My two favorite Canadians are back at it again this week! Say hello to Canucks Rob and Shannon Cadieux. These two wonderful people have tested numerous plans for us over the past few years and I am grateful to have them on board. Here’s what Shannon had to say about this round of meals:
“This menu’s theme totally turned into all things sweet potato and smokiness. That would be my improvement for next time, more variety in the flavors. The recipes as per usual all were delicious and easy to prepare. The red pepper coulis was AMAZING, and works really well with the meatballs and the chicken legs. We ended up freezing both the slower cooker meals for quick grab and go dinners, and we froze the meatballs for easy breakfasts. Rob’s favorite of the menu was the chicken legs, and mine was the chicken fingers.”
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $160.00CAD $123.00USD
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $135.00CAD $103.00USD
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 make a double batch of the Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers- just change the “1” to a “2” and it will decrease the ingredients for this recipe. Make sense?
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 17.7 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, 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:
- Prepare the Beef Stew with Green Chiles & Yams, 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 6-12 hours overnight.
- Prepare the Citrus Cod En Papillote. Enjoy this as a dinner for two. Properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for three to five days.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Beef Stew 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 Southwest Chicken. Place it on a foil-lined sheet pan and place it on the counter to cook for the next 10-12 hours.
- Prepare the Sweet Potato Laced Meatballs. Portion out and store them in your refrigerator for up to five days or freeze. These are great protein snacks for anytime of day.
- Prepare the Lemon Pepper Legs with Red Pepper Coulis. Enjoy this meal for lunch or dinner. Portion out and properly store any remaining.
- Portion out the Southwest Chicken and allow to cool in the refrigerator overnight. Place any portions you wish into the freezer once completely cooled.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers. Eat these while they’re hot and fresh. Portion out any leftovers and refrigerate.
- 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!
Notes: “This meal was great to come home to at the end of the day. It was simple to put together in the morning. We chopped all the veggies the night before and then threw it all together before work,” Shannon shared.
This recipe is super simple to assemble if you have all the ingredients. You can look for pre-cubed stew meat in the meat department to save even more time. Chuck or blade roast works best for this slow cooker meal. The canned green chiles can be hot or mild, depending on your taste for heat.
Shannon and Rob spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal, ten hours slow cooking it and yielded ten portions.
Notes: “Having all the veggies prepped before the set up really helped us for this meal. I used a heavy lid to keep the packages sealed. The cod was terrific – moist and flakey! The veggies came out perfectly steamed,” Shannon exclaimed.
Shannon noted that they purchased two large cod filets and portioned them out. Be sure to check out the video on how to properly seal your package-o-fish and veggies for this recipe. The technique is very easy, but a visual on how-to is quite helpful.
The testers spent eighteen minutes prepping, twenty-two minutes cooking and made eight portions.
Notes: “I love the ease of a whole meal in one pot. Cooked all day, which was great, ready when I got home from work. We really enjoyed this, and have lots stocked away for quick weekday meals. This meal is super hearty, and great for Canadian winters,” Shannon said.
The recipe calls for one whole chicken, but you are always able to substitute chicken breasts instead. This will shorten your cooking time a couple hours though, so you may want to keep that in mind. Again, you can use hot or mild chiles depending upon your taste for heat. This recipe freezes and reheats well, so feel free to throw some into your Paleo bank account.
Shannon and Rob spent thirty minutes prepping this meal, fourteen hours cooking it and came out with ten portions of food.
Notes: Shannon noted that she really liked the whole meal in a ball. She thought they were very portable and she enjoyed them for breakfast on multiple mornings. She said she would try ricing the sweet potato next time to make in blend in a little more versus the chunkiness of her final product.
This recipe is pictured with an array of veggies, but it is only for the actual meatballs. Nick wants to encourage you to pair them with a vegetable blend of your choice or eat them all alone if you prefer. They are great little snacks of goodness that could be devoured like candy in my book, so be creative and enjoy.
Shannon spent forty minutes cooking her sweet potatoes, fifteen minutes prepping the meatballs, twenty minutes cooking them and yielded 14 four-ball portions.
Notes: “These chicken legs were simple to prepare. The meal comes together quickly on a weeknight. The red pepper coulis smells delicious as you prepare it. This was a quick meal served along with a side salad. We loved the balance of the peppery chicken with the slightly sweet coulis,” Shannon said.
Rob and Shannon spent fifteen minutes prepping this recipe, forty-five minutes cooking it, and made six portions.
Notes: “We loved the spice and smokiness with the sweet heat of mayo on this dish. Make sure you use high quality smoky bacon. Make the mayo! It takes 30 seconds, especially with an immersion blender, and it is life changing,” Shannon advises.
This was Shannon’s favorite meal this time around. You can always leave out the jalapeno on some of these if you want to eliminate some of the heat. Like Shannon suggested, make the Massie Mayo. It adds even more flavor to these amazing little pieces of goodness! The ingredients are listed on this week’s grocery list. If you already have some on hand, be sure to change the “1” to a “0” on the menu and ingredients tab of the xcel spreadsheet.
The testers spent twenty minutes prepping their fingers, twenty-eight minutes cooking them, and yielded 3-2 finger portions.
Here are the photos from Shannon and Rob’s most recent meal plan journey:
I can never say thank you enough to Rob and Shannon! I can always count on you guys to produce amazing looking food to share with the other Paleo Ninjas. You are the true definition of how to be a ninja in your own kitchen. Keep up the good work! I love the plated meals this go-round. It looks like you’re stepping up your game with the presentation of your food and I love that you’re eating the meatballs for breakfast 🙂