Dino-Chow/Paleo Recipe Roundup

UPDATE: There’s a  much more extensive and up-to-date list of my paleo recipes right here… dig in!


“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds quality fats, some nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.”

OK! I will! Just don’t call me paleo… ’round our house, we call it “Dino-Chow.” (Yes, we know there were no dinosaurs in the Paleolithic Era. Just go with the humor, K?)

To make things easier for you, dear readers, here are some of my favorite go-to recipes to ensure that eating clean is also eating delicious. My standards are high, and I only post recipes that I’ve personally tested. If you have a favorite recipe or site for clean eating, please post to comments and I’ll give it a go, then write about it (and give you credit, of course).

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Some of the recipes include zone blocks and Weight Watchers points. It’s like an archaeological dig: you can trace my nutrition history through time!
  • Fat sources are interchangeable, so if a recipe calls for olive oil and you like coconut oil more, feel free to swap it out.
  • If you find an error or have a question, please shoot me an email or post to comments, and I’ll get back to you asap.
  • If you have a recipe you want me to give a test run, send it my way!
  • I added a button on the right-hand side of my blog so you can get to this recipe post anytime you want inspiration – and as I test new recipes, I’ll add them to this post so it’s always up-to-date.

Happy cooking and eating!

Greek Beef Stew: slow-braised meat in a cinnamon-infused wine broth
Beef Stew Provencal: olives, zucchini, red-wine broth… no limp carrots here
Pina Colada Chicken: coconut milk and pineapple dress up chicken
Chicken Coconut Curry: easy, fast, delicious
EZ Coconut Curry: easy instructions to accommodate whatever protein you have on hand
Moroccan Lamb Kabobs: a taste of the Casbah
Middle Eastern Baked Fish w/ Sesame Nut Crust: a bit of work, but crazy tasty
Grilled Tandoori Chicken: spicy Indian chicken
The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat: it’s true
Bigos: comforting pork stew with cabbage and apples
Moroccan Pork Chops: spicy goodness
Moroccan Meatball Stew: comfort food
My Favorite Chili: secret ingredient… cocoa
Italian Sauté :plus bonus mods to make it French
Buffalo Hamburger Salad: like a bleu-buffalo burger, without the poison
Turkey Taco Salad: with cabbage lime slaw
Thai Beef with Basil: 10 minutes from hungry to eating
Meatza Pie: all the yummy pizza taste without the poison (or almond flour)
Scotch Eggs: sausage and egg in a portable ball
Italian Sausage & Peppers: delizioso! gustoso! and easy, too
Mollet Eggs: easy like hard-boiled, but a touch more elegant
Ginger-Lime Marinated Shrimp: tangy and tasty; great for scallops and fish, too
Easiest EVER Baby Back Ribs: tender, juicy, no-fuss
Paleo California Rolls: no rice, no soy, super fun finger food
Paleo Rogan Josh: earthy, rich (but not hot) Indian curry
Paleo Egg Foo Yung: is it an omelet? a pancake? who cares – it’s yummy!
Lamb Souvlaki: Greek marinade is garlicky-good
10-Minute Pizza Soup: so fast, so easy, so delicious – packed with protein AND veg
Paleo Czech Meatballs: tender, flavorful, fun to eat!
Vampire-Fighting Paleo Pork Stew: apple, garlic, mustard, & seeds repel the undead
Crazy-Good Barbecued Pulled Pork: let the smoke do the work, eat for a week
Cottage-Flower Pie: shepherd’s pie, minus the poisonous potatoes and dairy
Aromatic Chicken Livers: so tasty, you’ll forget they’re liver 
Machacado con Heuvo: Tex-Mex eggs and dried beef
“You’re The Top” Tuna Salad: apples and nuts make it special
Kibbeh Sinayee, a.k.a., Lebanese Lamb Meatloaf: a hint of mint + richness of pine nuts

