This week’s tester is: Ron Christy. He lives in Texas with his wife Yvonne, and they have two children, Destiny and Chantz. Ron works for the government and works out at Vaquero CrossFit. When Ron isn’t busy, he enjoys riding his motorcycle to new destinations, hiking national parks, trying new restaurants, playing with his beautiful pups and participating in fitness events.

Ron heard about Paleo Nick when his local box did a 30-day competition to promote nutrition to its members. Ron and one other guy stuck to it for the entire 30 days. “My abs never looked better!” he said. “I learned so much about food and nutrition during that period of time. I would say I stick to the 80/20 plan when it comes to Paleo and clean eating.”

  

Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $165.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $140.00

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 Alaskan Eggs Benedict – 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 17.4 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, 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:

  1. Prepare the clarified butterfor the Hollandaise sauce you will make tomorrow. Place the butter into a squeeze bottle once cooled.
  2. Prepare the Carnitas, 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 twelve hours overnight.
  3. Prepare the Paleo Sushi Stacker. Enjoy this as a dinner for two. Properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for three to five days.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the Carnitas. Eat a portion with some eggs for breakfast and portion out the rest 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 and prepare the Mexican Meatball Soup. You will have to cook the meatballs first and then load up the cooker and place it on a foil lined sheet pan and place it on the counter to cook for the next 10-12 hours.
  2. Prepare the Shrimp Zucchini with Pistachio Pesto. Enjoy this for lunch today. Portion out and store any remaining food in your refrigerator for up to five days.
  3. Prepare the Parsnip Puree and Pancetta Draped Scallops with King Crab and Asparagus Parsnip, Aged Balsamic and Hollandaise. Enjoy this meal for dinner. Properly store any leftovers.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Prepare the Alaskan Eggs Benedict . Enjoy this for breakfast this morning.
  2. 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!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Notes: “This was very easy to make and had wonderful flavor. I really like how the chipotle in adobo added a good flavor profile to the dish,” Ron shared.

This slow cooker recipe is a great deposit into your Paleo bank account any day. It can be eaten by itself, topped with eggs for breakfast, or placed in a lettuce shell taco, along with many other options.

Ron spent eighteen minute prepping this meal, twelve hours slow cooking it and yielded six healthy portions. He spent $26 on the ingredients for this recipe.

Paleo Sushi Stacker – California Roll

Notes: “This was fun to make and had amazing flavor. It’s something I will make over and over,” Ron said.

He couldn’t find the listed options for the fish eggs from the recipe, so he used cavier instead. He said besides the saltiness of this, it worked for him. He also used snow crab legs instead of king crab. This little appetizer looks so fancy when plated as recommended, but could also be mixed together and eaten like a great cold grab salad. Enjoy any way you’d like if you don’t own a ring mold, or get creative with items in your kitchen.

Ron spent twenty-five minutes prepping this recipe and yielded four tasty portions. His food cost for this meal was $20.

Mexican Meatball Soup

Notes: “I love meatballs so I would make these over and over just to eat by themselves. This soup took a little bit longer than the other to make, but the amount of vegetables in there make it worth it (I didn’t even know what a turnip was), and I got a little bit more volume than the first soup I made. The flavor is great and the soup is perfect for this time of year,” Ron shared.

This recipe’s prep time is a bit longer than most and it calls for the butternut squash that is used as a thickening agent to be precooked and mashed, so be sure to get that in the oven when you start prepping or the day before to avoid making the process even longer. Pan frying the meatballs before you add them to the slow cooker helps them keep a nice crunch in the soup, but you can always bake these if you wanted to. I know in my house only about half the meatballs made ever make it into the soup when my husband is around.

Ron spent forty minute prepping his soup, twelve hours slow cooking it and made 6-8 portions. The price of this recipe was $26.

Paleo Alaskan Eggs Benedict

Notes: “I love smoked salmon… love… love… love. I eat it all the time. I know that has little to do with this but I just wanted you to know. This was fun to make and was my first time ever poaching eggs.  The flavor was wonderful and I enjoyed trying this one. I had some leftover asparagus and sausage so I made a mini one for my daughter to eat (she loved it too!),” Ron said.

Ron thinks this meal would be great even without the crab. He says he always has Italian sausage on hand, so he used that instead of the reindeer sausage. Any kind of sausage will work for this recipe and we always encourage you to make any substitutions you wish to use items you may already have in your refrigerator or freezer. This recipe calls for the Holly, Holly, Hollandaise sauce which also uses Clarified Butter. You will want to prep these recipes ahead of time.

He spent ten minutes prepping this dish, thirty minutes cooking it and yielded one and a half portions.

Pancetta Draped Scallops with King Crab and Asparagus Parsnips, Aged Balsamic and Hollandaise

Notes: “I love scallops so I was very excited about this one! The scallops wrapped in the prosciutto topped with the hollandaise sauce was amazing. I love asparagus and I think the meal would be fine here. I wasn’t a big fan of the parsnip puree and felt the crab meat flavor got lost in this one (full disclosure it had been a few days since I made the crab from another recipe so this may of played into this). I would make this one again, which means I liked it a lot,” Ron said.

He lives in small-town Texas and had a hard time finding large sea scallops and pancetta, so he substituted proscuitto. This is the second recipe that calls for the Hollandaise sauce this week, but you should have leftovers from the eggs benedict. The recipe for the Parsnip Puree is included on the recipe compilation for this week.

Ron spent ten minutes prepping this recipe, fifteen minutes cooking it, and yielded six single scallops. His cost on this meal was $38, which is a bit spendy, but well worth the price.

Shrimp Zucchini with Pistachio Pesto

Notes: “First off, the pesto is amazing and I though about freezing it and eating it like ice cream… yes it is that good! I love pasta and this ended up being amazing,” Ron shares.

“I added a little ghee when cooking the shrimp. I bought some fresh shrimp, which took a little bit of time to clean and added to the prep time,” he noted.

The amount of pesto you make in this recipe is enough to make two batches of the pasta. This recipe is sure to impress anyone, including yourself.

Ron spent thirty minutes prepping this dish, ten minutes cooking it, and yielded four portions. This meal cost him $22.

Here is the photographic evidence from Ron’s recipe choices:

Slow Cooker “Carnitas”
Paleo Sushi Stacker – California Roll
Clarified Butter and Holly, Holly, Hollandaise
Mexican Meatball Soup
Shrimp Zucchini with Pistachio Pesto
Pancetta Draped Scallops with King Crab and Asparagus Parsnips, Aged Balsamic and Hollandaise
Paleo Alaskan Eggs Benedict

Ron from Texas! You ROCKED your chosen meal plan, providing these awesome photos and outstanding feedback. Your recipes look spot-on in each picture. I’m impressed that you chose two meals with Hollandiase sauce and you executed it beautifully. Making the butter and sauce can be quite challenging for most novice ninjas. Keep learning about cooking and serving up scrumptious-looking meals in your kitchen.

From Nick:

Ninja Ron! Great, job! The Paleo Sushi Stacker and Holly Holly Hollandaise both in the same plan? You are setting the bar high for other testers. Your pics are great and it looks like your hollandaise turned out perfectly. Meatballs, scallops, carnitas? WHAT?

Thank you for picking some awesome meals and for taking the time to put together this week’s plan. Your kitchen skills are apparent and I hope to have you test again soon so we can help others…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Nick

Ron kicking it with his pups

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