This week’s tester is: Stephanie Sears along with her Mom, Darlene Rose from Richmond, VA. Steph is an Operations Mananger for a Finacial Service company and has recently relocated to Richmond. She currently does CrossFit at the local Orange Theory gym. In her spare time, Steph likes to travel, cook, explore, workout, and go to festivals.

When asked how Steph heard about PaleoNick, she shared that a co-worker was eating an Ice Age Meal at work and she inquired about the meal. From there, she checked out the website and offered to test for me. The rest is history!

“Eating paleo has definitely changed my life. I have a couple of autoimmune diseases and I have been searching for a solution to heal my body. About 10 years ago I started to work with my diet and discovered how important it was to eat foods that heal my body and prevent my autoimmune diseases from flaring up. A few years ago I came across the Paleo diet and fell in love with it. And bonus…my body responded to it. I learned more about food allergies and found out I am allergic to many foods I was eating. This led me to explore the AIP diet and am researching to learn more,” she shared.


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $55.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $46.00

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 Pacific Cod Piccata, 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 17.44 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 meatballs and the squash for the Mexican Meatball Soup. 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 high overnight.
  2. Prepare the Chicken Tenders with Brussel Slaw. Enjoy this meal for dinner. Portion out any remaining food and refrigerate for 4-5 days.
  3. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the Mexican Meatball Soup. Store the portions in the refrigerator for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. Clean out the slow cooker.
  2. Prepare the Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac. Enjoy this meal for breakfast and properly store any leftovers.
  3. Prepare the Cod Piccata. Enjoy this for lunch or dinner. Portion out and properly store any leftovers in the refrigerator or 3-5 days.
  4. 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!

Mexican Meatball Soup

Notes: “I enjoyed the variety of vegetables in this recipe, the flavor of the meatballs and the deicious smell in my house while it was slow cooking,” Steph shared.

“I did think it was a bit salty and that the meatballs could have been smaller. Overall, it was a little on the bland side for my taste,” the tester noted.

This recipe is a little prep heavy. You need to mix the meatball mixture together and cook the meatballs and squash prior to putting all the ingredients into the slow cooker.

Steph spent one hour prepping her soup, twelve hours slow cooking it, and yielded 6-8 portions.

Chicken Fingers with Brussel Slaw

Notes: “This slaw was DELICIOUS! I don’t even like slaw but this was really tasty. The chicken was excellent. Tasty and not dried out or fried tasting. It was a great combo!” Steph proclaimed.

“By the time I cooked the last batch of chicken, the flour from the previous batches was burning and absorbing all the oil. Chicken could use a little more seasoning…maybe garlic powder? Slaw portion was HUGE!” she said.

The tester spent thirty minutes prepping this meal, thirty minutes cooking the chicken, and made 4-5 portions of food with some extra slaw portions.

Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac

Notes: “I need chorizo in my life! Delicious flavor and love the combination. Great for anytime, not just breakfast. I really liked the addition of the guac,” Steph exclaimed.

“My chorizo seemed to burn on the med-high heat, so I used medium heat instead.  Or maybe cook the chorizo then remove, cook the sweets and then add it back in to the mix to avoid overcooking,” Steph suggested.

She spent twenty-five minutes prepping this dish, forty minutes cooking it, and yielded three portions.

Pacific Cod Piccata

Notes: “This was absolutely delightful! The second batch cooked faster and fell apart, but everything was still tasty,” Steph shared.

“I thought the sauce was a bit too lemony and could have used a little more butter. I would reduce the lemon and add more salt,” Steph said.

The tester spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal, twenty-five minutes cooking the fish, making 3-4 portions of food.

Scroll down to see how the recipes turned out for this weeks plan:

Mexican Meatball Soup
Chicken Fingers with Brussel Slaw
Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac
Pacific Cod Piccata

Thank you Steph and Darlene for being so awesome with this week’s meal choices. I am so glad that even though you volunteered right before a big move, you still took on the task and executed each meal perfectly. Now that you’ve broken in the new kitchen, do you best to “Keep it Paleo.”

Steph and Darlene

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