What’s Cooking Today


I’m on Day 6 of my Whole30, and it’s Weekly Cookup Day! I’m not sharing my food log this time for two reasons:

1. Breakfast and lunch are remarkably similar to what I ate in October.
I shared every morsel that passed my lips during my last Whole30, and I’m eating just about the same things this time around: warm, comforting veggie soup (cauliflower or zucchini or sweet potato) for breakfast with some kind of protein and additional veg on the side. Lunch is usually a big-ass salad or leftovers from the day before.

2. For dinner, I’m eating new recipes that I’m testing for Well Fed 2.
My goal is to make all the recipes in Well Fed 2 compliant with the Whole30 guidelines, so the meals I’m eating now are the ones you might be eating during your Whole30 in 2014! The new recipes need more tinkering and aren’t quite ready to share yet, but I promise, I’ll finalize one of ’em to share with you before these 30 days tick out.

In lieu of sharing my whole food log, I thought I’d let you in on what’s on our menu for the week…


Here’s What’s Cooking Today

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers
Dave doesn’t eat liver, so I get them all to myself. They’ll be my breakfast protein a few days this week.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chocolate Chili
I made a double batch so I can put half in the freezer for next week.

Moroccan Meatballs

These are simmering on the stove right now, and they smell so good!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

I had a big fella, so we’ll be set for noodles for a few meals. Maybe there’s pad thai in our future!

Zucchini Noodles
I julienned 7 zucchini so we have a big batch of noodle-y goodness in the fridge. You can julienne, sweat,and rinse the noodles then pat them dry and store them in the fridge ’til you’re ready to eat them. Noodles-on-demand!

Hey, good lookin’! What you got cookin’? Tell us in comments.


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  • Those chicken livers look great! And those are words I never would have imagined saying a couple years ago…anyway, on the menu today- a huge breakfast skillet packed with veggies, chorizo, and avocado, a smaller meal of leftover chocolate chili from Well Fed (great minds think alike!) for lunch, and then a big raw kale salad with pomegranate seeds, carrot confetti, and simple lemon/olive oil dressing, topped with baked chicken breast for dinner.

  • Matt says:

    Those lamb meatballs are hands down my favorite paleo meal. The sauce comes out soooo good and I was just thinking I should make those and your pork meatballs this week (I’m on day 5 of my second whole 30). Also made your sunshine sauce last night with chicken and spinach and it was awesome.

    Thank you for all of these great recipes!

  • Alicia K says:

    We are prepping your fabulous grilled chicken from Well Fed for later in the week and we are going to try the Moroccan Dipping Sauce for the first time (so excited!) I am making my favorite perfect pot roast with the last of our beef share to go over spag squash and we are having a grilled shrimp salad for dinner with caramelized onions, pears and pomegranate arils.
    BTW – I COULD NOT get through life without your mayo recipe. Seriously. I can no longer tolerate dairy and it makes such a great substitute for so many things that I would otherwise miss! You Rock Melissa!

  • Cynthia says:

    Hey, I’m making Moroccan Meatballs today too! What a coincidence 😉 And also making a creole egg casserole for breakfasts, some pork vindaloo, grilling chicken breasts, browning ground beef, “frying” apples, wrestling with a butternut squash and making a chicken stir fry with your Sunshine Sauce (but using almond butter). I think that’s it. Oh, and also washing out the gray. Maybe more of a priority than food prep! Enjoy your day!

  • Vive says:

    I’m cooking up a big head of cauliflower into a curried rice with carrots, raisins, etc.; making a pot of sweet potato/butternut squash soup; grilling a couple of chicken breasts; chopping cabbage and shredding carrots to add to salads; and making some breakfast bars with almond flour, nuts, seeds and fruit (I’m not doing a Whole 30 right now). First full week back at work, and I plan to be ready!

  • Julie says:

    I did a huge cookup today too! You’ve inspired me so much and I owe you big time for helping me successful with my Whole30 so far. I used to find it so hard to put a good dinner together with 2 small kids and a full day of work (often late) and doing a cookup has been what has turned it all around for me. THANK YOU!!!!!

    Today I did:

    3 lbs ground beef
    1 turkey breast
    4 chicken thighs
    Roasted butternut squash
    Roasted acorn squash
    3 large sweet potatoes
    2 small london broils
    1 head red cabbage (a new fave of mine!)
    1 recipe of eggplant strata
    5 pound roast beef

    Most of my veggies this week will come from the freezer – I found a fantastic organic mix of spinach, kale, chard and green beans.