Vegetables & Fruits
Steam/Saute Any Veggie: my fail-proof way to cook almost any veggie
Creamy, Spicy Greens (kale, collards, etc.): coconut milk and Moroccan spices
Simple Garlic Greens (kale, collards, etc.): olive oil + garlic = magic
Mashed Cauliflower: you will not miss potatoes
Cucumber & Olive Salad: sweet cukes, salty olives
Middle-Eastern Butternut Squash: sweet and spicy
Roasted Veggies: basic recipe that transforms any veggie into yum
Oven-toasted Okra: not slimy!
Spinach Tomato Salad with Tahini: hot veg + cool dressing = great snack
Calypso Confetti Cauliflower: riced cauliflower with diced bell peppers
Cauliflower “Couscous”: like pilaf, without the grain poison
Baba Ghanoush (eggplant purée): creamy, garlicky goodness
Zucchini w/ Cumin Almonds: also nice with green beans
Curry Fried F’rice (cauliflower): faux + rice = f’rice
Magic Green Beans: also good for broccoli
Turkish Chopped Salad: cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, mint, lemon
Cucumber Salad: super easy, super good
Ethiopian Cabbage: a flavorful take on my fave veg
Spinach Muffins: portable! great for snacks
Basic Spaghetti Squash (and variations!): another every-week staple for me
Spiced Cauliflower: nutty and spicy
Romanesco Broccoli: florets to Italian
EZ Sauteed Kale: green, garlicky, good
Kale Chips: crunchy, salty, Good for you
Beautiful Bok Choy: Asian cabbage, easy and fast
Moroccan Orange Salad: sweet, savory, tangy, exotic
Coconut-Almond Green Beans: luscious on the tongue
Fennel Slaw with Mint: fresh taste, totally unexpected
Creamy Cucumber Salad: made with homemade mayo, tastes like summer
Smokey Cabbage Sauté: cabbage and bacon… yum
Baked Eggplant F’armesan: like eggplant parm with no the cheese & all the flavor
Grilled Vegetables: tender and flavorful, with perfect grill-marks
Braised Red Cabbage with Chestnuts: tart-sweet with apples, red wine, and chestnuts
Belly Dance Beet Salad: so tasty, it’ll make you shimmy
Cocoa-Toasted Cauliflower: nutty, roasted goodness
Cumin-Roasted Carrot Coins: best. carrots. ever.
Salty-Sweet Broccoli Salad: broccoli + raisins + bacon=yum
Lemony Spinach a la TMJ: an easy sauté with bright flavors
Garlic-Balsamic Grilled Butternut Squash: carmelized outside, tender inside
Crispy Brussels Sprouts: like chips!

Not Meat Nor Vegetables
Maple Almond Pumpkin Pancakes: I like to call ’em fauxjacks; made with almond butter not flour
Homemade Coconut Butter: so easy, it’s almost sinful

Spices & Sauces
Sunshine Sauce: spicy Asian “peanut” sauce made with sunflower butter
Ras el Hanout: Moroccan spice blend that will make your food sing (SING!)
Best Stir-Fry Sauce EVER: that’s all you need to know
Mint & Parsley Pesto: Greek pesto
Pistou de Provence: French pesto
Basil Pesto: the paleo take on the traditional
Mint Chutney: great with curries
Penzeys Spices: a reminder that it’s good to have a nose
Another Moroccan Spice Blend: apparently, I should go to to Morocco
Tahini Dressing (sesame paste): creamy, Middle-Eastern magic
Moroccan Dipping Sauce: yeah, again with Morocco
South Indian Curry Sauce: works on any protein
Homemade Olive Oil Mayo: silky, creamy, and good for you
Turkish Baharat: Middle Eastern spice blend with zing!
Herbed Olive Oil: for raw veggies, tuna salad, grilled meats
Creamy Italian Dressing: tangy goodness makes salad decadent
Southwestern Cumin-Lime Dressing: earthy cumin with the zing of lime

Spiced Olives: taste like a ‘treat,’ but you can eat ’em anytime!
Spiced Nuts: ditto!
Sesame Nori Chips: not at all like potato chips, but not too bad
Kale Chips: crunchy, salty, Good for you

Sauteed Apples: apple pie spice & coconut oil make apples into “dessert”
Mango & “Cream”: heaven in a bowl (also great with berries)
Cranberry Waldorf Salad: cranberries, grapes, apples, pecans with coconut whipped “cream”
Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla-Roasted Pecan Frosting: no flour, tons of holiday flavor

Basic Paleo Kitchen Advice
Stocking Up
The Method Behind My Madness
Taste the Rainbow
Steam/Saute Any Veggie: my fail-proof way to keep almost any veggie

Non-paleo, Super-special, Maybe-once-a-year Treats
Bacon Bourbon Brownies: the definition of sinful
Potato Chip & Bacon Cookies: salty, sweet, irresistible
Peanut Butter Bars: so good, so bad


I’m excited to join the punk rock foodies on Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.


Onions 101

Last summer, I told Farmer Chuck — the king of everything delicious at our CSA Sunrise Farm — that the onions we'd been getting in our basket were...

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Coconut 101

I was working on updating a classic American recipe for my Paleo Magazine column this weekend and realized I had no idea how to properly prepare...

