Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #31

It’s stunningly beautiful in Vermont today: robin’s–egg blue sky, soft air, and temps that are hovering in the mid-80s. Dave and I started the morning with a walk along the Northern Rail Trail, lingered over a leisurely breakfast at a friendly local diner (spinach, tomato, onion omelet; fruit salad), and then stopped by Sunrise Farm to pick up our CSA haul for the week. So many leafy green things! Swiss chard, kale, arugula, spinach, and—bonus!—asparagus.

Also, Farmer Chuck has piggies this year!

I intend to finish my work for the day as quickly as possible, then hang out on the porch with my book (re-reading The Night Circus… so good so good so good) and take another walk when the sun is going down.

I think I’m officially ready for cool summer salads and lazy grilling. To help you get ready, too, here are five paleo and Whole30 compliant recipes that remind me of warm, sunny places, along with a recommendation for put-them-on-everything pepitas to give salads an oomph and make snack time a little spicier.

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Balkan Cevapcici | meljoulwan.comÇevapçiçi, aka, cute Balkan sausages

Cookup Tips: The meat “dough” can be made 1 day in advance then cooked—or you can cook the çevapçiçi 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! The original recipe calls for grilling, but you can also make these little guys in the oven: 425F for 20 minutes or so.

Recommended Sides: These taste great on a pile of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice and do not skip the Ajvar recipe below! On our travels, we also ate these with shopska salat: a chopped salad of cucumber, tomato, onion, and bell pepper dressed with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. It’s very similar to my Turkish Chopped Salad.

Sesame Cucumber Noodles | meljoulwan.comCold Sesame-Cucumber Noodles

Cookup Tips: You can spiralize the cucumber noodles and make the sauce in advance; store them separately in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. To make a complete meal, you need to add protein. Grilled chicken, steak, pork, salmon, and shrimp are all awesome! You might also add a hard-boiled egg or two.

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

RoganJoshRogan Josh

Cookup Tips: Rogan Josh 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 one of my favorite “leftovers for breakfast meals.”)

Recommended Sides: This pairs well with Cauliflower Rice Pilaf or plain Cauliflower Rice. You might also want to make a batch of Mint Chutney to dollop on top.

elvis_burgerElvis Burger

Cookup Tips: This kissin’ cousin to the SB&J Burger tastes best when you make it just before eating. But it’s fast! And so luscious, you won’t even mind having to cook.

Recommended Sides: Plantains or fries are the way to go! You could have Crispy (green) Plantains, or Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains, or Parsnip Fries, or Sweet Potato Fries. You can prep the plantains and root veggies in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is crisp them.

kale-salad-1Lemon-Maple Kale Salad

Cookup Tips: This needs protein for a complete meal; I really like it with pork chops or loin, or grilled chicken thighs. You can wash and cut the kale, and make the dressing in advance, then massage the kale and toss with dressing just before eating.

Recommended Sides: When you add protein, this recipe includes the triumvirate of protein–veggies–fat, so you don’t need anything else!

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)


Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add zing to your meals for weeks! It’s great on the çevapçiçi, bunless burgers, grilled/roasted chicken, and fish. The original recipe calls for grilling the peppers, but you can roast them in the oven.

Nibble (Whole30 compliant)

pumpkin-spiced-pepitas_592Spiced Pepitas

Cookup Tips: These take about 20 minutes to make and they add flavor to your meals for weeks! Dave and I have been eating salads for lunch every day lately, and having a special little something—like spiced nuts or blueberries—makes the salad way more interesting and delicious. You might also sprinkle these on roasted sweet potatoes, on top of soup, or mix with some raisins for a quick snack.

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  • Lydia says:

    That morning walk looks AMAZING. You are living your best life and I am so happy for you!

  • jrk says:

    I would love to be transported to the coast of Greece to eat organic vegetables, fresh fish with olive oil and that wonderful fresh yogurt . Then I could go by sea to the island of Crete and swim in the ocean and bask in the sunshine.