheats very well. Clean out the slow cooker. Prepare the Three Pepper Turkey Chili and load it into the crock of your clean slow cooker. Place on a foil-lined sheet pan and set on the counter to cook for the next 8-10 hours.
- Prepare the Mexican Style Avo-Mango Shrimp Coctel. Snack on this tasty treat before you begin the next meal. Properly store any leftovers in the refrigerator and finish within the next three to five days.
- Prepare the Paleo Nachos and eat this for your next meal. Portion out and properly store any remaining food in the refrigerator.
- Portion out the Chili once it has finished cooking.
In the finishing session:
- Cook the Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac and enjoy this meal for breakfast today.
- Place any Chili portions into your Paleo bank account (aka the freezer) now that they are completely cooled. Pull out as needed.
- 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: “We had friends test this one out and they loved it and asked for the recipe. The spices paired with the sweetness of the fruits went really well together. It was really easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. The pork simmering in the crock pot all day left it really tender and flavorful, and our house smelled amazing,” Janie shared.
This recipe calls for our Super Radical Rib Rub. If you don’t have a bottle, you should order one or the other option is to substitute one and a half tablespoons of kosher salt and half a teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
Janie and Jayson spent thirty minutes prepping this meal, ten hours slow cooking it and made ten to twelve portions.
Notes: “We had friends over for dinner for this one as well. We cooked this on the grill, and the inflated foil pouch was a nice little party trick. The fish was really flaky and tender, and the capers added a nice contrast to the lemon. I am normally not a “fish” person and will usually only eat salmon slathered in butter and brown sugar or other spices to mask the fact that I’m eating fish, but I thoroughly enjoyed this,” Janie said.
One of their dinner guest suggested to zest some lemon over the filet to add a little citrus kick. Great idea dinner guest! That does sound great.
The testers spent five minutes prepping this recipe, twenty-five minutes grilling it and yielded four to five portions.
Notes: “A total comfort food on cool Minnesota days (so pretty much any day between September and June). I swear it tasted better from the freezer! The ground turkey soaks up the seasoning really well and was surprisingly tender. We both had chili several days for lunch. It was really easy to heat up straight from the freezer,” Janie noted.
Janie also said “Y’all must have magical Mary Poppins style crock pots in CA because there was no way all that food was fitting into my 6 quart slow cooker. Luckily I had an extra one so I was able to portion the overflow into the smaller one, but it was just way too much for one. Other things to note: our grocery store only had 4 Anaheim peppers, and the second one was sold out (apparently there was a run on Anaheim peppers in Minnesota this week) so I was also 3 peppers short.”
I have made this recipe before and all of mine fit, but it was plum full! This is totally fine as long as you follow the instruction of placing the slow cooker onto a foil lined sheet pan that will catch any overflow that may occur.
Janie said she spent sixty minutes prepping the extreme amount of veggies for this chili, twelve hours slow cooking it, and ended up with thirteen portions.
Notes: “This was an amazing appetizer! Our non-paleo friends enjoyed it with blue corn tortilla chips and our adventurous friends were pleasantly surprised with the banana chips. It has just a hint of spice, and the sauce really brings it all together. No fishy or shrimpy taste at all for those who are averse to seafood,” Jamie proclaimed.
Janie said she made on batch of Plantain Chips and also used a bag of baked banana chips she found at Target. You can choose to make your own by following the link above and adding the ingredients to your grocery list or look for them at your local grocery or big box store. They can also be found in the bulk section at Sprout’s. Banana chips are sweeter than plantain chips, but will also work. If you choose to make your own, the recipe also calls for the plantains to be seasoned with Super Radical Rib Rub. Kosher salt can also work as seasoning for the plantains.
Janie spent fifteen minutes prepping this appetizer and it fed four people and they still had some leftovers.
Notes: Jayson said “I could eat this every night.” Janie said “This is so f***ing good.” “Even Luna our cat was tempted by this one. We made the super radical plantain chips to go with this. The maple syrup, which we thought was a questionable finishing touch, really brought the flavors together and the hint of sweet with the spice of the chipotles in adobo sauce was perfection. Our favorite meal of the test by far,” Janie and Jayson exclaimed.
“We weren’t really able to eat this meal like “nachos” because our plantain chips were a little soft, but we didn’t have a problem digging in with a fork. We also used pre-made guac instead of fresh avocado,” Janie noted.
She spent fifteen minutes prepping this recipe, thirty minutes cooking it all, and yielded three to four portions.
Notes:“A real go-to for a make-ahead breakfast. I made it the night before, and it was super easy to heat up for a really filling meal to start the day,” Janie shared. “I doubled the recipe and went with scrambled eggs instead of fried since I made it the night before.”
Janie spent fifteen minutes prepping this breakfast dish, thirty minutes cooking it, and made two portions when doubling the ingredients.
Keep on scrolling to check out the photos Janie and Jayson took of their meal prep and platted dishes:
Janie and Jayson! You guys did an AMAZING job with this week’s meal plan! Thank you so much for your willingness to participate and effort put forward to complete your six chosen recipes. I just love the MN cutting board highlighted in your chorizo breakfast photo and that your cat wanted to eat nachos too!