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  • Mary says:

    Wow — this is great! Thanks for all the inspiration!

    I made your spiced nuts over the holidays. They received many rave reivews and even a few, "You must give me the recipe for this!"

  • CrossFitChron.com: Lindsey and Web Smith says:

    I look forward to your participation, Mel. I am receiving a lot of feedback from that "Paleo" crew that were featured in the NY Times a few weeks back. Pretty exciting.

  • Anonymous says:

    I will definitely be trying some of these. Thanks so much!

  • Kitty says:

    Great post! I just discovered your blog a week or so ago and am pouring through your archives, gearing up for my change in diet to dino chow 🙂 Your blog has been inspirational and informative. And we're neighbors! I'm in Austin too!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hi, Kitty! Thanks for posting! Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions… when are you changing up your diet? Good luck with it. I've been grain-free for more than a year, and dairy-free since July — and it feels really good. Let us know how you're doing!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Mary –> Those spiced nuts are SO good. I might go make some right now 😉

  • Kitty says:

    I am changing it now, with what I have in the house. I have always had lots of veges and meat, but I am not fully stocked up for a full on change. I am also taking this week to come up with a good meal plan and to change my mental state a bit, wrap my head around all the changes and to say good bye to some foods. I also have to think about how I can keep all the family fed while I stick to my own way of eating! LOL Mutiny of teenagers is never fun…..But I'll be fully ready to stock up after payday and grocery shopping. I cannot wait!

  • meghanw says:

    I love thisssssss. You are so organized. 🙂

    PS, got the blog up and running finally (lots of posts to do). Would you mind checking it out at your leisure?


  • belladonna says:

    Thanks so much for this post! Your blog is always one of my favorites!!

  • girlblake says:

    Thanks for making this super easy for all of us! My stomach is growling just thinking about all the deliciousness.

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for this – just when I think I'm starting to run low on Paleo recipes I keep finding more. I've already made your chili and coconut curry recipes – both great. Keep 'em coming!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Kitty –> Good luck getting started. It's not so bad once you get a rhythm down.

    Meghanw –> Your blog looks great! LOVE the photos.

    Blake & Lisa –> I have some new recipes coming in the next week or so. Get ready!

  • Melissa Urban says:

    Whole9 is at this very moment updating the "Dino-Chow" reference in our workshop handouts. You rock!


  • Erin says:

    Awesome! Thanks so much for pulling these all together – what a fantastic resource!

    My sister made a delicious paleo meatloaf – I just tried making it last night & I'm very much looking forward to having leftovers for lunch. Give it a try the next time you have a blustery cold day: http://paleodiet.cz/2010/02paleo-meatloaf/

    Thanks again for being such a great resource & never-ending inspiration!

  • boomgoesthedynamite says:

    2 thumbs up, way up

  • Mer says:

    I modified this chili last night. I used 2 lbs. ground bison meat, one red pepper, one green pepper, one large onion,two cans of natural diced tomatoes and kept the spices as the recipe called for them. 4 hours on high in the crock pot. It's heavenly…I seriously cannot get enough:


  • Steph says:

    Thanks for sharing your cooking creativity Mel! I've tried a few of your recipes and loved everything so far! It's also fun to read your CF comments. Gotta love CF Madness!!! I wanted to share with you a thought I had the other day when I ordered Thai food sans rice…julienned bamboo shoots would make a great replacement for noodles. Ever tried it???

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Mer, I'm so glad you like it! I used to use diced tomatoes instead of paste — I go back and forth depending on what's in the cupboard. I also love the addition of peppers! Nice call.

    Steph, I LOVE that idea. I want to make a stir fry and try it over bamboo shoots… or a coconut milk curry?! That sounds awesome.

  • Brandy says:

    Oh my goodness, I love you!! thanks for putting all this together. I think you need to make a cookbook. I keep coming back here for more good recipes!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Brandy! I'm glad you're finding things you like. I've got some new ones queued up… coming soon!

  • Anonymous says:

    Mel-Love the site, your comments and the recipes!! Favorite so far is Curry Chicken. We CrossFit as a family, trying Paleo as a family; trying to find some kid-friendly meals (dinners specifically). Paleo spices are turning kids into chicken nuggets; HELP!

  • Erin Wooldridge says:

    What a great blog! I just found you from the gluten free January challenge. This will be my first full go at it, also doing full paleo. Thanks for all the great recipes!!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hi, Erin… welcome! Best wishes for a successful paleo experience. It can be tough the first few days (5-10), but then you start to feel SO good. Shoot me email if there's anything I can help you with. Happy new year!

