Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #19

I can barely see to type this because I’m pretty sure my eyeballs are falling out of my skull. Sorry to be gross!

I’ve been editing content for the new cookbook, and I think I’m really beginning to lose my marbles.

Yesterday, I started with a walk (in the snow that turned to rain… boo), then settled at my desk to edit. I got up every 30 minutes to stretch, meditate, dance, and make tea, and before I knew it, it was 4:00, and I’d forgotten to eat lunch.

After a giant salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, bell peppers, green olives, beets, steamed shrimp, hard-boiled egg, extra-virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar), I moved to my standing desk and demolished a few more pages and more tea.

And now, I’ve collected five satisfying dinners, plus a condiment and a treat, to fuel whatever it is you’ve been up to lately. Pop into comments and share what’s got you excited these days.

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Crispy Latin American Chicken | meljoulwan.comCrispy Latin American Chicken

Cookup Tips: This recipe tastes best when it’s made just before you eat it, but it’s so worth it! The original recipe calls for grilling, but you can also make this on the stovetop. Coat the chicken in the “breading,” give it a quick sauté in a little fat in a skillet, then finish in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes, until it’s browned outside and its juices run clear when poked with a fork.

Recommended Sides: These taste great on a pile of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice and do not skip the Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa recipe below! You will also be pretty happy if you make either Crispy (green) Plantains with Garlic Sauce or these Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains.

Snap Peas with Lemon, Pistachios, and Mint | meljoulwan.comSnap Pea Salad with Lemon, Pistachios, and Mint

Cookup Tips: This is so fast, no need to do anything in advance! To make it a complete meal, you need to add protein. Cooked chicken, salmon, and shrimp are all awesome choices.

Recommended Sides: This is a one-dish wonder! No sides required.

Cincinnatti Chili | meljoulwan.comCincinnati Chili

Cookup Tips: Chili tastes even better on day 2 or 3, so let this simmer on the back of the stove during your Cookup and enjoy it later in the week. (This is pretty great for breakfast with a fried egg on top.)

Recommended Sides: You’ll want to roast a spaghetti squash to use as a bed for the chili. (And here’s a how-to video so you can cut the squash without mishap.)

Italian Meatza Pie | meljoulwan.comItalian Meatza Pie

Cookup Tips: The Meatza can be baked for the first time in advance, then just before eating, add the toppings and do the second bake.

Recommended Sides: As a go-along, I recommend a tossed salad with Creamy Italian Dressing.

Thyme-Braised Short Ribs | meljoulwan.comThyme-Braised Short Ribs

Cookup Tips: This is a great recipe for a lazy weekend afternoon. Let it braise while you read a book or watch a movie, then reheat the meat during the week when the flavors are rich and mellowed.

Recommended Sides: Mashed Cauliflower, boiled potatoes rolled in melted ghee and sprinkled with minced parsley, and/or Mustard-Garlic Brussels Sprouts.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa | meljoulwan.comCucumber-Pineapple Salsa

Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add zing to your meals for 3-4 days. It’s luscious with the Latin American Chicken, but it’s also great on a tossed salad or spooned over cooked chicken, pork chops, or fish.

Nibble (not Whole30 compliant)

Spicy Almond Butter | meljoulwan.comSpicy Almond Butter

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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  • Lisa Houde says:

    What’s got me excited is prepping for my Herbal Apprenticeship program this summer – FINALLY diving in as I’ve wanted to do this for a LONG time. Also, will wrap up my Whole 30 this Saturday, and I look forward to continuing the paleo diet. I didn’t really exercise much this past Whole 30, but my goal is to get GOING come this Sunday. You’ve inspired me to do the Women’s Strength Summit; I really need someone to kick my brain (and rear end) into exercise mode. …and finally, about that weather! A 30 degree difference between yesterday and this morning when it was 60 degrees at my house in New Hampshire – took out my poodle wearing SANDALS. Nutty! Anyway, thank you, Mel – I’m SO grateful to have found you and your gifted cooking talents. 🙂

  • Sally Swenson says:

    What’s got ME excited is that I did the Whole30 in January and in early February had bloodwork done for my annual physical. Just met w/ my doctor the other day and she was BLOWN away at my results. She said she’d not seen anyone w/ such perfect numbers except one other time, and he was in his 30s. I’m 63! Pretty amazing stuff. I think this might be the eating plan for me for good. Thanks for helping make it an incredibly delicious way of eating!