Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #8

This post should really be called “Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week When All You’re Thinking About Is Getting Ready For Thanksgiving.” Or maybe that’s just me.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

Next Thursday, we’re starting festivities off right with a workout at my gym, then driving to Montreal with some friends. We’re bringing a portable, paleo-enough Thanksgiving feast with us to eat when we arrive, then Friday, it’s Joe Beef and poutine and who knows what else!

But before I get carried away with daydreaming about special treats: There’s still a full week in which we all need to feed ourselves delicious, nutritious food.

When I’m preparing for a special occasion, I want my “regular” food to be fast, easy, and not too challenging to my tastebuds. So in an attempt to help you me all of us eat well while we prepare for the holiday, I’ve compiled dead-easy recipes that are also very satisfying.

I recommend you make the Italian Pork Roast on the weekend (slow cooker… so easy!), so you can nibble on it Monday/Tuesday, then plan to have bunless burgers or Riceless Sushi for dinner Wednesday (Who wants to really cook on the night before Thanksgiving?!). I’ve also included an excellent recipe for turkey leftovers, and I encourage you to make a batch of homemade mayo and the Kickin’ Cranberry Sauce so you make turkey rollups on Friday: wrap leftover turkey in a butter lettuce leaf and dress it with mayo+cranberries. One hundred percent yes to that!

Bonus points: Cook a batch of Chocolate Chili this weekend to put in the freezer for next weekend, when you’ve had your fill of turkey, pumpkin, and cranberry.

Gobble, gobble!

(Housekeeping note: I won’t be sending out a “Five Dinners” post or newsletter on November 26, but I’ll be back at it on Thursday, December 3.)

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Italian Pork Roast | meljoulwan.comSlow Cooker Italian Pork Roast

Cookup Tips: Definitely throw a hunk o’ meat into the slow cooker over the weekend. Future You will be very grateful.

Recommended Sides: Really focus on veggies this week! Mashed Cauliflower and Zucchini Noodles are both great with this pork.

Paleo Czech Meatballs | meljoulwan.comCzech Meatballs

Cookup Tips: Meat “dough” can be made 1 day in advance then cooked—or you can cook the meatballs 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!

Recommended Sides: I like these with green beans (steamed and tossed with ghee), Mashed Cauliflower, or boiled potatoes with ghee and parsley.

Riceless, Soyless Sushi | meljoulwan.comRice-Free, Soy-Free Sushi

Cookup Tips: These taste best when made fresh, but they’re so fast, you won’t even mind.

Recommended Sides: Keep it simple! Cut up raw veggies—cucumbers, carrots, pepper strips—to eat alongside your sushi. If you want to make a fuss, Cauliflower Rice is nice.

Bunless Burgers | meljoulwan.comBunless Burgers

Cookup Tips: Burgers cook so fast, I recommend you make these just before eating. The link above takes you to my roundup of delicious burger toppers ’cause there’s nothing better than a “sporty supper” the night before a holiday.

Recommended Sides: Again, you might want to have raw veggies or a tossed salad, but if you feel up to it, fries are the way to go: Crispy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Herb Parsnip Fries, or Classic Diner-Style Home Fries—don’t forget the Kickass Ketchup! You can prep all the potatoes in advance, then throw them in the oven while you cook the burgers.

Taj Mahal Turkey Curry | meljoulwan.comTaj Mahal Turkey Curry

Cookup Tips: Here it is: your new favorite way to eat leftover turkey! This holds up great in the fridge and freezer, so you can make it a day or two after Thanksgiving and eat it anytime thereafter.

Recommended Sides: This is really nice with Simple Lemon Spinach and Cauliflower Rice.

Condiments (Whole30 compliant)

cran-mayoKickin’ Cranberry Sauce and Homemade Mayo

Cookup Tips: Both of these can be made in advance and taste fresh for a week or so.

Bonus (Whole30 compliant)

Chocolate-Chili-thumb-e1335558869328Chocolate Chili

Cookup Tips: I recommend you make a batch of Chocolate Chili this weekend and pop it in the freezer for next weekend. It’s like a thoughtful, post-holiday gift for Future You.

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  • Oh, just what we needed! Fast, easy ideas for the next few days; a kickin’ cranberry sauce recipe for T-day and thereafter; and someone to plan it out for us and just tell us what to do!

    I especially like the rice-less sushi idea for Wednesday–will be wonderfully simple and light before the next day’s feast. Thank you!

  • Karina says:

    Mel: I just wanted to tell you that of the many, many paleo cookbooks I have and have thought about getting and of the many, many paleo websites I regularly visit, my Numero Uno, Without a Doubt favorites are Well Fed and Well Fed2. Hands down. Your recipes are complex-in-taste-but-not-ridiculously time consuming for someone who is a pretty competent home cook and somewhat of a “foodie.” And, my husband, who is not Paleo, never, ever complains. Chocolate chili, YAY! Gyoza Meatballs? Hurray! Sweet/Salty Broccoli Slaw, GONE! Thanks! Please get your next cookbook done SOON before I’ve cooked everything in these two TWICE!

  • jeanne says:

    I made your Italian Pork Roast this week – so good! I stuck the roast all over with garlic cloves, rubbed Merguez seasoning all over it, and roasted it in the oven. Holy moly, my house smelled great! It took all day, and was completely worth the wait. The crispy bits, with garlic and fennel, were my favorite part.


  • Jenna says:

    Nice! Though I have to admit, after seeing the word “poutine” this was all I could think of…