  • M Ward says:

    Question – if we post food to our blogs that we got from your recipe, do you want us to just link back to your recipe, or can we link it and write it out? I want it to be clear that it's your recipe.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Thanks so much for asking — that is very thoughtful, and I really appreciate it. A link back to the recipe is awesome, and you're welcome to reprint the recipe, if you want to, as long as you include the link attribution. Thanks a ton! I'm really glad you're enjoying the recipes.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok so.. I've been stalking your recipes pretty hardcore for two days now in prep for my Whole30 (starting Tues – 11/1/11) and no joke, I have never been so FRIKKEN EXCITED ABOUT FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I made your Coconut Curry tonight (the spice combo was so titillating I had to jump on it) and all I have to say is… I MEEEEAAAAAAAN! Sooo good! You can bet I'll be cooking up a storm with these gems.. THANK YOU for your kickass recipes and your witty posts 🙂 You will likely see me on the Whole9 site once I've officially kicked off my month… Hats off, Sister! Mellie

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Mellie –> I'm so glad you're excited… doing a Whole30 is a pretty awesome (if sometimes trying) experience! And tomorrow is your first day. WOOT! Definitely keep us posted on how you're doing! And if you get stuck or have questions, shoot me an email!

  • Melanie says:

    Day One!! Just made scrambled eggs with kalamata olives and golden cherry tomatoes with fresh basil and a side of smoked salmon and a couple of brazil nuts.. YUM! Planning on making several of your recipes this week.. Just one question (which may be helpful for others, hence why I am posting here) – For The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat, how many chicken breasts should I get (no idea off-hand what is equivalent to 2-2.5lbs!) and how many per brine-bag (1/4c sea salt/water)? I want to get it right.. because I know it will be deeeeeelish!!!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Melanie –> Well… it really depends on the size of the chicken breasts. The package of breasts should say how much it weighs, but if I was guessing: 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts is probably about 6-8 breasts.

    For brining, you can throw all the chicken in one bag.

    I just made this a few days ago and had lots of spice blend leftover, so if you don't want leftover, you might want to cut the quantities for the spice blend in half. However, I've been throwing the spice blend in veggies and sautes, and it's awesome, so leftover isn't a bad idea.

  • Melanie says:

    Ok great, thanks! I won't roll the raw chicken in the spices so I can save the rest – off to get a cast-iron grill pan.. too cold to grill outdoors on the BBQ here (Montreal!) and it just so happens friends made us an awesome grilled chicken dinner on one the other night – perfect timing for my new culinary adventures! Will let you know how it goes tonight with the Faux Paté Chinois (props for mentioning Quebec!) and tomorrow with the chicken…. 🙂

  • Michele says:

    Hi! I just noticed that nuts and seeds have a line through them. Are they not agreeing with you or are they disallowed in the Dino-chow world? (I love a few walnuts on my fruit/coconut milk desserts).
    Thanks again for the great recipes.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Michele! I'm adhering pretty strictly to the Whole30 guidelines these days. They recommend coconut products and olive oil/olives and macadamia nuts as 'best' choices for fats. Nuts and seeds are a delicious way to get SOME fat, but because of their high omega-6 content, it's good to alternate them with other fat sources. I crossed that out as a reminder to myself and everyone that yes, nuts are a healthy fat choice, but not as a primary fat source.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the suggestions on making this greek/italin. I made it greek and it was delicious. But my favorite way is cold salad – it is yummy and filling. Whats you thoughts of having it in the am like a cream of wheat – heat it up with almond milk maybe through in raisins and almonds. I think I am going to try it. I will let you know.


  • Anonymous says:

    Melissa, your recipes rule!! I can't tell you what a resource and inspiration you've become for me while doing the Whole30. Keep up the amazing work =]


  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Vanessa –> Your first Whole30 can be really challenging; I'm so glad to be able to help a little. Happy cooking!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this and for the CrossFit Oly Cert fb page for sharing it as well. I am fairly new to eating Paleo aka Dino eating. I have done very little baking and trying to mix it up so my family is adjusting to moms new cooking. I can't wait to try some of the faux things like f'rice etc. I will say that Kale chips and spinach chips too are a fmaily favorite! Thank you!

    Karen H:)

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hi, Karen! Congratulations on starting paleo… you're going to lose your mind when you make the f'rice. It's SO good, and you can do so many tasty things with it. Have fun experimenting! Drop by from time to time and let me know how you're doing!