Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #16

For the first time in about seven months, I spent last Sunday doing a traditional Weekly Cookup, and you know what?!

There just might be something to that idea.

It took me about four hours to make everything I wanted to have in the fridge for the week—chopped raw veggies and roasted chicken breast for lunchtime salads; BBQ beef and cole slaw from Well Fed 2 for dinner with friends; plus Czech meatballs, cauli mashPizza Soup, taco meat, and Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup. I grumbled a bit about spending the entire afternoon in the kitchen, but keeping us fed this week—while I write and walk and fret and write some more—has been a breeze.

Thanks, Past Me, for figuring out how to do Cookups on the weekend.

And now, about you. Here are the recipes I think you might like to make this week, including Pizza Seasoning (which I’ve been putting on everything lately) and salty-sweet almond butter that makes for a pretty great snack with carrot sticks or apple slices.

Are you watching the Big Game on Sunday? I’m sad the Patriots lost to the Broncos, but I can’t help but hope Peyton Manning and the Broncos win, so he can ride off into the sunset with another Super Bowl ring. In case you need ideas for paleo and Whole30-friendly game day food, here’s my Paleo Super Bowl Party Game Plan. It includes a roundup of my best party food, plus a preparation timeline for a half-time Chocolate Chili bar and pre-game snacks, so Super Bowl Sunday is stress free.

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs | meljoulwan.comTurkey and Cranberry 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! (These would also be nice plopped into some homemade chicken broth with sliced kale for a comforting soup.)

Recommended Sides: Some boiled potatoes rolled in ghee and minced parsley would be super tasty—or you could go with Mashed Cauliflower or Crispy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries. You can boil white potatoes in advance, then reheat just before eating, and the mashed cauliflower can be made during a cookup and reheated, too. The fries taste best when cooked just before eating.

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. You can also get lazy and throw all the ingredients in a bowl on a bed of baby spinach and eat it like a salad. I AM LAZY!

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.

Homemade Pizza Seasoning10-Minute Pizza Soup

Cookup Tips: This can be made during a Cookup, but it really only takes 10 minutes, so you can throw it together at the last minute, too.

Recommended Sides: This recipe includes protein, veggies, and fat, so you don’t need to add a thing—but if you want more (more is almost always better), a green salad with Creamy Italian Dressing would be great (and you can make the mayo ahead of time for the dressing).

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. So save time, you could prep all the ingredients during you Cookup, then cook them just before eating.

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.

The-Best-Chicken-You-Will-Ever-Eat | meljoulwan.comBest Chicken Ever

Cookup Tips: This is a meal saver! Make a big batch during your Cookup, then enjoy it all week long on salads, on a “diner plate” with two veggies, chopped up and sautéed with veggies. Make a double batch of Moroccan Dipping Sauce so you have that around, too.

Recommended Sides: Definitely Cauliflower Rice! And maybe a salad of cucumbers, red bell peppers, and red onion tossed with the Moroccan Dipping Sauce. Slice the raw veggies during your Cookup to save precious minutes at meal time.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Meatza Pie | meljoulwan.comSugar-Free Pizza Seasoning

Cookup Tips: You can make this during your Cookup in, like, 5 minutes, and it means Pizza Soup is just a few minutes away. You can also use it to whip up Meatza, which makes any weeknight feel like Friday.

Treat (not Whole30 compliant)

almondbutterSpiced Almond Butter (not Whole30 compliant)

Cookup Tips: This takes just a few minutes to make and turns apple slices and celery sticks into something special. For more sweet treats, stuff a little almond butter into a dried date or spread some on a banana. (It also makes for a mean SB&J Burger!)

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  • Michelle Gaeta Tipton says:

    will you be doing book signing tours anywhere once your book is released? you have such a following i know it would be well attended! I have to think Wegmans’ would LOVE to have you! Their home office is in Rochester NY and PLEASE come to the Hunt Valley Maryland location!!!!!! Maryland also has the most amazing Organic chain of stores called MOM’s … Love them… Thank you for awesome food…….! Michelle

    • I think I will be doing some special events and signings this time! We’ll start planning that stuff in the spring, and I’ll definitely let you know where I’ll be. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Rae says:

    Melissa – I love the idea of doing one major cook-up once a week but have always been a teensy bit nervous about cooking things on Sunday and leaving them in my fridge for most of the week. When I have done Whole30s in the past, I would do a cook-up on Sunday (for M/T/W) and one on Wednesday night (for TH/F). Are you leaving all of these Sunday items in the fridge or are you freezing some of them? Do you have a rule of thumb about how long things can live in the fridge? I’ve always wondered about this part of cook-ups – so thank you for any help!