Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #37

I know that other people—maybe even you—love summer. While I do enjoy all the colorful produce at our CSA farm, I’m hanging on by my fingernails for autumn to arrive. I’m ready for cooler temperatures and maybe even pumpkin spice goodness. (Give me leather jacket weather over bathing suits any day!) We don’t have air conditioning in our house, so my sleep hasn’t been the greatest: I’m in earplugs every night to block out the whir of our fan.

And I am running out of patience with the humidity.

Seriously, my hair is a puffball and my skin is always damp. It’s like camping indoors. And you guys, I hate camping.

So, paradoxically, this week’s collection of recipes is a celebration of summer. I’m hoping by digging into warm weather recipes, I can hasten the approach of fall. Kind of like backward wishful-thinking voodoo. The other reason to be excited about the fall? The big-time pre-sale celebration and launch of my new cookbook. It’s coming! (If you’re not signed up for my newsletter, you should get on that because I’ll be sharing previews of recipes and special goodies!)

For now, here are five paleo/Whole30 recipes to enjoy during the dog days of summer, plus one of the most versatile sauces around and a sweet treat. Happy cooking!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

dailo_pork_watermelon-2DaiLo Pork & Watermelon

Cookup Tips: This tastes best when it’s made to order, but it comes together in about half an hour, so you won’t even be mad at it.

Recommended Sides: The recipe has cauliflower rice built in, but a simple cucumber salad (cucumbers, red onion, rice vinegar) would be an awesome go-along.

grilledchickenGrilled Chicken Thighs & Turkish Chopped Salad

Cookup Tips: The thighs will be at their juicy-crispy best if you eat them just after grilling, but the leftovers are awesome, too! My advice: Make the thighs just before eating for the first go-round, then use leftovers for Egg Foo Yong or Pad Thai. You can chop the veggies for the Turkish Chopped Salad up to three days in advance, then toss with the dressing just before eating.

Recommended Sides: You don’t really need anything else—and who wants to be near the stove in the summer?!—but if you want extra credit, you could add Potato Salad, Home Fries, or Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice.


latinamericanchickenCrispy Latin American Chicken

Cookup Tips: This is another one that tastes best fresh off the grill—but, again, leftovers are pretty damn good, too.

Recommended Sides: You’ll definitely want to make the Crispy Plantains with Garlic Sauce and Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa. No green plantains? Make Pan-Fried with ripe yellow plantains instead.

cuban_wellfed2Cuban 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: Try this simple, incredibly delicious salad: butter lettuce, cucumber, tomato, scallions, and avocado with Garlic Sauce; the sauce is also awesome on the meatballs). Want some resistant starch? Add Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains or Crispy (green) Plantains. You can boil the plantains in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is fry ’em up.

chinese_five_spice_pork_ribsChinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs

Cookup Tips: As I told Stacy and Sarah on their Paleo View Podcast recently, I love a recipe that’s basically, “Plug in the slow cooker.” These ribs are not much more complicated than that, and if you make a lot, you’ll have luscious meat to use in other dishes all week. Like this! Or this.

Recommended Sides: I think the only real option is Cauliflower Rice and a salad (butter lettuce, cucumbers, red bell peppers, pumpkin seeds) with Zingy Ginger Dressing. You might also  go for steamed green beans tossed with a little sesame oil, scallions, and sesame seeds.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

lizardsauceLizard Sauce

Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add zing to your meals for weeks! It’s great on the Cuban Meatballs, sweet potatoes, a bunless burger, the grilled chicken thighs, and even dolloped on hard-boiled eggs.

Treat (not Whole30 compliant)

Peach-Almond Crisp

Cookup Tips: This is best fresh from the oven. Put it together, then pop it in the oven while you eat dinner. But the time your plates are cleared, dessert will be ready!

Want to get a notification of my “5 Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week” sent to your email every Thursday?
Sign up here!

Need more detailed Meal Planning help? All of the Well Fed recipes are available on Real Plans!

Tuesday 10: Paleo Burger Toppers

Oh, the bunless burger! It's the safe refuge of the paleo eater in a non-paleo world. From low-rent burger joints to higher-end restaurants, you can...

Read More
Sunday Cooking WOD

We totally scored at our local Sprouts this weekend: organic, grass-fed ground beef for $5.99/lb. I bought eight packages! Along with happy chicken, ground lamb,...

Read More


  • Elizabeth says:

    I had a hard time concentrating on the recipes after reading that you do not have air conditioning. Whaaat??!! How do you cook all day without central air?

    • The kitchen actually isn’t too bad most day—the downstairs of our house stays pretty cool. When I had the oven going this summer for food photography, I had a fan pointed directly at me 🙂 But sleeping is a drag. Just a few more months in this rental house, then our new place will have A/C. YAY!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Oh, btw, the vintage recipes on Buzzfeed were truly horrifying AND fantastic; especially the one with the intricate hot dog carving. There. are. no. words.

  • Jessica says:

    We drove up to Mt Washington from Philly two weeks ago and drove right through your town. It was so cute and not at all city-like! I was crazy jealous of the fresh mountain air.