Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #71

Buongiorno, my friends!

Dave and I are heading to Venice for a vacation tomorrow. I know it might seem like we’re on vacation all the time because we moved to Prague, and it’s very romantic and adventurous and awesome. And life in Prague is all of those adjectives, but we’re not on vacation all the time. There’s work and cooking and errands and conference calls and—today’s special treat—meeting with accountants.

But tomorrow, we’re going on a real holiday for a few days. We’re traveling solo for the weekend, then meeting up with my parents for family time. On Friday evening, Dave and I will be on a boat right here—my shoulders dropped about two inches just looking at this photo.


Our plans include plenty of getting lost in Venice’s winding back alleys, eating octopus (me), eating gelato (Dave), a visit to churches and other locations mentioned in the Gabriel Allon thrillers by Daniel Silva, and a tour of the lagoon, including the islands of Murano and Burano. (And that other book reference reminds me that I should tell you: I finished Reamde, and I loved it so very much. If you enjoy the combo of thrilling action + endearing characters, you might like it, too.)

Dave and I pinky-swore today that we’ll take photos of new recipes soon. I have so many new food ideas to share with you, but we dismantled our photography studio when we left Vermont and haven’t rebuilt it yet here. New recipes are coming; thanks for being patient! In the interim, I haven’t forgotten about your cookup needs! Here are comforting, cozy recipes that are great for a Weekly Cookup. I hope they help you feel relaxed and happy and soothed. Buon appetito!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Classic Paleo Beef Stew | meljoulwan.comClassic Paleo Beef Stew

Cookup Tips: This tastes even better after a few days in the fridge, so you can make it up to 5 days in advance. It also freezes great, so think about a double batch.

Recommended Sides: The stew has everything you need, but if you want to add more veggies, you could throw some raw baby spinach in the bottom of the bowl, or make a crisp green salad with creamy Ranch Dressing.

Merguez Meatballs

Cookup Tips: Meatball “dough” can be made one day in advance and cooked the next day; cooked meatballs are good for about a week in the fridge, and they freeze well, so a double batch is a great idea!

Recommended Sides: These are nice served on a bed of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice (and both can be baked at the same time, same temp!) and drizzled with Moroccan Dipping Sauce. You can grate the raw cauliflower into rice and store it covered in the fridge to cook just before eating. Moroccan Dipping Sauce tastes fresh for about 4-5 days.

Chicken and Dumplings Soup

Cookup Tips: This recipe is perfect for a lazy weekend day, when it can just do its own thing in the backgroundan—and it reheats great, so it’s perfect for when you don’t want to cook. Reheat and eat!

Recommended Side: Yes, it’s cliché, but it’s a delicious cliché: Soup and salad is classic. Top a green salad it with “Good Seasons” Italian Dressing and call it done.

Walnut-Crusted Pork Chops with Baked Apples

Cookup Tips: There are two prepping options for this bad boy: prep some of the raw ingredients in advance during your Cookup (roast the walnuts, pre-cook the apples), then bake the apples and brown the chops when you’re ready to eat… or do the whole shebang in advance and reheateverything in the oven before eating (350F, covered in foil).

Recommended Sides: Colorful veggies are the way to go: either Simple Red Cabbage Salad or Mustard-Garlic Brussels Sprouts (or both!).

Deconstructed Gyro Salad | meljoulwan.comDeconstructed Gyro Salad

Cookup Tips: Make the dressing, cook the lamb, and chop the vegetables in advance, then when it’s time to eat, just reheat the lamb, assemble your salad, and dig in.

Recommended Sides: This recipe includes protein, veggies, and fat, so you don’t need to add a thing.

Nibble (Whole30 compliant)

olives1Marinated Olives

Cookup Tips: I usually make these on holidays, then one day I thought, “Um… I can eat these any day of the year!” It was a very exciting realization. Mix up a batch in, like, 10 minutes, then add them to tossed salad, salad platters, and snacks all week long. It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.





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  • Bethany says:

    Have you read City of Falling Angels by John Berendt? He’s the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. CoFA is all about Venice and it’s interesting/mysterious past. I highly recommend it! I went to Venice before I read the book and now I want to go back and see all the sights mentioned 🙂 Have a great trip!