This week’s tester is: Chris Puetz from Dubuque, IA. Chris works as an Insurance Adjuster, CrossFit coach, and also volunteers for the Jaycees. He claims to not have much for spare time, but when he does find some, he can usually be found on the family farm helping out (sounds like a good old mid-western guy to me). He even uses some farm meat in his recipes for this plan. Why not? If you have it, use it, right!?!

“You can take the kid off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the kid,” he claims.

“I’m a super busy person and having these recipes to follow for meal prep and having stuff on hand in the freezer is a lifesaver,” Chris shares.


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $140.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $105.00

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 half batch of the Chili Lime “Pollo Asado”, just change the “1”  to a “.5” and it will decrease the ingredients for this recipe. Make sense?
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 17.47 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 marinade for Chili Lime Polla Asado. Place the meat into container with the marinade, mix well and set in the refrigerator to soak up the flavors overnight. We will prepare the chicken tomorrow.
  2. Prepare the marinade for the Barbacoa. This should marinade for 2-3 days for optimal flavor.
  3. Prepare the Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash. Enjoy a portion of this recipe for dinner and refrigerate or freeze the remaining portions.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Prepare the Pork Chili California and place it into a slow cooker. Place the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan and cook for ten hours on low.
  2. Fire up the grill and get the chicken pieces cooking. When you’ve finished all four chickens, portion out and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.
  3. Portion out Pork Chili California once it has finished cooking and store in the refrigerator for up to seven days or freeze the for up to six months. Clean out the slow cooker.

In cooking session three:

  1. Place the marinaded tri tip into the slow cooker and cook on low for up to twelve hours. Prepare the squash and tomatillo salsa when the meat is almost done. Shred the beef, portion it out into containers along with the squash and top with tomatillo salsa. Refrigerate the portions for 5-7 days or freeze for up to six months.
  2. 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!

Grass-Fed Barbacoa

Notes: “This recipe was really quite simple to make and the prep work was quick and easy,” Chris noted.

The meat for this dish needs to marinade for 2-3 days for optimal flavor. While it means the full process takes four days from marinade to cooking, it is well worth the time. You can order a bottle of the PALEO GRIND Ga Ga Garlic here or just use salt and pepper to season, as the recipe states. The tomatillo salsa and butternut squash will need to be prepared separately, but it all comes together rather nicely.

Chris spent twenty minutes prepping this meal, ten hours slow cooking it, and yielded a TON of portions. This recipe freezes very well and is also an option for purchase at

Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash

Notes: “I was very surprised by this meal! When I first read the ingredients, I wasn’t sure what to think. I followed the recipe substituting the bison for ground beef raised on the family farm. It turned out to be one of my favorite meals! So much flavor and the perfect level of spice!! Chris proclaimed.

This meal is another one that can be purchased through It is super hearty and sure to fill the belly and quench the urge for chili on any cold fall evening. Feel free to substitute the bison for any ground meat.

Pork Chili California

Notes: “I enjoyed this meal as an amazing non-egg breakfast dish. It was really good!” Chris shared.

Chris had a hard time finding the dried California chilis in his small town in Iowa, but outside of that thought the recipe was really easy to prepare. There is a bit of prep work for this recipe prior to placing the ingredients into the slow cooker, but again, well worth the time. Chris didn’t get a chance to submit a photo for this meal because he ended up taking a swim with his phone. Bummer!

Chili Lime “Pollo Asado” – Barbecued Chicken

Notes: “This was some of the most flavorful chicken I have ever made! The marinade was easy enough to make and then you just toss the chicken on the grill. I’ve never tried lime on chicken while cooking it and that added a really nice twist!” Chris exclaimed.

The tester decided to use chicken breasts and thighs instead of the whole chickens listed in the recipe. This is always an option. Also, the recipe is rather large, so if you don’t have an army to feed or a ton of room in your freezer, you may want to half the recipe. You can do this by changing the “1” below the recipe heading on the second tab of the xcel grocery list spreadsheet to “.5”. Doing this will halve the recipe ingredients for you. Be sure to click back to the first tab in order to print. This recipe also needs time to marinade. The recipe states anywhere from thirty minutes to twenty-four hours. The longer the better in my book.

Scroll down to see how the recipes turned out for Chris this week:

17.47 Groceries
Grass-fed Barbacoa
Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash
Pork Chili California or Tri tip and Sweets

Thank you Chris for participating in this week’s meal plan. It is super cool to hear that you used meat from the family farm for some of your recipes! I’m glad to hear you found a new favorite recipe with the Chipotle Chili and the suggestion of enjoying the Pork Chili California is superb.


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