Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #12

Dave and I enjoyed a lovely quiet and cozy holiday, and now we’re entering the busy, frexciting time when we both write books in the next six months. This week, we’re taking the first 15 photos for our next cookbook, so we’re eating food that (I hope!) you’ll be eating about a year from now. (BTW, if you’re not already subscribed, now would be a great time to sign up for my newsletter. I’m going to start sharing some sneak peek recipes from Well Fed Weeknights which will be released on November 1, 2016.)

For you, right now, I’ve got five easy-to-make, crazy-delicious recipes to make you excited about your meals and energized for whatever your new year holds. Which reminds me…

Happy new year, friends!

If you want to go all-in, you might want to use this 1-week Whole30 cooking plan to see you through the next seven days. It includes some of my most popular recipes like Chocolate Chili and Pad Thai, plus step-by-step cooking instructions and a PDF shopping list you can print out. Easy-peasy! Or you can dig into the recipes below… happy cooking!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Old School Italian Meat Sauce | meljoulwan.comOld School Italian Meat Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Cookup Tips: This recipe is perfect for a lazy weekend day, when it can just do its own thing in the background. You can also prep the zucchini in advance: julienne it, sweat it, rinse it, pat it dry, and place in fridge until you’re ready to eat.

Recommended Side: Yes, it’s cliché, but it’s a delicious cliché. Make a salad and top it with luscious Creamy Italian Dressing.

Egg Foo Yong | meljoulwan.comEgg Foo Yong

Cookup Tips: This recipe is pretty much made from leftovers, so if you cook chicken, beef, or pork during your Cookup, you can toss it into an Egg Foo Yong patty with whatever leftover veggies you have on hand.

Recommended Sides: You can stick with the Asian theme and cook up a batch of Cauliflower Rice, or do a diner-style mash-up and make some Home Fries or Sweet Potato Fries instead. You can do prep on all the veggies for sides during a Cookup, then finish them at dinner time.

Gyoza Meatballs | meljoulwan.comGyoza 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: Cauliflower Rice is always a good choice—or sauté snow peas in ghee and sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. A salad of butter lettuce, radishes, and cucumbers with Zingy Ginger Dressing would be tasty, too.

Creole Ham and Rice | meljoulwan.comPaleo Creole Ham & Cauliflower Rice

Cookup Tips: Chop the raw cauliflower into rice and store in a covered container in the fridge until you’re ready to make the whole recipe. You can also cut up the veggies and ham in advance.

Recommended Sides: This really doesn’t really need a side, but if you want extra credit, and extra vegetables, I recommend steamed green beans with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Reykjavik Salmon Salad | meljoulwan.comReykjavik Salmon Salad

Cookup Tips: Cook the eggs and make the mayo in advance. If you really want to go for it, you could also slice the cucumbers and store them in a plastic bag or covered container in the fridge.

Recommended Sides: This is complete as it is, but some cooled, boiled potatoes would be a nice addition.

Snack (Whole30 compliant)

Marinated and Spiced Olives | meljoulwan.comMarinated and Spiced Olives

Cookup Tips: Make these during your Cookup and add a little taste of the not-too-far-past holidays to your meals all week. Chop and toss into tuna salad or on top of some cold green, slice onto hot veggies, dice and toss on top of roasted chicken, a bunless burger, or a nice steak or chop.

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  • Michelle Gaeta Tipton says:

    Melissa the pictures of your food are always so awesome and that definitely drives me to make them! I love your sharing the little insights as to putting hair thin basil on for garnish! Do you eat the food after taking the pictures!? good luck with the book and your loyal followers cannot wait.
    i love the look on peoples faces when i tell them i’m off the bread grain cake madness that is breakfast and eat real food. It’s always an education! Happy Friday… and thanks for all that you do for us..

    • We *do* eat the food! The “models” are usually lunch and dinner on photography day. And there are all kinds of weird, tiny containers in the fridge with, like, one chopped up carrot or a handful of slivered basil. It’s pretty funny.

      Congratulations on ditching the wheat madness at breakfast and all meals. YAY!

  • elizaduckie says:

    I have just started investigating Paleo as a potential aid for me. I definitely relate to some of your own challenges. In the last three years I was diagnosed with diabetes (T2) and it came as a bit of a shock since for most of my adult life I’ve never eaten ‘the typical American diet’. Although I used to work out, in the past 10 years I have been a bit of a slug, very very stressed ending up with my worst case of depression ever, and with the diabetes diagnosis. My carbs are restricted to 30 grams per meal. I’m pretty good about it and my A1C number is down to 6.2. However, I’m always looking at new ideas and Paleo interests me. I was distressed to find that non of the recipes have nutritional breakdowns. Yes I could enter every ingredient into an app and figure it out. That’s onerous and I’m put off trying recipes when I can’t see the breakdown. I did try using the search feature…but still no nutritional breakdowns. I have a copy of “Well Fed” on the way, does the book include them?

    • Congratulations on turning your numbers around! That takes a lot of personal work — good for you!

      I don’t provide nutritional info for my recipes on my site or in my cookbooks. I hope you’ll still find the recipes and info useful.

      • elizaduckie says:

        Thank you for replying. I’m disappointed to hear that.

        • Angie says:

          In most cases the only carbs in Mel’s recipes are coming from the vegetables (since there’s no starchy grains or dairy in them) . Unless there’s sweet potatoes or winter squash included, the carb count for vegetables is well below the 30gr limit. Since switching to a Paleo eating style, I’ve been able to control my blood sugar much better and more easily. When I started out I used the app My fitness pal to double check the carb counts and found it helpful until I learned what works best for my blood sugar regulation. Best of luck to you on your journey to healthy!