This week’s tester is: Juan Nunez and his family from Poway, CA. Juan works as asianalyst for a major logistics company. He is a CrossFit newbie, but his girlfriend Christa has been doing it for years and he finally decided to jump on board. They workout together at CrossFit Unsung. He also enjoys playing soccer, participating in Spartan races, and spending time with loved ones. Here’s what Juan had to share about discovering Paleo Nick:

“I found Paleo Nick while researching Paleo recipes.  Crossfit Unsung had a challenge to its members where we had to change our diets and Paleo was one of the options.  Paleo has definitely changed my life, meal prepping and staying away from junk food has become easier. I feel a lot better overall and feel like I have more energy. My favorite recipe has been the Chicken Tortilla Soup, I could eat that or a good chili every night and be ok.”

“I enjoyed cooking this meal plan. I love to cook, but sometimes I stress myself out trying to come up with new recipes.  Following this plan allowed me just to cook recipes which I enjoyed. My girlfriend Christa did help me out in the kitchen. Our puppy enjoyed some of the sweet potato that “slipped” off my plate as well.”


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $55.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $43.00

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 double batch of the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp & Sweet Potato Poppers, 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 17.40 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. Prepare the Chicken Tortilla Soup. Portion it out and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months.
  2. Prepare the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp & Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers. Enjoy this meal for dinner along with a portion of the soup if you’d like. Portion out any remaining food and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
  3. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Prepare the Sesame Chicken with Broccoli. Enjoy a portion for lunch today and portion out the remaining food for another time in the coming week.
  2. Prepare the Paolina Pasta. Enjoy a portion for dinner and refrigerate or freeze the remaining food.
  3. 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!

Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

Notes: “The soup had great flavors and just hearty enough that was perfect for a cool weather evening. Very easy to make and had tasted like it had taken all day to make.  Good recipe for using left over tortillas and or chicken,” Juan shared.

“It was spicier than I anticipated, might have been the brand of chipotle peppers I got but it was far too spicy for our child.  I added some lime to help cut a bit of the heat,” he noted.

Juan spent twenty minutes prepping the soup, thirty-five minutes cooking it, and yielded 6-8 portions.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp & Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers

Notes: “The bacon complement the peppers and sweet potatoes nicely. This recipe would be a great appetizer when hosting guests. Super easy to make,” Juan exclaimed.

The tester spent thirty-five minutes prepping this recipe, twenty-five minutes cooking them, and made six portions of two poppers each.

“We used turkey bacon due to allergy restrictions.  I will try this recipe again but next time I will try and mash the potatoes and encrust the entire pepper/shrimp in it before wrapping in bacon,” Juan explained.

This recipe has some optional garnishes listed to add even more flavor to these tasty bites of deliciousness. Massie Mayo is one of the options and the recipe is included in this week’s grocery list.

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

Notes: “We loved the garlic and ginger combination.  It was a quick and easy meal that could be used for multiple meal preps. Next time I will cut back on the tomato paste as it just tasted a bit too much like an Italian dish rather than an Asian dish,” Juan shared.

Juan spent twenty minutes prepping, twenty minutes cooking, and made 4-6 portions of food.

Paolino Pasta

Notes: “This was another simple dish that was full of flavor.  The shrimp and sausage complement each other nicely but is not too filling where you will need to take a nap afterwards,” the tester proclaimed.

Juan spent twenty minutes prepping this dish, twenty-five minutes cooking it, and yielded four portions. He made no changes or substitutions to this recipe.

Check out the photos Juan submitted with his feedback on these chosen recipes:

Paleo Plus Corn Tortillas – Chicken Tortilla Soup
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp & Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers
Sesame Chicken with Broccoli
Paolino Pasta

Thank you Juan, Christa, and Aurora for participating in this week’s meal plan testing. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this process and it brought some new recipes into your life and kitchen.

Christa, Aurora, and Juan

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