Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #77

I’ve spent the last few days working on my super-secret, not-a-cookbook project, and I’ve been completely lost in it… which is a very good thing. It’s totally engaging my mind and preventing me from reading the news. But around midday today, I looked at the calendar and realized something exciting…

Christmas is almost here!

So I’m starting to think about what we’ll be eating on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, and… yay! But that means I’m also thinking a lot about nourishing, easy-to-make food for the time between now and then. Which brings me to the recipes I’ve picked out for this week. There are a few treats because I’m not a total Grinch, and there are plenty of comforting, paleo- and Whole30-approved dinners (and breakfast-for-dinner) that are stress-free.

Happy holiday season!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Moroccan-Meatballs-thumb-e1336665872986Moroccan Meatballs

Cookup Tips: These taste just as good (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 nice for breakfast with eggs on top—and reheat well in the microwave if you want to take them to work for lunch.

Recommended Sides: Mashed Cauliflower is pretty nice underneath, as is this basic Cauliflower Rice or fancy Cauliflower Rice PilafSimple Lemon Spinach is a lovely go-along.

Persian-Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup | meljoulwan.comPersian-Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup

Cookup Tips: You’ll need to add protein to this to make it a complete meal: roasted chicken or lamb are both good options; you could also cut up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and call it done! (My favorite is to brown ground lamb or beef with salt, pepper, and garlic, then sprinkle it on top of the soup.) This soup is soup-er (sorry!) easy to make—just let it simmer while you go about your business.

Machacado and Eggs | meljoulwan.comMachacado and Eggs

Cookup Tips: The downside of Breakfast for Dinner is also part of its appeal: you can’t really make eggs in advance, but this dish is ready in a flash! This is super delicious and comforting as all get-out.

Recommended Sides: This tastes really great with Classic Diner-Style Home Fries, Crispy (green) Plantains, and Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains. You can boil the potatoes and plantains in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is fry ’em up.

Beef Stew Provencal | meljoulwan.comBeef Stew Provençal

Cookup Tips: This is another great one to make on the weekend and eat all week. I love to have stew for breakfast: It’s warm, comforting, and very filling—guaranteed to help you power through your morning. And this is one of my all-time favorite recipes; I’ve been making it since my college days.

Recommended Sides: A fresh tossed salad is the best with this—and maybe the Ranch Dressing listed below. The flavors of the herbs are very complementary.

Chinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs | meljoulwan.comChinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs

Cookup Tips: I love a recipe that’s basically, “Plug in the slow cooker.” These ribs are not much more complicated than that, and if you make a lot, you’ll have luscious meat to use in other dishes all week. Like this Faux Pho! Or this egg foo yung.

Recommended Sides: I think the only real option is Cauliflower Rice and a salad (butter lettuce, cucumbers, red bell peppers, pumpkin seeds) with Zingy Ginger Dressing.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Ranch Dressing | meljoulwan.comRanch 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 sweet potato fries or parsnip fries.

Treat (Whole30 compliant)

Gingerbread-Spiced Pecans

Cookup Tips: These bake up in no time flat, and they’re delicious on their own, or crushed then sprinkled on salads, soups, or Caramel-Apple Applesauce.

Caramel-Apple Applesauce


A Recommendation for You (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Cincinnati Chili | meljoulwan.comCincinnati Chili

Cookup Tips: Prepare for future food emergencies! Make a batch or two of Cincinnati Chili, divide it into BPA-free containers, and sock it away in the freezer for the day when Healthy You—who wants to eat something deliciously paleo—comes in conflict with Holiday You, who wants to eat All The Christmas Cookies.




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  • Ute Isabell says:

    Hi Mel – after early retirement (and with an all steel kitchen) my husband has become interested in cooking, well fed in 45 mins will be an xmas present for him.
    When you are in Dresden try to get away from the over-restored center and see Neustadt, much more real and cool!

  • Jane St John says:

    Hi Mel, I am so happy to have found your cookbooks I have every one of them and use them often. One of my fav’s is the Cincinnati Chili I make it often on a Sunday afternoon and its my lunch for a week. I love the spice combination that goes into it and get many many people saying OMG what are you eating it smells fantastic. Thanks for your many many amazing recipes.