    Happy eating!

  • Sara says:

    I had crock pot pork shoulder, skillet sweet potatoes, and a little scoop of apple sauce. We’re all recovering from Norovirus over here. Boo.

  • Stompy says:

    So much good stuff! Thanks for the chicken liver recipe, I tried beef kidneys for the first time this weekend, and let’s just say it wasn’t a success (tasted fine but couldn’t get past the smell)

  • Kristen says:

    Well Fed 2?! Yesss! I’ve actually been making quite a few of your recipes lately. This week alone we’ve had rice pilaf, scotch eggs, blue ribbon country captain chicken, paleo mayo, bora bora fireballs, and several hot plates. Thank you for such amazing recipes. My husband and I both love Well Fed!

  • Kater says:

    I’m not doing the Whole30, but am easing my way back into the paleo diet. My fridge and pantry are a bit sparse at the moment, but I managed to cook up some sliders today, seasoned with Penzey’s BBQ3000, and throw together a rather sparse salad (baby spinach, baby greens, carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, avocado w/ balsamic vinagrette) which I brought to work. Can’t wait to do more paleo cooking!

  • Sandra N. says:

    Those chicken livers look amazing!!! I just made a chicken liver pate and was wondering what else I could do with them… can’t wait for your recipe. I love Well Fed and am looking forward to Well Fed 2! Thanks for all you good stuff.

  • Bayrider says:

    From the title I would never have guessed your website would have anything to offer me. But I love it, you rock on cooking and philosophy and you go right to the top of my blog list. Someone mentioned it on MarksDailyApple today where I was getting a recipe for Carnitas that we are happily digesting at this moment. Yours sounds even better, can you cook with the lemon and lime juices in a iron skillet? I have always cooked basics but stepping up my game, so I ordered your cookbook and some Ras El Hanout also.

    I met Rosie Flores, The Rockabilly Filly, at her show at the Red Dog Saloon out in Virginia City NV a while back, what a great time, what a gal. What is up with Austin, is everyone as cool as you two?


    • AustinGirl says:

      Oh my dear goodness. YOU MUST make the Well Fed carnitas. They are AMAZING. I saw the recipe on MDA for his carnitas and immediately started drooling for the Well Fed version. They will make you happy you have a mouth. For real.

    • Mel says:

      I’m glad you decided to stop by for a visit… and super glad that you’re finding stuff you like. Definitely make the carnitas — but no, you can’t make them in an iron skillet. A deep pot is required!

      Hope you have fun with Well Fed! And I wish I was as cool as Rosie Flores 🙂

      Keep us posted on how you’re doing!

  • Jennifer says:

    Awesome recipes, and awesome site. I hope I can also offer info of the same quality. Maybe some people will find some more good Paleo info on my blog over at http://www.paleorecipesforyou.com ! 🙂

  • Gabby says:

    We are also having the chocolate chili for dinner! It’s simmering on the stove now and I’m salivating. I’m so psyched to hear there will be a Well Fed 2 – I received Well Fed for Christmas and every recipe has been a hit. Thank you so much! Last night we had the blue ribbon country captain chicken and the velvety butternut squash. My previously paleo-skeptic husband is finally convinced a paleo meal need not suck!

  • Madison L. says:

    I had a big cooking weekend! Yesterday, my Whole30 friend and I made sauteed mushrooms and carrots and marinated some beef in a mixture of onion, garlic and lemon for quick protein.

    Today, my mom and I made grilled salmon, grilled okra, cucumber salad, your baba ganoush, your carnitas and your pad thai! We doubled the sunshine sauce recipe and I am SO GLAD! That stuff is delish. We also have a lot of leftover spaghetti squash each. I’m thinking of stirring it up with some of the carnitas at some point, and maybe adding a fried egg? I don’t know yet.

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes! Looking forward to Well Fed 2.

  • Jen says:

    I just bought your cookbook and really love it. I am not eating strictly paleo yet (still eating beans) but still can use the wealth of information. I Did my first cook up today steam-sautéing kale, broccoli, bell peppers and green beans, grilling the chicken breast recipe, ground turkey and blending up the sunshine sauce. (yum!). Thanks to you I planned out our meals for the week and should be able to stick to the plan despite work schedules, etc. Thanks so much!

