Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #18

This week flew by in a blur of yoga (I’m back to some kind of yoga and some kind of meditation every morning, and it feels great!), lunchtime salads, lots of writing, and walks in the surly Vermont weather. It’s been -10F, 39F, 21F, sunny, gray, ice misting (Yeah, I made up that term.), snowing, melting, icy, windy, and wet. Basically, it’s gross.

Yesterday, I bottled up nine jars of homemade chicken bone broth, a.k.a., liquid gold.

bonebrothI’m very superstitious about eating my bone broth every day. Most of the time, it’s in the form of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, but this batch of broth is so good, I drank a mug with salt, pepper, and dried chives sprinkled on top. Today, I think I’m going to spike it with fresh ginger.

Also on my to-do list: Scotch Eggs… because we’re going to see a broadcast of Jane Eyre from the National Theater. I mean, we pretty much have to eat Scotch Eggs and drink tea. Right? For you, I’ve collected five fun dinners, plus a condiment that is dreamy, and a special nibble to add pizzazz to just about everything you eat. Happy cooking!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Balkan Cevapcici | meljoulwan.comÇevapçiçi, aka, cute Balkan sausages

Cookup Tips: The meat “dough” can be made 1 day in advance then cooked—or you can cook the çevapçiçi during your Cookup and re-heat just before eating. They’ll stay fresh and tasty for 5-6 days after cooking. They also freeze like champs! The original recipe calls for grilling, but you can also make these little guys in the oven: 425F for 20 minutes or so.

Recommended Sides: These taste great on a pile of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice and do not skip the Ajvar recipe below! On our travels, we also ate these with shopska salat: a chopped salad of cucumber, tomato, onion, and bell pepper dressed with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

Sesame Cucumber Noodles | meljoulwan.comCold Sesame-Cucumber Noodles

Cookup Tips: You can spiralize the cucumber noodles and make the sauce in advance; store them separately in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. To make a complete meal, you need to add protein. Cooked chicken, steak, pork, salmon, and shrimp are all awesome! You might also add a hard-boiled egg or two.

Recommended Sides: This is a one-dish wonder! No sides required.

RoganJoshRogan Josh

Cookup Tips: Rogan Josh tastes even better on day 2 or 3, so let this simmer on the back of the stove during your Cookup and enjoy it later in the week. (This is one of my favorite “leftovers for breakfast meals.”)

Recommended Sides: This pairs well with Cauliflower Rice Pilaf or plain Cauliflower Rice. You might also want to make a batch of Mint Chutney to dollop on top.

elvis_burgerElvis Burger

Cookup Tips: This kissin’ cousin to the SB&J Burger tastes best when you make it just before eating. But it’s fast! And so luscious, you won’t even mind having to cook.

Recommended Sides: Plantains or fries are the way to go! You could have Crispy (green) Plantains, or Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains, or Parsnip Fries, or Sweet Potato Fries. You can prep the plantains and root veggies in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is crisp them.

kale-salad-1Lemon-Maple Kale Salad

Cookup Tips: This needs protein for a complete meal; I really like it with pork chops or loin, or oven-roasted chicken thighs. You can wash and cut the kale, and make the dressing in advance, then massage the kale and toss with dressing just before eating.

Recommended Sides: When you add protein, this recipe includes the triumvirate of protein-veggies-fat, so you don’t need anything else!

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)


Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add zing to your meals for weeks! It’s great on the çevapçiçi, bunless burgers, grilled/roasted chicken, and fish. The original recipe calls for grilling the peppers, but you can roast them in the oven.

Nibble (Whole30 compliant)

pumpkin-spiced-pepitas_592Spiced Pepitas

Cookup Tips: These take about 20 minutes to make and they add flavor to your meals for weeks! Dave and I have been eating salads for lunch every day lately, and having a special little something—like spiced nuts or out-of-season (I-don’t-care) blueberries—makes the salad way more interesting and delicious. You might also sprinkle these on roasted sweet potatoes, on top of soup, or mix with some raisins for a quick snack.

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  • After recent frustrations searching for sugar-free relish, I’m especially excited about the ajvar! Oh, and the Elivs burger looks fabulous too!

  • Audrey says:

    Just wanted you to know, myself and my two daughters follow your wonderful blog, recipes in your Well Fed 2 print cookbook and your online website!! Everything so innovative and tasty.. saying hi and thanks from Whistler, British Columbia Canada

  • Caitlin says:

    I made your rogan josh this week in the slow cooker and it was delicious! It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish with a few spices. We made burgers last night and added a merguez spice blend and they were just insanely good!

  • Rose says:

    Hubby & I are starting our first whole30 next week so I’ve been busy stocking up on supplies and making Whole30-compliant recipes every week (so it doesn’t come as such a shock when we actually start the program). I made the Ajvar tonight and was impressed at the simplicity of it but marveled at how sublime the flavor of it was. I’ll be making the çevapçiçi this weekend and can’t wait to see how those turn out. Thanks for being awesome!

  • Alicia says:

    I would love to read a post about how you make your bone broth, if there isn’t one already! (I searched, but if it’s there, I totally missed it.)

    • I don’t have a recipe on my blog, but here’s what I do… (real blog post coming soon!)

      Whenever I cook a whole chicken or bone-in parts, I save the bones in the freezer, along with wilted parsley, ends of celery, carrot stems, etc. I also buy pastured, organic chicken feet and chicken wings online (wherever I can find the best price).

      When it’s time to make a batch of broth, I put all the stuff from my freezer in a very large stock pot, with 2 pounds of chicken feet and 1-2 pounds of wings. Two whole onions, unpeeled… 2-3 carrots, unpeeled… 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, a few cloves of whole garlic, about 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and 1/3 cup cider vinegar. Then I add enough water to just cover everything.

      I bring it almost to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to barely a simmer — and I let it go for 24 hours. When the simmering is done, I let it cool enough so that I can handle it, then pour it through a giant wire strainer into a big bowl. I ladle it into jars and put them in the fridge, then when they’re cold, I transfer them to the freezer.

      That’s it! It’s pretty simple and I prefer the taste of chicken to beef — but you can use the same technique with beef. You want some bones with meat and some that are just bones, and with beef, I think it tastes better if you roast the bones first.

      Here’s Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe for slow cooker beef broth: