I decided to take on this week’s meal plan myself. I wanted to get some of our newer recipes in the mix and, truthfully, I needed to restock my Paleo bank account to get this new year started off right!
If you didn’t know, I am Paleo Nick’s sister, Katie, and my family and I live in Henderson, NV. I am currently a stay-at-home mother of three and the Paleo Nick meal plan coordinator. My job description includes finding all the wonderful volunteers who test our plans each week and documenting their journeys in a format that hopefully benefits anyone willing to follow along. I’ve been in this role for just over two years and while it can be difficult some weeks – nothing like working on deadlines and promises! – I do my best to provide the basic “ingredients” for a well-planned lifestyle of super tasty meals that will fuel your body in a healthy way each and every day.
My plan consists of some recipe choices that make larger portions, which allow you to feed yourself and your families through the week, plus others that are smaller, quick options – the kind you can whip together any night, right in your own kitchen.
My cousin Rachel, her husband Juan, and their two beautiful daughters came to visit us recently and I thought I would test out my recipes and have them help me with some feedback. It was a fun way to feed our guests good, healthy meals and spend time in the kitchen together. Rachel has now agreed to test a plan for me sometime later this year, so stay tuned for that.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $153.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $125.00
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 Almond Crusted Tenderloin – 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 17.2 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 make sure to scroll down to the notes on each meal below. They are listed beneath each picture.
In cooking session one:
- Prepare the Tomatillo Pork Green Chile, place it in 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 7 hours overnight.
- Prepare the Almond Crusted Tenderloin. Enjoy this as a dinner for two. 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 Green Chile. Use a portion or two to make the eggs and have it as the optional breakfast dish that is in the recipe. Divy up the remaining portions and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. This one freezes and reheats very well.
- Prepare the Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash. Portion out and refrigerate or freeze. This one freezes really well also.
- Prepare the BLT Squared and enjoy this meal for lunch.
- Prepare the Fajita Pie. Portion this out and allow to cool in the refrigerator for three to four hours. Freeze any portions desired once cooled for up to six months, or store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms and invite your friends over to share.
- Sit back and take it all in. Your Paleo Bank Account is stocked and you’ve become a Culinary Ninja ready to tackle life with energy, clarity and confidence. Be sure to tell your friends about PaleoNick.com!
Notes:I threw this slow cooker meal together in less than fifteen minutes one afternoon and I have to say, this meal has changed my life forever. The meat was so tender and there is this salty sweet flavor in the sauce that made my taste buds dance. You could eat this as a bowl of chili or pair it with eggs, as suggested in the recipe. I did both and still added nine portions into my Paleo bank account (aka the freezer).
Notes: This meal knocked my sock off! It took me around 45 minutes to prep and cook. Dale and I enjoyed every bite of this dish and I will be making it again soon.
The pork loin I used was split in two when I opened the package. I decided to slice it into 1/2″ cutlets instead of the 1/4″ called for. I ended up with 10 pieces and plenty of little chunks for snacking. I sliced the second part of the pork loin into cutlets and placed them in the freezer for another time when I make this repeat this recipe. I used rainbow carrots in my carrot puree. Dale and I ate this meal for dinner, Lilly snagged some of the snack bites, and we ended up with a half portion of leftovers. You’ll need a bottle of Ga Ga Garlic to make this one. If you don’t have any on hand, order some, or improvise by adding some kosher salt and pepper along with any garlic seasoning to your almond flour batter.
Notes: Another awesome recipe and also one of our offered Ice Age Meals, this chili was just what I needed in my mouth on a cold winter’s day. The butternut squash reminded me of a bean, which you won’t find in this Paleo version. The smokey flavor of the toasted spices this recipe starts with is sure to please any chili lover out there. I will be making this one again soon!
I used ground beef on this recipe instead of the bison. We grabbed a six pound package at Costco last week that I used for this recipe and the Fajita Pie that I made. Rachel, Juan, Dale and I all had this for dinner one night and I added seven additional portions into my Paleo bank account.