  • Yolande says:

    I just received my lovely new cook book today cannot wait to start trying some of your tasty looking recipes from well fed.

  • Kelly says:

    My comment is that I am PSYCHED to learn that there’s a Well Fed 2 coming! It’s my go-to cookbook and I’d love to have more, more, MORE recipes from you.

  • Mom says:

    OMG! This music video jogged a childhood memory that you couldn’t possibly have know about. I only remembered it myself when I heard this song. My dad used to sing “Hey Good Lookin” to my mom while she was at the stove preparing a meal for him. Thanks for reminding me where our love of family and food originated. I have a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.
    xo Mom

    • Mel says:

      Oh! That’s such a cool story… I didn’t know that (but then, now thinking about it, do I kinda remember that?!)

      Glad it made you feel mushy. Now if only you were here to eat Chocolate Chili and sing with us.

      Love you!

  • Victoria says:

    Just made chocolate chili and the crockpot roast (instead of ribs) with 5-spice powder yesterday. Roasting sweet potatoes and prepping string beans, snap peas and spinach as I type this. You are the best!

  • Annie Mouse says:

    I got your cookbook as a holiday gift, and have been going bananas! <3 thank you, mel!

  • JAM says:

    Looks delish, I love that lamb meatball recipe and will have to make sure to get some ground lamb in my next order.

    Can I just say that Well Fed might be the best cook book I’ve ever purchased? I’ve had it in my possession since last March and it really revolutionized my cooking. Your recipes aren’t just tasty, but educational and inspirational. I learned some serious fundamentals that I use at every single meal. And I wasn’t a slouch in the kitchen to begin with. Just wanted to let you know!

    Yesterday we made chicken wings in honor of football playoffs–steam them for ten minutes, roast them on racks at 425 for 20 minutes each side, then toss with hot sauce, garlic and ghee. OMG. Made a riff off your “ranch dressing” from Well Fed (added cilantro and parsley), sliced some crudite, and was in heaven. Eating it for lunch today too.

  • JAM says:

    and i forgot to add: your sweet potato bacon soup was THE JAM man! We’ve been eating it for breakfast since Friday.

  • Jacki says:

    Yay for weekend cookups! Yesterday I did NomNomPaleo’s slow cooker chicken and gravy, a big pile of roasted yams, and a massive amount of boneless skinless chicken thighs/breasts marinated in coconut milk + tamarind then wrapped in bacon and baked – all to supplement the double batch of chocolate chili we already had in the fridge from new years day cooking. Days and days of deliciousness…

  • Vanessa says:

    Eggs and turkey bacon with a salad for breakfast. Leftover chocolate chili for lunch with a side of crunchy raw veg. Don’t know what to do for dinner yet, I’ve got cooked chicken and lots of veg in the fridge. The options are endless!

  • Karen B. says:

    I’ve got a fridge full. NomNom’s Magic Mushroom chicken wings, shredded Red Chile Pepper Beef, Braised cabbage and carrots, hard boiled eggs, Slow cooked lamb roast and a cut-up pineapple. I just bought some green beans to roast because I’m short on veg. Chicken soup (just a little left) in the freezer. I absolutely LOVE leftovers, so easy.

  • Mel says:

    You guys are too much! I’d intended to reply to each of your comments, but look at all of you! You’re just too awesome.

    So let me say, in a blanket, “this applies to everyone,” way: RIGHT ON! I love seeing the stuff you guys are cooking up — and I’m so honored and touched that Well Fed is part of your routine.

    Thank you for the wonderfully sweet word about my recipes and the tips in the book. You have my parents to thank, really, because they taught me to love eating and cooking.

    Wishing you all delicious meals! Thanks for sharing your cookups with me!

  • Arya says:

    I made a batch of your Chocolate Chili, slow-cooker pork chops, a stuffed turkey breast, a batch of almond-flour scones (my husband’s cheat/treat of choice), and prepped a few meals worth of salad greens & bell peppers.

    I’m anxiously awaiting my copy of Well Fed, having very much enjoyed the free preview!

  • Christina says:

    We had chocolate chili for dinner last night, and I love the jicama home fries so much I made a double batch. I’ve been eating them for two days. Today I had leftover chicken from Nom Nom’s recipe, but I’m making mashed cauliflower from Well Fed tonight to go with some steak and a green veggie.

  • Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing in your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • Pam says:

    I did not know that you could store zuke noodles! Its like the heavens just opened up!