Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #11

Oh, friends! I only have one more day of recipe testing (tomorrow!) for my next cookbook, and I can’t lie to you…

I’m  not having fun in the kitchen any more!

I’ve been cooking two full days every week (five recipes each day) for about five months, and I’m emotionally done done done done done with chopping and stirring and timing and… well, you get the idea.

With holiday cooking scheduled for next week and my last five new recipes on the calendar for tomorrow, I’m craving dishes that are easy to make and are not too challenging to my taste buds. I really just want to eat baked chicken, Crispy Plantains, and Silky Gingered Zucchini soup, every day, every meal.

But since you probably want a little more variety than that, I’ve picked out five dinners that are easy, fast, delicious, and not too demanding—perhaps you also need to gather your resources before the holiday onslaught? (You might also just want to go all-in on this 1-week Whole30 cooking plan to see you through the next seven days.)

Happy Easy cooking to you!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Meat and Spinach Muffins | meljoulwan.comMeat & Spinach Muffins

Cookup Tips: These taste great (or maybe better!) on days 2 and 3, and they freeze well, too. Make a batch (or a double batch) on the weekend and enjoy them all week long. They’re delicious as a main meal with a salad, cold out of the fridge for a snack, or sliced in half, grilled in a pan, and topped with eggs for breakfast… plus there are plenty of spice variations so you can keep it interesting.

Recommended Sides: I like these with a simple salad on the side with a luscious dressing (like the Creamy Italian below.)

Pizza Seasoning | meljoulwan.com10-Minute Pizza Soup

Cookup Tips: This can be made during a Cookup (and it freezes well, too), but it really only takes 10 minutes, so you can throw it together at the last minute, if that’s your thing.

Recommended Sides: This recipe includes protein, veggies, and fat, so you don’t need to add a thing—but if you want more (more is almost always better), a green salad with Creamy Italian Dressing would be great (and you can make the mayo ahead of time for the dressing).

sbj_burgerSB&J Burger

Cookup Tips: This is another fast recipe that doesn’t require you to think about it until about 10 minutes before you want to make it. As long as you’ve got ground beef, some fruit, and a jar of nut butter, you have all you need to make this deliciously-weird (weirdly-delicious?) meal.

Recommended Sides: This tastes really great with Classic Diner-Style Home Fries or Crispy, Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries. You can prep potatoes in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is finish ’em up.

tropical_chopped_saladTropical Chopped Salad

Cookup Tips: I recommend against making this in advance; the flavors will be much brighter and tastier when you make it fresh—but it takes such a short time that you won’t even mind. If you want a shortcut, you can use pre-cooked and peeled shrimp. (I am a fan of shortcuts.)

Recommended Sides: This really doesn’t need a side, but if you want extra credit, and extra vegetables, I recommend Cauliflower Rice.

Organic Raw Sweet PotatoesLazy Cooking

Cookup Tips: This is the “recipe” I’m most excited about this week. That is a little sad, but there you have it. This is the laziest, easiest cooking of all: plop sweet potatoes and chicken in the slow cooker and get on with your life. (Give yourself the gift of ease; you’ll be so grateful!)

Recommended Sides: Any vegetable or salad will turn these ingredients into a meal; just browse my veggie recipes to find one that appeals. I like to dice the cooked chicken and sweet potatoes, sauté them in a pan with fat, garlic, salt, and pepper, then pile them on a bed of raw baby spinach. A drizzle of Sunshine Sauce makes it extra awesome.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Ranch Dressing | meljoulwan.comCreamy Italian Dressing

Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add flair to your meals all week. It’s great on salads, sure, but you can also drizzle it on hot vegetables or a roasted chicken breast, plop it on a bunless burger, and use it as a dipper for roasted sweet potato wedges.

A Recommendation for You (Whole30 compliant)

Greek Beef Stew | meljoulwan.comGreek Beef Stew

Cookup Tips: Prepare for future food emergencies! Make a batch of Greek Beef Stew divide it into BPA-free containers, and sock it away in the freezer for when you’re So Over Cooking, but still want/need to eat something delicious and healthy.

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  • Evan Andrews says:

    Hi Mel!
    Got a couple of questions for you re: a blog post from October (in conjunction w/Steph Gaudreau), in which you mentioned a liking for Becherovka.

    Q. I hate to sound dense, but, how do you pronounce “Becherovka”, and what does it taste like? Is it easy to find? I’m very intrigued, as I have also read David Wondrich mention this drink, too, but not given specifics.
    Thanks for the education!

    (signed) Dying To Know,

  • Paula says:

    Just wanted to say how much I love your new web site design and name. Very classy and sassy! And those spinach-beef muffins have become my go-to recipe ever since discovering them in WellFed. I probably make them at least once a month if not more. You are doing a wonderful job!

  • Mary Pat says:

    Dear Mel,

    As a former (should I say “recovering”) professional chef (20+ years) I can truly understand your physical fatigue and emotional exhaustion. I’m sure you know, but it never hurts to be reminded, that your efforts are so appreciated by all of us.

    I have made so many of your recipes and they are literally all amazing! I am thankful that I stumbled upon the Whole 30 and you by extension. Please take some well deserved rest and have fun outside the kitchen.

    THANK YOU for ALL you do! Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy, healthy & successful 2016!!! Cheers to you and yours!

    • Thank you so much for these awesome words of support. I really appreciate it! I hope you’re enjoying an awesome holiday season, and I’m sending you big wishes for a beautiful 2016.

  • Karen says:

    When I am putting meat in the crock pot I will first put celery, carrots and or onions. Then add the meat. That might work for your lazy chicken and sweet potatoes. But I almost always have celery and carrots. If not in the fridge then in the freezer to be used like this.
    Not that we always eat the vegis, but the dogs or chickens will. :~)
    Thank you for your site!