This week’s tester is: Darcie Gillock from Tigard, OR. Darcie and I worked together at the Regional Competition in Portland at the beginning of June and I talked her into doing another meal plan for me. She did a stand-up job with four new and very different recipes. Her variety of proteins this week include beef, lamb, tuna, and chicken. She made out with 26 portions of food with her four recipe choices and only had great things to say about all of them.


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $145.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $110.00

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:

  1. Open the document and click on the tab at the bottom that says “Menu item & Ingredient Brkdown.”
  2. 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 Cottage Pie just change the “1”  to a “2” and it will increase the ingredients for this recipe. Make sense?
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 17.28 Grocery List” and your quantities will be updated.
  4. Print out the grocery list from the first tab only.
  5. 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.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

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:

  1. Marinade the Grass-Fed Barbacoa and place the refrigerator to marinade for 2-3 days.
  2. Place the Grass-Fed Barbacoa 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 twelve hours on low.
  3. Prepare the Zoned Out Cottage Pie. Portion out and store in the refrigerator for five to seven days or freeze for up to six months. Enjoy a portion for dinner if you’d like.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Shred the Barbacoa and prepare the squash and tomatillo salsa. Once the squash has cooked. Portion this out into individual meals and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months.
  2. Prepare the Ahi Poke. Eat this dish as a snack or a meal. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and eat within three days.
  3. Prepare the Paleo Chicken Taquitos with Salsa Chioptle and Guac. Eat these for dinner and properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for up to five days.
  4. 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!

Grass-Fed Barbacoa

Notes: “This recipe was super simple and had really great flavor!” Darcie stated.

“I changed the cooking time from twelve hours to ten hours and felt like it came out better since my meals were all going to be reheated,” she noted.

The tri-tip for this meal needs to marinade for 2-3 days prior to being placed in the slow cooker. You will want to plan ahead for this.  You will also need a bottle of PALEO GRIND Ga-Ga Garlic to complete this recipe.

Darcie spent 2+days prepping this meal (with the time allowed for marinating the meat), ten hours slow cooking the meat, and yielded eleven portions.

Zoned Out Cottage Pie

Notes: “I loved the PALEO GRIND Greek Freak paired with the lamb in this recipe!” Darcie proclaimed.

She also notes that she seasoned the parsnip puree with salt and pepper after she cooked and mashed them to add a little more flavor. “I will be making this meat mixture again and using it as a breakfast options with some scrambled eggs.”

Darcie spent twenty-five minutes prepping this meal, twenty minutes cooking it, and made eight portions. This meal will freeze and reheat very well.

Nick’s Ahi Poke

Notes: “Amazing flavors and super simple to throw together!” Darcie said. “The grade of tuna makes a huge difference in taste.”

The only change Darcie made to this recipe was the amount of Sambal she added. She cut the heat a bit to her own liking.

The seaweed salad, masago (fish eggs), and nori chips can all be found at your local Asian Market and sometimes at Whole Foods.

Darcie spent ten minutes prepping this recipe, and made three healthy portions. She made Poke bowls with her tuna instead of an appetizer as it is listed. She said as an appetizer, she thought it would have been more like five portions.

Paleo Chicken Taquitos

Notes: “These had great flavor,” Darcie exclaimed.

She had a little trouble getting the chicken pounded out into rectangular shapes, but said she would be making these again to try and work on that skill. “Mine looked more like pockets than rolls,” she stated.

This recipe calls for the PALEO GRIND Cheechako Tako seasoning.

Darcie spent twenty minutes prepping her taquitos, salsa and guac, fifteen minutes cooking them, and made six “pockets.”

Here are the photos of Darcie’s meal plan process for this week:

Grass-Fed Barbacoa
Nick’s Ahi Poke
Zoned Out Cottage Pie
Paleo Chicken Taquitos

Thank you Darcie for being a great meal plan tester, an awesome friend, and a spectacular Mother! Your family is lucky to have a Momma that cares so much about what she serves them to eat. The Chicken Taquitos looked awesome, even in “pocket” form.

Darcie and her two cute little dudes

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