This week’s tester’s are: the Nasfell family from Ogden, Utah. The whole family worked together to produce these six great meals this week, and they did an awesome job. Meaghan works as a senior intelligent analyst and a facility security officer. She also does CrossFit workouts on her own and occasionally works out at Roy CrossFit.

In their spare time, the family enjoys playing video games together, hiking in the summer and hitting the slopes in the winter months.

“I know about Paleo Nick because I knew Nick Massie before paleonick.com was up and coming. Nick and I used to work out at the same CrossFit Gym. He’s the nicest and most honest guy I know. I have tried a TON of Paleo Nick’s meal and so far I love most of them. My newest favorite recipe is the Paleo Nachos with Chipotle Beef, Yam and Avocado. I always considered myself healthy and in shape. So I figured, since I started eating Paleo when I am young I may avoid some health problems in the future. Pay the FARM, not the PHARM, right?” Meaghan says.

  

Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $115.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $90.00

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 make a double batch of the Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac 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 17.8 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, 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:

  1. Prepare the Beef and Butternut Braise, 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 8 hours overnight.
  2. Prepare the Nachos with Chipotle Beef, Yams, and Avocado. Enjoy this as a dinner for two. Properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for three to five 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 Beef and Butternut Braise 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 Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash. Place it on a foil lined sheet pan and place it on the counter to cook for the next 8-12 hours.
  2. Prepare the Chianti Braised Short Ribs. Portion out and store them in your refrigerator for up to five days or freeze. These are great protein snacks for anytime of day.
  3. Prepare the Asparagus and Mushroom Almondine. This can pair well as a vegetable/carb to add to any of the meals this week, but also the short ribs above. Portion out and properly store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
  4. Portion out the Cinnamon Short Ribs and allow to cool in the refrigerator overnight. Place any portions you wish into the freezer once completely cooled or leave in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
  5. Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Prepare the Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac. Eat this for breakfast while it’s hot and fresh or portion out and refrigerate.
  2. 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!

Beef and Butternut Braise

Notes: “This was very easy to prep. Meat was tender, not overcooked. It made for great leftovers. If my kids actually enjoyed it, you know it’s good!!” Meaghan laughs. “The portions and cook time were on point!”

When looking for the stew meat at the grocery store, check to see if they have it pre-cubed. This will help with prep time. One butternut squash will be plenty to provide the four cups listed.

The Nasfells spent ten minutes prepping this slow cooker meal, eight hours cooking it, and yielded eight portions.

Paleo Nachos with Chipotle Beef, Yams and Avocado

Notes: “We loved everything about this recipe. We used to be BIG nacho eaters and this really hit the spot. Good avocados are hard to get this time of year so I used the leftover guac from the chorizo hash recipe. I also added tomatoes. I was really leery of the plantain chips because by themselves (which I made the mistake of eating), they’re terrible! However, with this amazing mixture of things even the kids dug in! This is a new family favorite snack. No doubt we could have made it a meal,” Meaghan shared.

“I added tomatoes and used guac instead of just avocadoes. I also used one pound of grass-fed ground beef instead of one and a half. Nothing to dislike! The one pound of meat was plenty for us,” she said.

The family spent ten minutes prepping this snack, twenty minutes cooking it and made eight portions.

Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash

Notes: “The flavors went of this meal really well together! The meat was tender and overall it had great flavor. Portions were perfect for a family of five if you are looking to take it to lunch the next day or leftovers. We had it two nights in a row,” Meaghan noted. “I would not change a thing!”

Sometimes it can be hard to find boneless short ribs in the meat department. I always suggest asking the person behind the meat counter if you can’t find a certain cut. They most likely have more options in the back cooler. This recipe calls for seven cups of butternut squash. I would say that one medium-sized squash should do the trick.

The testers spent ten minutes prepping this slow cooker recipe, eight hours cooking it and made six portions.

Chianti Braised Short Ribs

Notes: “The mix of flavors in this recipe was great. The ribs with atop the bed of sweet potatoes made for a nice combo. The meat was very tender,” Meaghan says.

“I had a really hard to finding chianti where I live. I searched four different stores – Walmart, Smiths, Harmons and Freshmarket. None of them had it so I had to substitute with a generic red cooking wine. The boneless short ribs were also impossible to find. I only found some with bone on them. I think because of this factor it was not as good as it could have been,” she noted.

Chianti is the bottle of red wine you see at restaurants where the bottom is wrapped. I have seen it at Costco for sure. It’s not my favorite wine to drink, but it’s great for slow cooking.

The Nasfell family spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal, two hours cooking it and yielded ten portions.

Asparagus and Mushroom Almondine

Notes: “Honestly I think this was better the next day. I love that it is a quick and easy snack,” Meaghan said.

“Because no one in my family (except me) likes mushrooms or asparagus I made this just for me. So I cut all the ingredients. Instead of three bundles of asparagus I used one bushel, one cup of mushrooms, etc… It did not seem to have much flavor. However, I think after it sat in the coconut milk overnight it really got stronger and ended up being amazing. Even got my boyfriend to eat it and enjoy it – so with the right dish, miracles can happen,” Meaghan shared.

Meaghan spent ten minutes prepping this veggie dish, twenty minutes cooking it, and yielded three portions with her reduced ingredients.

Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac

Notes: “I really enjoyed all of this recipe, until I had it four days in a row. I normally do not eat chorizo. However, with all of the flavors mixed, it was amazing and I plan on making more in the future,” Meaghan noted.

“This would have been really great if it was for a family. However, we do not normally eat chorizo. So I was the only one that would eat it. The portion of chorizo that was listed was way too much for my taste, so I just mixed in more of the other ingredients until it tasted right. However, since I was the only one eating it, it was great until day four of breakfast. I really wouldn’t change anything except less chorizo, but that is my personal preference. During the winter here in Utah it is really hard to find ripe avocados so I made half the amount than the recipe called for. Turned out great and I also used it for the Paleo nachos. Also, I ended up remaking this without the chorizo and the whole family loved it. So that’s another option,” she shared.

Meaghan spent ten minutes prepping this breakfast meal, twenty minutes cooking it and made more than a few portions.

Here are the photos from Meaghan’s chosen meal plan:

Beef and Butternut Braise
Paleo Nachos with Chipotle Beef, Yam, and Avocado
Sweet Chorizo Hash with Eggs and Guac
Asparagus and Mushroom Almondine

Thanks Nasfell Family for working together to prepare the meals you chose for this week’s plan. I always think it is great when you get the kids involved in the grocery shopping and cooking process! I also love hearing that someone tried a new dish and enjoyed a vegetable they wouldn’t normally eat. Way to go Nasfell’s!

The Nasfell Family

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