This week’s tester is: Rachel Morehouse and Ryan Bee from Mesa, Arizona. Rachel is a nursing student and works out at CrossFit New Strength. This time of year getting out of the crazy summer heat is her only idea of fun in her spare time (I hear ya Rachel, I’m in Vegas and despise the days of 110 or higher). Rachel shared that she did all the cooking for this meal plan, but Ryan helped her eat the meals. Way to go Ryan!
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $68.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $55.00
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 double the Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe, 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 17.30 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 chicken for the Apple Raisin Country Style Ribs and place it into the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on a foil lines sheet pan and place it on the counter or in the garage to cook for the next 6-7 hours or overnight.
- Prepare the Honey Walnut Shrimp with Broccoli. Enjoy this meal as your dinner tonight and properly store any remaining portions in the refrigerator for 3-5 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. Store the portions in the refrigerator for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. Clean out the slow cooker.
- Prepare Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac and eat this for breakfast. Properly store any remaining portions in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Prepare the Sweet and Sour Chicken. Enjoy this meal for dinner and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
- 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 recipe is a keeper for sure! The flavors blend really well together. The apples and the raisins are a refreshing surprise within the meal. Anything I can make in crock pot is a winner in my busy life,” Rachel exclaimed.
“I think that 6 cups of onion would have been plenty instead of the 8. I did not have a big enough pot to mix all the ingredients together, and they BARELY fit in my 6 quart crock pot. I was excited about the big chunk of rib meat that came in the package, but it ended up being really fatty. I don’t know if that was my butchers selection or if it is a fattier section of meat,” the tester noted.
Country style is a specific cut of ribs. If you can’t find it in the meat department at your grocery store, ask the butcher. They are almost always willing to cut some for you if they don’t already have some out. And don’t be afraid to fill your slow cooker to the brim. The ingredients will cook down. You will want to place the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan to catch anything that may boil over while cooking just to be on the safe side.
Rachel spent one hour prepping this meal, six hours slow cooking it and yielded four large portions.
Notes: “The shrimp came out amazing! I have never thought to put honey on the shrimp and I am sold on the idea! It tastes just like you want Panda Express to taste like, but Panda always lets you down. You can taste the individual flavors and the broccoli adds that additional crunch you crave,” Rachel shared.
“This is a meal best served fresh. Prepped meals for me means that the microwave is heating it back up. Shrimp nuked turns rubbery. I found that eating this meal cold is just as delicious as hot and it maintains the integrity of the shrimp! The cooking time would be drastically decreased if the shrimp were already peeled and if the I had minced garlic in a jar, but I love fresh ingredients so I am fine with spending a bit more time for the fresh taste,” Rachel said.
The tester spent an hour and fifteen minutes prepping this meal (the darn shrimp took thirty minutes alone!), twenty minutes cooking it, and made four portions.
Notes: “This meal was DELICIOUS! I doubled the recipe thinking that it would make one serving, but either I bought monstrous sweet potatoes or you are expected to eat enough for breakfast and dinner. I love how you can food prep the hash and make the eggs in less than 2 minutes. I have never made over medium eggs before and I am in love with the ease and how delicious they turn out! This will be a keeper for sure!” Rachel proclaimed.
“I wish I had a bit more meat, and that could be due to buying huge sweet potatoes or only buying 9 oz when I needed 10 (I doubled the recipe). Doubling what you had makes 4 healthy servings, and the verbiage made it sound like it would be one serving per the recipe,” Rachel noted.
Rachel spent thirty-five minutes prepping the recipe, fifteen minutes cooking it, and made four good sized portions by doubling the recipe.
Notes: “Like everything else that I tried, this was outstanding! It was simple to make, and fast to prep and chop everything. It is a great option for a quick throw something together meal,” Rachel said.
“I let my chicken simmer closer to 5-6 minutes to ensure that it was both cooked all the way and the liquid was boiled down enough. Even with that, there was a perfect amount of liquid to blend the flavors. I didn’t have a green pepper so I used an orange and a red one instead,” she noted.
The tester spent twenty-five minutes prepping this meal, fifteen minutes cooking it, and yielded three portions.
Check out the great photos Rachel shared from her meal plan journey:
Thank you Rachel and Ryan for preparing these recipes and sharing your feedback with all of us! Your meals look delicious! Good thing you had Ryan around to help you sample the food. I’m not sure what you would have done without him 😉 Stay cool and “Keep it Paleo” in the crazy summer heat of AZ.