Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #22

This morning, as I packed a post-workout snack for my pilgrimage to the gym (deadlifts, bench press, pushups, and more), I saw a fuzzy blur dart across our back patio. It was actually two fuzzy blurs: Rascal and Rowdy, our backyard chipmunks, who have emerged from torpor in their burrows to run around in the sunshine.

They’re kind of famous, these chipmunks, because Dave wrote a really excellent comic about them for the Awesome Possum 2 anthology.


I hope wherever you are, you see something that makes you as happy as it made me (and Smudge) to see our chipmunk friends again.

And now… back to the kitchen. Here are five dinner ideas, plus a boldly-flavored, super-versatile condiment and a little something sweet that is also Whole30 compliant. (A few words of encouragement: If you’re not really a “liver person,” give the Crispy Chicken Livers a try; they’re pretty spectacular.)

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Citrus Pork Carnitas | meljoulwan.comCitrus Pork Carnitas

Cookup Tips: This can be made over the course of a lazy weekend day, then turned into kickass meals all week long. It requires almost no hands-on work, and it’s crazy good.

Recommended Sides: I know I’ve been pushing plantains a lot lately, but pork+plantains is such a delicious equation. And it’s choose your own adventure: you can go for Crispy (green) or Sautéed (yellow). For Crispy, you can boil the plantains in advance, then crisp-up just before eating. The carnitas are also awesome with the Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa listed below and Cauliflower Rice with your favorite salsa.

Velvety Butternut Squash | meljoulwan.comVelvety Butternut Squash

Cookup Tips: The squash for this recipe gets cooked twice, so you can roast it during your cookup and finish it later, or complete the whole shebang and reheat before eating.

Recommended Sides: This casserole is a great source of quality carbs and fat, but it needs protein. I recommend roasted chicken thighs (boneless, skinless; 425F oven for 25-30 minutes) or pan-fried pork chops (or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, if you’re in a pinch).

creole_ham-rice-2Paleo 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.

Jalapeno-Bacon Burger Balls | meljoulwan.comJalapeño-Bacon Burger Balls

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: You kinda really need some oven fries with these. You can go for 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 with the meatballs just before eating.

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers | meljoulwan.comCrispy Spiced Chicken Livers

Cookup Tips: These really taste best when you make the just before eating, but they’re pretty quick—and the crispiness makes up for the fact that they can’t be part of your Cookup.

Recommended Sides: I like these with Simple Lemon SpinachCauliflower Rice, or boiled potatoes with ghee and parsley.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Southwestern Cumin-Lime Dressing | meljoulwan.comSouthwestern Cumin-Lime Dressing

Cookup Tips: The Cumin-Lime Dressing tastes fresh for about a week, so you can make it in advance and drizzle it with abandon on your meals all week. The recipe includes a list of creative ideas for how to use up your jar of dressing (It’s pretty awesome drizzled over Plantain Nachos.)

Treat (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Fried Apples with Bacon and Pecans | meljoulwan.comFried Apples (Whole30 compliant)

Cookup Tips: This takes just a few minutes to make, so I recommend that you make this “to order” for maximum bacon crispiness and freshness.

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