This week’s tester’s are: Tim and Pamela Jones from Tigard, OR. Tim is a Engineering and Design consultant for his day job and a part-time CrossFit competition volunteer (which is where I met him in Portland two years ago). He works out at CrossFit Reflexion in Beaverton. Tim and Pam spend most of their free time raising their daughter Jenelle and doing things as a family.
As mentioned before, I met Tim at CrossFit Regionals in Portland two years ago when I was seven months pregnant and running the serving line in the volunteer cafeteria. Tim was so impressed with the food we served that he decided to try Ice Age Meals for his own home. See his wife had just had weight-loss surgery and she needed to be fueling her body with healthy food in smaller portions (she could make each meal into two), that tasted good.
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $93.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $75.00
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 Chorizo Mushroom Hash with Eggs, 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 17.42 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 Beef Bourguinon. 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 10-12 hour on low overnight.
- Prepare the Shrimp, Chicken and Sweet Potato Chowder. Enjoy this meal for dinner. Portion out any remaining food and refrigerate for 5-7 days.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Beef Bourguinon. 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 Chorizo Mushroom Hash with Eggs. Enjoy this meal for breakfast. If you have any remaining, portion out and properly store in the refrigerator.
- 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: “I liked the prepping for this meal. Solid ingredients, it’s a meal I would make and have made,” Tim said.
Tim went with the mixture of wine and beef stock instead of the wine only recipe option listed in this recipe. He used Italian seasoning instead of the dried thyme ingredient. Tim said he’d make a half batch next time for his family of three.
The tester spent forty minutes prepping this meal, ten hours slow cooking it on a sheet pan in the garage overnight, and yielded a ton of portions.
Notes: “This meal was our favorite of the four choices. A nine out of ten on the yummy scale. Prep time was considerably fast from start to finish, totaling thirty-five minutes. Fresh shrimp and fresh ground chicken from the Asian market near me made the protein a snap. My wife and I loved the sweet creamy taste and fullness of this chowder,” Tim proclaimed.
Tim tweaked his recipe instructions a bit by placing the cooked sweet potato with the chicken broth and coconut milk into a blender to make the broth smooth and creamy. He and Pamela thought it lacked a little flavor, so they boosted the flavor with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce.
He spent thirty-five minutes cooking this meal and made eight portions of food.
Notes: “This recipe was a quick and easy breakfast meal. The guac makes SO GOOD. The mushroom hash pairs so nicely with the chorizo. My wife gave this one a thumbs up,” Tim shared.
“I might just add slices of avocado with the diced tomatoes to the side of this dish to save time on prep for this recipe. I would add some cheese or fresh salsa to top it off,” Tim noted.
He spent seven minutes prepping this meal, twelve minutes cooking it and made four portions.
Notes: “My wife really liked this one. We froze eight servings. The chili was better the second day after all the flavors had time to come together. Zesty and complicated is what I would call this dish. It would be a great topping for nachos,” Tim exclaimed.
They went with diced prime rib instead of the braised cow tongue listed in this recipe. Tim noted that the prep time was tedious on this one for him, and that he thought all the ingredients confused the flavor of the chili.
The tester spent thirty minutes prepping, fifteen minutes cooking it, and yielded twelve portions.
Check out the meal prep and prepared dished Tim and Pam chose for this weeks plan:
Tim! You killed it buddy! The recipe choices you prepped, cooked and plated made my mouth water. I am glad Pam was there with moral support and offering her services as official taste tester. Smart way to get involved Pamela. Thank you so much for taking on this project and doing such an amazing job! Until next year…