This week’s tester is: Sarah Gresham from Oregon. Check out what she had to share about this round of recipe choices:
“Hey! I’m baaaaack! My name is Sarah Gresham and my husband is Brian… we have a teenager, Zack & a tween Elsie. We live in a beautiful resort town, Sunriver, just south of Bend, Oregon.”
“My husband and I, as well as our kids, go to Oregon CrossFit in Bend to get our daily dose of fitness. If we’re not at CrossFit or working then you will most likely find the four of us out on the golf course, riding bikes or floating down the Deschutes River on our paddle boards. Living in Central Oregon is a lot of fun!”
“I’m a Wife, a Mom, a Foodie & Personal Trainer… so over the years my work has become my passion. Fitness and nutrition consumes a big part of my life. I love cooking healthy meals for my family and annoying all my social media friends with pictures of my latest meal prep!”
“I discovered Paleo a few years back in an effort to help my clients and then it flowed into my personal life. Now that our kids are older they are very much involved in making their own healthy choices and learning how to fuel their bodies correctly. While my family is not strict Paleo we do try to #keepitpaleo the majority of the time.”
“This is my second round of Paleo Nick meals this year. I tried to pick some recipes that would work really well with the all the CRAZINESS of back to school!”
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $79.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $63.00
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 batch of the Bacon Berry Protein Muffins, 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 17.39 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 Chuckwagon Brisket Pot Roast. Place the ingredients 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 12 hour on low overnight.
- Prepare the Cheechako Turkey Tacos. Enjoy this meal for dinner. Portion out any remaining food and refrigerate 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 Pot Roast. Store the portions in the refrigerator for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. Clean out the slow cooker.
- Prepare the Bacon Berry Protein muffins. Enjoy a couple hot and fresh for breakfast today. Portion out the remaining muffins in sets of two and freeze. Pull out one portion to thaw the night before you want to eat them. That way you won’t end up them in a couple settings.
- Prepare the Zoned Out Cottage Pie. Enjoy a portion as a meal today and portion out and refrigerate or freeze the remaining food.
- 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 meal is one of my all time childhood favorites. My mom can make a mean pot roast. I’ve never been able to recreate her recipe so I was excited to try this one. I cooked this meal on LOW for the full 12 hours. When it was done I did a taste test and oh my goodness I almost cried. This meal was nostalgic. Childhood comfort food right there! I’m a potato lover so I was hesitant to try the turnips… but they were good and my kids even ate them. This doesn’t have to be Sunday dinner… it’s perfect for those busy weeknights… throw it in the pot before work and come home to a healthy dinner ready to eat!” Sarah shared.
Sara spent 10-15 minutes prepping this meal, twelve hours cooking it on low in the slow cooker, and fed her family of four for dinner. She cut the amount of carrots, celery, and onion in half in order to fit everything into her Crockpot.
Notes: “The first meal I chose was Cheechako Turkey Tacos… because Tacos! We seriously have tacos 2-3x a week at our house. I enjoyed this recipe and the purple cabbage made it so pretty on the plate! We do lettuce wraps often but I had never tried cabbage. It was fun to switch it up and the cabbage leaves are way more durable. I really like the Paleo Grind Cheechako Tako blend… I’ve been using it for awhile now. To be honest though, my family is super wimpy when it comes to spice so I use about a 1/3 of what the recipe calls for. This recipe was a winner… Easy, quick and everyone was happy!” Sarah proclaimed.
Sarah spent 10-15 minutes prepping this meal, ten minutes cooking it, and yielded enough portions to feed two people dinner. She decided to use ground chicken instead of ground turkey and thought the full amount of Cheechako Taco seasoning was too spicy.
Notes: “Up next I chose Zoned Out Cottage Pie. My European roots got really excited to make this comfort meal for my family. I’ve made Shepherds & Cottage Pie before and my family liked it… but I was a little nervous for them to try this recipe with the mashed parsnips instead of the traditional potatoes on top. Guess what? They loved it! We all agreed that this meal should be on our meal plan rotation,” Sarah said.
“Great flavor with the addition of the Greek Freak seasoning. The parsnips were good but I had to jazz them up a little to add flavor. I used 1/lb Beef + 1/lb Pork instead of Lamb… and only 1.5 TBSP of Greek Freak. For the parsnips I added a little broth, a pad of butter and some salt, pepper, granulated garlic powder to give them some flavor,” the tester noted.
Sarah spent fifteen minutes prepping this pie, forty minutes cooking all the components, and yielded 4-6 portions of goodness.
Notes: “Lastly, my daughter and I prepared the Bacon Berry Protein Muffins. My daughter Elsie loves to bake but being gluten-free makes it a little more difficult. She’s been wanting to make muffins so this was the perfect opportunity. We love this recipe because it wasn’t complicated. They turned out delicious and these berry protein packed muffins with BACON are perfect for early morning breakfast on the go! I’ve tried making similar muffins before and they’ve never turned out… these actually turned out and my kids approved! I would have never thought to add bacon so that was a fun addition. The vanilla flavored protein powder gave them a good flavor as well!” Sarah shared.
They spent 10-15 minutes preparing the muffin mix, twenty-five minutes baking, and made eighteen muffins. Break that down into two muffin portions and you make out with nine breakfast/snacks.
“I used Paleo Ethics Vanilla Beef Protein powder and I used almond flour instead of coconut. Only issue I had was that I used fresh blueberries and they were still a little soggy,” Sarah also noted.
Scroll down to see the photos Sarah captured while preparing her chosen meals with the help of her two young and very cute helpers:
You have outdone yourself once again Sarah Gresham (aka Super-Mom) from one of the coolest places on this planet. Your photo journey is top knotch and the feedback this round made my job super easy this week. I can feel the joy you have for cooking and I am grateful that you are passing this on to your blossoming teenagers. Way to go Sarah!