Notes: These lettuce wrapped bacon, tuna and spicy tomato salad creations are so tasty! You will need to grab a few extra napkins while devouring them. Juan, Rachel, Dale and I paired these with the Shrimp Stuffed Shrooms recipe.
When I shopped for the tuna, the steaks available at my local Sprout’s were super thick and beautiful. I loved the ease of seasoning them with the Super Radical Rib Rub and how quickly you can sear and enjoy the tuna. I tried the double layered bacon trick that is shown in the video, but it didn’t work out so well for me. The first layer got done cooking way before the second layer hit the pan. I would just do six and six in two batches next time. While they tasted great, they were quite messy to eat. The juices from the spicy tomato salad ended up all over my hands.
I spent around thirty minutes prepping this meal, ten minutes cooking, and made six portions.
Notes:The heartiness of this meal is what brings me back again and again. This is one of my go-to freezer meals when I am running low on food. It tastes like comfort food to me and fills me up every time.
I used ground beef this time around instead of the turkey the recipe calls for. There are two recipes for this meal on this website – one that Nick wrote for SFH and a CrossFit series version which uses the Cheechako Tako Seasoning. I went with the SFH recipe because I didn’t have the seasoning on hand, but I have linked this to the CrossFit series version so that you may access the video and see how he throws this dish together.
Notes: This is one of the more recent recipes on the site and I am always a sucker for a stuffed mushroom, so I gave this one a try. I was so easy to throw all of these filling ingredients into the food processor and blitz this right up. Seasoning the caps with the Ga Ga Garlic before roasting them was a nice little touch. I really enjoyed the flavors!
I brought large white mushrooms from Costco because they looked like they would be a good option. I made the fourteen caps listed in the recipe and ended up with way more filling than needed. I went ahead and threw the extra mix into my freezer in hopes it will work to use another time. I would suggest cutting the amount of filling in half or adding more mushroom caps to this recipe when you plan to make it. I only used a very small amount of the Sambal to garnish the mushrooms, but I am kind of a wimp when it comes to heat.
We ate half of the stuffed shrooms and refrigerated the others. I was skeptical on the re-heatability these would have, but they tasted just the same the next day. I would recommend eating them within a day or two if you do have leftovers.
Please enjoy the pictures I took along my six-recipe meal plan:
This week I would like to thank my brother Nick. He inspires me by reaching for his goals in life and doing whatever it takes to make them happen. He is one of the hardest working people I know, and I couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments involving health and nutrition mixed with his love of cooking.
I always knew he was going to be a go-getter in life, as we are only eighteen months apart in age. When we were kids, he had so many different ideas in his head of how to get what he wanted, from collecting cans on Saturday mornings at the age of ten (we lived in a college neighborhood, so he usually hit the jackpot) to recycle them for cash, to his paper route days of early mornings and cold winters. He always worked harder than anyone else to accomplish his wants and goals.
This website is only a taste of the many things he has worked to build in his lifetime. I have spent some long days side-by-side with him, working to help him shoot for the next idea, and they are all such great memories. I really don’t think I could list them all, but here goes a few I can think of: Forest Fair 2004, catering gigs in Anchorage 03-04, Ninja Seminars in CA and NV, CrossFit Games 2015, and PNW Regionals 2016. I know when I commit to helping you with any project, I won’t be getting any sleep, but the way you make the event seem like a race to the finish, with the biggest smile on your face, and a sarcastic comment to make someone laugh, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I love you Nicholas, you make me proud, and I thank you for being who you are inside and out.
Katie! Thank you so much for doing this week’s meal plan and for the kind words you wrote about me. The memories run as deep as the lack of sleep, no? Thanks for being my sister and being a part of my dream. You are an awesome mom, sister and daughter. You do the kind of work that I’m not cut out for and you do an amazing job. I look forward to working closer together in the coming year. I love you.
“Keep It Paleo!”